Strong Before The Mid-Year Storm: Venues Surged During Winter Season

New York City’s
Noam Galai / Getty Images
– New York City’s
Radio City Music Hall, pictured May 13, was the No. 1 ticket seller of all venues on Pollstar’s Mid-Year Charts, largely thanks to 169 Christmas shows.
Whether by scanning a code or taking a paper ticket, a venue’s measure of success is constant – it’s always about box office. Amid unprecedented challenges, it’s now a waiting game in anticipation of a time when tickets are moving in large numbers again, but Pollstar’s Mid-Year recap covers a period that is only partially affected by the current lack of live events. There’s still the winter season and stories to tell about venue success prior to the mid-March challenges.

Before the shutdown, excellence was measured around the globe with facilities reporting robust box office action. New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, No. 1 on the Top 200 Theaters chart, logged 988,712 sold tickets, the most of any venue during Pollstar’s Mid-Year period of eligibility. Granted, the famed venue had 169 performances of its “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” occurring in the time frame. That event alone accounts for 93% of the theater’s overall ticket count, but multiple shows by The Tenderloins and Rex Orange County along with sellouts by Josh Groban, Jill Scott and others make the Manhattan music hall 2020’s best-attended venue worldwide midway through the year.

Mid-Year Worldwide Ticket Sales

Mexico City claims the second-best ticket count with Foro Sol at No. 1 on the Top 50 Outdoor Stadiums/Festival Sites for the sixth consecutive Mid-Year. With a total of 677,591 sold tickets, two festivals are prominent in the stadium’s attendance success: Mexico’s Electric Daisy Carnival and Vive Latino together moved 450,874 tickets. However, two nights with Maroon 5 and shows by Billy Joel, Soda Stereo and Café Tacvba, the latter of which drew 62,388 fans – the highest attendance for a single show at the venue this year – all contributed to the stadium’s return to the top.

The scope is international for arenas in contention for top Mid-Year honors although the majority of the venues call North America home – 126 among the Top 200. European countries hit the chart with 56 entries, while nine arenas are found in Oceania, six in South America and three in Asia. Taking No. 1 is Madrid’s WiZink Center, the only venue with tickets topping the 400,000 mark – 424,729 overall from 49 performances. Nine arenas follow in the 300,000 range led by New York’s Madison Square Garden, No. 2 for the second consecutive Mid-Year based on a 394,354-ticket total. 

Clubs and amphitheaters round out the venue categories with Boston’s House of Blues and Mission Estate Winery in Napier, New Zealand, respectively, atop the charts. At No. 2 among clubs is The Great Hall at Avant Gardner, making its debut in the Mid-Year tallies this year. The Brooklyn, N.Y. venue logged 96,842 tickets to grab the second slot. For Mission Estate Winery, Elton John and Michael Bublé drew 68,773 ticket buyers between them to make the New Zealand venue No. 1.

Pollstar 2020 Mid-Year

BoxOffice Highlights:

Electric Daisy Carnival
Foro Sol, Mexico City
Promoter: OCESA / CIE
Gross: 12,486,675
Tickets Sold: 296,982
Date Range: Feb. 28 – March 1 (3 Shows)

Celine Dion
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Promoter: Concerts West / AEG Presents
Gross: $5,115,713
Tickets Sold: 25,577
Date Range: Feb. 28-29 (2 Shows)

“Impractical Jokers”
Starring The Tenderloins

Radio City Music Hall, New York
Promoter: Live Nation
Gross: $1,218,509
Tickets Sold: 16,075
Date Range: Jan. 18-19 (3 Shows)

House Of Blues Boston, Boston
Promoter: Live Nation
Gross: $449,593
Tickets Sold: 8,959
Date Range: Jan. 15-18 (4 Shows)

Elton John
Mission Estate Winery, Napier, New Zealand
Promoter: Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring
Gross: $5,785,079
Tickets Sold: 52,979
Date Range: Feb. 6-15 (2 Shows)