We’re Back! Pollstar Announces The Return Of LIVE75 & Global Concert Pulse Charts

JJ Grey & Mofro
Anthony Pidgeon / Redferns / Getty Images
– JJ Grey & Mofro
performs at Waterfront Blues Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Ore., July 3, 2016. The band is No. 3 on the Global Concert Pulse, which returns this week.
It is our distinct pleasure to reinstate the weekly charts representing live event box office activity that means, of course, there are actual shows going on with live humans in attendance. For the past year, a worldwide shutdown of touring activity has made the prospect of charting live events dubious at best, leading to the first ever chart hiatus in Pollstar’s nearly 40-year history. We did not publish weekly touring charts, though we continued to archive in our database any touring reports that came in. 

As March turns into April and the brutal 2020 fades into the rear view, Pollstar is now receiving reports from the industry on a consistent enough basis that we all feel it’s time. It’s time to crank up the machine, chart what is happening in the global concert industry, and bring back the charts – as much as activity warrants and production considerations allow. If you have a show of any size, from fewer than 100 people to a packed stadium (is anybody playing a packed stadium yet besides SIX60?), we cannot overstate the need for these shows to be reported and printed in Pollstar. 

You can consider reporting shows to Pollstar as a factor in the spirit of cooperation that it will take to facilitate a seamless return to full-on live entertainment worldwide. Pollstar data and Boxoffice reports are the Gold Standard as a barometer of artist success, and these charts inform strategy, recognize success, and impart critical information.Soon, the industry at large, globally, will be reporting grosses en masse, and these Pollstar charts will again take up many pages as stadiums, arenas, clubs, theaters, and festivals welcome fans back for live music and events. Bring it on.

So here we go. Consider this the beginning of Golden Era 2.0. For posterity’s sake, just as we chronicled the crash, we now chronicle the return. 

— Ray Waddell | President, OVG Media & Conferences

Back In Business: Our Charts Return After Yearlong Absence 

Even though the effects of the global pandemic still hamper a quick return to normalcy in live entertainment, there are many positive signs in the push for music fans to be able to congregate at concert venues in the days ahead. As more and more people are fully vaccinated and creative avenues for safe gathering expand, new opportunities for live activity are also broadening.

So, with a renewed sense of hope and a growing influx of newly reported Boxoffice data, our resumption of the LIVE75 and Global Concert Pulse charts is timely and coincides with the onset of new concert announcements from artists booking for both summer and fall where venue schedules are stacking up with postponed dates and new ones.
There is still uncertainty about whether many of the large festivals will go ahead this fall or be delayed until 2022, and concerts announced for this year are still selling with reduced capacities, but it’s a far cry from one year ago when the global industry was reeling from across the board postponement and cancellation.
Before 2021 began, industry pros were suggesting summer as a target date for a possible rebound, and now at the beginning of April, that’s not off course. Indoor dates with social distancing and pod seating and also outdoor drive-ins tours are all going on sale with more regularity. 
The return of both charts this week is predicated on the assumption that we are not going to slow back down. Socially distanced pods of fans should begin to morph into closer configurations as vaccinations increase and capacities grow, and we anticipate the charts to expand as well.
LIVE75 and Global Concert Pulse, both topped by New Zealand’s SIX60, profile the success of an artist, but they highlight different ends of the spectrum. LIVE75 rankings are based on a headliner’s average number of sold tickets, while the rankings on Global Concert Pulse are determined by their gross averages.
LIVE75 was launched two years ago in the first issue of April 2019. It was designed to highlight the 75 most popular active tours based on global Boxoffice results produced during the previous 30-day period. To be included on the chart, the tour headliner was required to have at least three shows reported during the previous month and also have upcoming shows booked during the following month. A tour would lose its active status if it ended or if it went on hiatus but would become active again with the launch of the next leg.
With the industry shutdown that followed the outbreak of the pandemic in March of last year, incoming data from ticket sales dwindled quickly. Although we were able to compile a Global Concert Pulse chart through the May 11 issue, our final LIVE75 of 2020 was published in the April 13 issue. Now, 51 weeks later, we are bringing them both back.
For LIVE75, we are making temporary revisions to eligibility requirements by stretching the time period from 30 days to 60 days to allow more events to qualify, and we are also dropping the three-show minimum for the time being and will determine an artist as eligible to chart with just one show reported.
Global Concert Pulse retains its traditional requirements that were in place prior to the shutdown. The window of eligibility for inclusion is three months, one month longer than for LIVE75. Also, an artist must have more than one performance in their pocket to be considered for Global Concert Pulse. Sales data must be reported from venues in at least two different cities.
We are beginning with a slate of 15 rankings on both charts and will expand both as more and more shows are reported. Eventually LIVE75 will return to 75 positions and Global Concert Pulse to 100. — Bob Allen, Box Office Liaison, OVG Media & Conferences

