Boxoffice Insider: Power Players In The House For Pollstar Live!

Rocker/Panelist Dave Grohl
Mauricio Santana / Getty Images
– Rocker/Panelist Dave Grohl
performing with Foo Fighters at Allianz Parque in Brazil in February 2018. The band has racked up $377.8 million in gross revenue over 459 performances over the past two dozen years.
Dave Grohl. George Clinton. Khalid. They are all road warriors with stories to tell for Pollstar Live! 2019 attendees. The first two are legendary members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with careers that stretch back multiple decades – Grohl was inducted in 2014 as a member of the iconic band Nirvana and Clinton in 1997 along with 15 members of Parliament Funkadelic. Khalid is the new kid on the block, joining the conference lineup still in the early years of his career as a live performer. 

For Grohl and Foo Fighters, the most recent turn on the road was a 16-month tour in support of the band’s September 2017 release, Concrete And Gold. It launched on June 16, 2017, at the Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland, the beginning of a series of headlining dates and festival appearances in Europe and Asia that summer prior to the album release. A fall run stateside – along with a festival appearance at Corona Capital in Mexico City in November – continued through the remainder of 2017.
Last year the trek included stretches through Oceania in January and the Americas from February through October. Thrown into the mix was a summertime romp through European markets that included the alt-rock group’s highest-grossing engagement in 2018. A two-show stand at London Stadium June 22-23 produced an overall box office take of $13 million based on 149,327 sold seats over both nights. Joining the headliners on the bill were Wolf Alice and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on the first night and The Kills, Slaves and Starcrawler at the second show.
Pollstar received reports for about two-thirds of the headlining performances during the Concrete and Gold tour showing an average gross of $1.8 million per concert, based on earnings from 57 cities. The average number of sold tickets came to 22,144 per market, although attendance varied substantially since shows were staged in both arenas and stadiums. 

Taylor Hill / Getty Images
– Khalid,
who is speaking at Pollstar Live!, performs during the Y100 Jingle Ball at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., Dec. 16.
Among the reported stadium dates, the top grosser was a two-show 2018 booking at Wrigley Field July 29-30 with support provided by The Struts and Melkbelly. Sales hit $6.4 million at the famed Chicago ballpark with a total of 76,699 fans in attendance during the run. Along with the large facilities, there was also a club date on the schedule with the Foo Fighters playing the inaugural concert at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 12, 2017.
A search through the Pollstar Boxoffice archives shows a total of $377.8 million in gross revenue from 459 headlining performances for Foo Fighters during the past 24 years (not including festival appearances or multiple-act radio rock concerts, etc.). Overall, the number of sold tickets tops 5.6 million since the band’s first reported show on July 24, 1995, at the former Portland nightclub La Luna with 1,115 sold seats and a gross of $11,304.
Funk music pioneer George Clinton is an honoree this year for the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award along with Parliament Funkadelic. The 77-year-old headliner and his band have a long history on the road, generally playing clubs and smaller theater-sized venues stretching back almost 36 years in the Pollstar archives. The first concert on record is from March 14, 1983, when the group performed at Painters Mill Theatre in Owings Mill, Md. On that day, Clinton moved 1,855 tickets priced at $13.50 each for a total box office take of $25,042. Since that first reported show, Clinton has racked up an overall gross total of $23.3 million from 905,353 total tickets sold at 586 shows. That’s an average attendance of 1,544 per event with a gross average just under $40,000.
Also slated to appear at the conference is R&B singer Khalid who was on the road with two tours in 2018. He kicked off the year with a sold-out performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York in late January, playing to a crowd of 5,960 fans, but headed to Europe the following month for a series of dates staged primarily in clubs and theaters. He averaged 2,958 tickets per venue and a gross just topping $110,000 during the European stint. The brief month-long trek was a continuation of his American Teen tour that began the previous summer of 2017 with a 25-show run in North America. 
Following the 2018 European trek, Khalid launched his third headlining effort, the Roxy tour. It began with a 25-show swing through North American cities last year with grosses hitting $8.4 million from 168,736 sold seats. 
The tour is named after the artist’s dog, Roxy, a Pitbull mix he adopted. Khalid donated $1 from every ticket sold on the jaunt to animal shelters in each city visited during the tour.