Boxoffice Insider: Sheeran Launches New ‘Mathematics’ Stadium Tour

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 29: Ed Sheeran performs during a Concert for Ukraine at Resorts World Arena on March 29, 2022 in Birmingham, England. All proceeds from Concert for Ukraine are being donated to Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. (Photo by Joe Maher/Disasters Emergency Committee/Getty Images for Livewire Pictures Ltd)

Talk about a tough act to follow. For Ed Sheeran, who just launched his “Mathematics” tour in late April, that would be none other than himself. After all, he holds the record for the highest-grossing tour of all time with his “Divide” trek that racked up over $775 million at stadiums and arenas from 2017 through 2019.

Now he’s back on the road with his new stadium tour scheduled to run for about one year with 54 shows planned in Europe and 10 in Australia and New Zealand. The first leg features performances at 21 stadiums in 12 European countries through September with multiple performances in every city. He also has one appearance booked in Texas in October, then shows at seven venues Down Under next year.

Sheeran kicked off “Mathematics” with two shows at Dublin’s Croke Park Stadium April 23-24, marking his first appearance there since his second headlining trek “Multiply” (2014-2015) when he grossed $11.7 million from 162,208 sold tickets on two nights. Although that tour was set mainly in arenas, the Dublin engagement was one of only a handful of stadium dates. Another was London’s Wembley Stadium where just days earlier he moved 229,725 tickets at three shows for an $18.2 million gross.

His first solo tour in support of his debut album, + (Plus), was generally set in clubs and theaters from October 2011 through the early months of 2013. However, he made his jump to arenas as an opening act on Taylor Swift’s “Red” tour from March through September of 2013. It led to his own large-scale arena event that year: a run of three concerts at Madison Square Garden – his first major engagement in North America. With shows on Oct. 29, Nov. 1 and 7, he performed for 33,229 fans at the New York venue.

Sheeran’s history-making two-and-a-half-year run with “Divide” comes with its own set of highlights. It started with a year of successful arena performances in 2017 including three-night engagements at The O2 in London, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Staples Center (now Arena) in Los Angeles which, together, grossed over $14 million from 137,504 tickets. The first year of the tour saw sales figures hitting $132 million from over 1.57 million tickets at 112 concerts in Europe, the Americas and Asia – enough to earn him the No. 8 ranking worldwide among the year’s top-grossing touring artists.

But it was during the second year of the tour that the world took notice of what would become a touring juggernaut, the likes of which few concert performers would ever know – especially just seven years after a debut album. In 2018, the tour opened with a month-long jaunt through Australia and New Zealand set in stadiums, the first on the tour aside from a handful of Latin American facilities. But with Sheeran making the move to stadium-sized venues, his Oceania trek drew over one million fans to 18 performances in seven cities, earning a whopping $82 million.

Ultimately, the “Divide” tour, with its $775 million gross, played six continents with overall attendance soaring to 8.9 million at 255 shows. Wembley Stadium was the highest-grossing venue with a $28.7 million take from four shows in June 2018. The 299,013-ticket total there was also the tour’s top attendance recorded at a single venue. And Wembley is again on the schedule this summer, but with five shows booked from June 24 through July 1.