Earth Day Special Boxoffice Insider: The Lumineers Played For the Planet

The Lumineers
Ella Hovsepian/ Getty Images
– The Lumineers
one high-profile artist to embrace climate- positive touring, play the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2020.

Along with promoting their third studio album, 2019’s III, the memebers of the folk-rock band The Lumineers had an opportunity on their most recent world tour to positively impact environmental consciousness. Working in tandem with the nonprofit organization REVERB in its mission to tackle environmental issues to ensure a better future for the planet, the band saw climate-positive results from the tour’s sustainability efforts.

According to REVERB, they raised more than $280,000, earmarked for multiple causes including fighting homelessness and addiction as well as providing relief from COVID-19. But the primary emphasis was to combat climate change in a myriad of ways – such as eliminating 10,063 single-use plastic bottles and supporting 18,275 fan actions like purchasing reusable water bottles – throughout the tour.
“We did as much as we could to reduce the carbon footprint of each event,” stated the REVERB director of projects Lara Seaver, who provided a snapshot of REVERB’s involvement. “Whether it was backstage, fan information about carpooling, bus and truck numbers, routing, the vehicles used, hotel rooms used for the tour, emissions from each flight taken to or from the tour, venue energy, once you put all of that together, we have a number [for the total carbon footprint of the event] plus a number for the average fan’s commute. We wanted to [offset] 150% of that number, to ensure you are covering or best neutralizing what is put into the atmosphere for the tour.”

Much of the money raised for sustainability objectives came from a $1 fee added to the ticket prices, which ranged from about $40 to $90 in most North American markets.
The “III” tour’s jaunt through the U.S. and Canada in early 2020 was its final leg before coming to an abrupt halt in Milwaukee on March 11, the final show before the live industry shutdown. After beginning on Jan. 31, 2020 in Asheville, N.C., the North American run spanned six weeks and included 24 shows at 20 arenas. Overall grosses reached $15.2 million from those concerts, and the total number of sold tickets came to 263,812.
Adding the box office stats from eight performances reported during the month-long European leg in November 2019, the tour averaged about $554,000 in gross revenue per concert on both continents, while averaging 9,892 sold seats per show.
For historical perspective, that’s a 339% increase compared to the average gross on The Lumineers’ first tour in 2012-2013, not an unexpected level of growth for a group that has toured behind three albums and 10 singles since then. Likewise, the average number of tickets sold on the latest tour rose 180% in contrast to sales averages from the 108 shows reported on their first trek eight years earlier. And the average ticket price was 57% higher in 2020.
The III tour played two concerts apiece in four North American markets: Asheville, New York, Toronto and Chicago, which produced the highest gross of $1.7 million from 24,239 sold seats at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., on Feb. 21-22, 2020. Fans from the New York City metropolitan area, however, filled the most seats with Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., reporting a total headcount of 26,232 from shows on Feb. 13-14.
The Lumineers actually launched the tour prior to III’s Sept. 13, 2019 release, beginning with an opening leg that included festival appearances in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The first engagement was a headlining stint at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., on May 19, 2019.
Since The Lumineers’ first concerts were reported to Pollstar in 2012, the archives include 340 shows at 245 venues worldwide with overall grosses totaling $226 million from 3.1 million tickets. Not surprisingly, the best box office results were logged in the band’s home city of Denver, with three shows at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre during the “Cleopatra” tour in August 2017. Revenue surpassed $2 million from a ticket total of 48,534.