No. 1 – U2

Danny North

No. 1
Decade Gross: $1,038,104,132

Tours: The 360 Tour (2009-2011), Innocence + Experience (2015), The Joshua Tree Tour (2017), Experience + Innocence (2018), The Joshua Tree Tour 2019.

The Team: Management: Guy Oseary, Maverick. Live Nation Global Touring

From 2010 to today, U2 stands alone as the only touring artist to eclipse $1 billion according to Pollstar’s Boxoffice records, with $1.038 billion grossed and 9,300,500 tickets sold on 255 shows (not counting the full “Joshua Tree 2019” run that hasn’t wrapped yet, which Fogel says is another 500,000-600,000 tickets.) 

See: U2’s Experience + Dominance Cover Story

After U2’s record-breaking “360” tour of 2009-11, which until very recently reigned as the largest tour ever with more than $735 million grossed, the band and its team was already looking forward but had a massive task on its hands: figuring out what to do next.

“At the end of ‘360,’ having done the biggest thing ever, they said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to start the next tour under a single lightbulb?’” laughs Willie Williams, U2’s show designer since 1982. “Of course, that was partially a joke, but it gave us sort of a creative talisman, and that lightbulb became such a symbol of that tour and that story.”