In Charted Waters: LIVE75, Global Concert Pulse Track New Boxoffice Success

Ocean Alley
Matt Jelonek / Wire Image / Getty Images
– Ocean Alley
performs at Australia’s St Jerome’s Laneway Festival on Feb. 9, 2020. The Aussie psychedelic rock is No. 4 on Pollstar’s LIVE75 chart.

The LIVE75 and Global Concert Pulse charts were created to provide a platform to showcase the top touring artists of the day, with metrics designed to track their success at the box office. With the return of both charts to weekly publication, we can identify those artists active during the early months of 2021 and highlight their roles in the live industry’s rebound out from under the cloud of the pandemic.

Earning the highest ranking on both charts is SIX60, the band from New Zealand that made history earlier this year as the first touring headliner to stage a large-scale, stadium-sized outdoor concert tour with full-capacity ticket availability. That gives them the edge compared to other artists, since no one else has played to a full crowd at a stadium in 2021. The band’s per show averages are by far the highest, whether it’s the 19,910-ticket average on LIVE75 or the average gross of $1,642,092 on Global Concert Pulse.
At No. 2 on LIVE75 is Spanish rock band Love of Lesbian that also recently made history with a non-socially distanced concert, but indoors at an arena (click here for the story on the emotional performance). They performed March 27 for a crowd of 5,000 at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi where each attendee was tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to enter. With a strict mask mandate in place, the audience was allowed to safely enjoy the show in close proximity to each other. The concert is seen as experimental in the pandemic era and, if it proves successful in avoiding significant infection rates, it may be a blueprint for a host of future events similarly staged.
Ranking highly on both charts is Christian music artist TobyMac who took his “Hits Deep” tour on the road in February and March and played 18 concerts, the most of any artist on either chart. He is No. 3 on LIVE75 with an average ticket count of 2,451. On Global Concert Pulse, though, he ranks second based on an average gross of $143,142 earned at arenas in the 13 American cities that hosted those 18 concerts during a span just over four weeks.
Landing among the top tours on LIVE75 is Australian alternative rock band Ocean Alley at No. 4, based on a sold-ticket average of 1,951 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl outdoor venue in Melbourne. The March 24 concert featured deck seating with separated, socially distanced configurations for up to six guests and produced a gross of $126,018. The concert featured opening sets by Aussie artists Slowly Slowly, Maddy Jane and The Grogans.
The Jacksonville, Fla., band JJ Grey & Mofro scores the third slot on Global Concert Pulse on the strength of four January concerts booked at venues in their home state. 
Grosses averaged $90,643 for the group with sellouts reported at all of their performances. Socially distanced crowds averaged 1,360 per show with an average ticket price of $66.63.
Recent bluegrass Grammy-winner Billy Strings takes the fifth ranking on LIVE75 with an average sold ticket tally of 1,615 at three shows of his own at a Florida venue. On March 19-21, he sold out all three concerts at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre for a gross totaling $215,180. Tickets for the shows were priced at $42 and $50.
Rounding out the top five on Global Concert Pulse are Russian rock singer Diana Arbenina and her band Night Snipers charting at No. 4 and country singer Lee Brice, who earns the No. 5 ranking. Arbenina’s gross average is $55,872 and comes from two concerts in her home country while Brice, also with two shows, averaged $50,498 in sales during March in South Dakota.  — Bob Allen, Box Office Liaison, OVG Media & Conferences?