Boxoffice Insider: Rebel Sunset – Lynyrd Skynyrd Says Farewell

Sweet Home Sin City:
Kevin Winter / Getty Images / iHeartMedia
– Sweet Home Sin City:
Lynyrd Skynyrd resumes its farewell tour with an appearance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena Sept. 22.

For most people, it’s hard to remember a time without the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The mere longevity of a career that stretches almost half a century weaves the band into the fabric of the country to an extent most artists can only imagine. Its history is one of folklore and legend – with the tragedy of the 1977 plane crash that ended the glory days, and the fallen frontman’s brother picking up the mantle a decade later. It’s a career full of hits, famous guitar riffs and solos, tragedy and success and miles and miles on the road. Now, the group is nearing the end of that road and on a touring swan song that will cap its legendary career.

It’s called The Last of the Street Survivors Farewell tour with dates booked in both 2018 and 2019 so far. It began with an opening leg through 31 North American cities 
from May 4 through Labor Day weekend. 
The opener was set in West Palm Beach, Fla., on May 4 at Coral Sky Amphitheatre. 
A crowd of 9,675 fans were present for the kickoff that featured support from Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet and Jamey Johnson, just the first of many artists in opening slots during the tour’s run.
The final stop on the opening jaunt brought the band full circle, back to Jacksonville, Fla. for a hometown performance Sept. 2 during Labor Day weekend. It was staged at TIAA Bank Field, the home stadium of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, and grossed $3.7 million from a sellout crowd of 44,487. Other big names were also on the bill, led by Kid Rock who co-headlined with Lynyrd Skynyrd for a string of shed dates during the summers of 2008 and 2009. That outing was aptly dubbed the Rock and Rebels tour. Also providing support at Jacksonville were Jason Aldean, The Charlie Daniels Band, Blackberry Smoke and The Marshall Tucker Band.

The box office stats from the finale are the highest on the current tour so far and also the band’s highest gross on record, according to Pollstar’s box office archives that stretch back as far as the early 1980s. The Jacksonville sold ticket total ranks as the second-highest among the group’s many shows in the archives as a headliner. The highest was 58,000 logged on Feb. 26, 1996 at the Astrodome in Houston during one of the group’s three performances (also 1998 and 2005) at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

This year, along with Jacksonville, grosses topping $1 million have also been reported in five other U.S. markets including an Atlanta event that racked up $1.2 million in revenue. A sellout crowd of 18,797 filled the city’s Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on Sept. 1. Hank Williams Jr. provided an opening set for the show along with the Marshall Tucker Band and Blackberry Smoke.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s
John Davisson
– Lynyrd Skynyrd’s
Sept. 2 stop at TIAA Bank Field grossed $3.7 million from 44,487 tickets sold.

Another sold-out event topping $1 million came Aug. 25 at Pittsburgh’s KeyBank Pavilion. A total of 22,538 tickets were sold for the performance that also featured a lineup with Williams and the Marshall Tucker Band. In addition to those acts, 38 Special also played a set.

Among the three other concerts with a million-dollar gross was a July 28 show in Hershey, Pa., at Hersheypark Stadium with 20,089 sold seats. At Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in the St. Louis market, the band played to a sellout crowd of 18,790 on Aug. 18, and at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center on the previous night, the show was attended by a capacity crowd of 20,154.

Three weeks following the Jacksonville stadium date, the band resumed the tour for a second leg through North American cities beginning with an appearance on the second night of the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The eighth annual edition of the event was held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sept. 21-22. Along with Skynyrd, the second-night lineup included Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake, Luke Bryan, and Logic among others.

After the Vegas date, a 21-city schedule began at Arkansas Music Pavilion in the city of Rogers on Sept. 28 and is to continue through Dec. 8, wrapping for the year at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. The bulk of the fall dates are planned for arenas, although the Arkansas performance was set in an outdoor venue – as was an Oct. 25 show at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in the Birmingham, Ala. suburb of Pelham.

After a winter break, the Last of the Street Survivors tour will return in January, first with an appearance scheduled onboard a southern rock cruise to Mexico. Then later in March, the trek heads north to Canada for a series of concerts in eight cities, kicking off on March 2 at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre. Abbotsford Centre in British Columbia is booked for the final stop on the brief Canadian run that finishes on March 15.

Later in 2019, festival appearances are already planned in Dessel, Belgium, and Hinwil, Switzerland, during June.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, a pioneer of American Southern rock, helped create that musical subgenre during the 1960s and ’70s, the earliest eras of the band’s long history. Among their hits are the classics “Sweet Home Alabama” as well as “Free Bird,” one of the most iconic rock anthems of all time. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.