Artists, Promoters, Buildings: Europe’s Q1 Proves Global Biz Is Back

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Italian singer Damiano David and Italian bass player Victoria De Angelis of the Italian rock band Måneskin at 73 Sanremo Music Festival. Third Evening. Sanremo (Italy), February 9th, 2023 (Photo by Marco Piraccini/Archivio Marco Piraccini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Landing on 13 on Pollstar’s 2023 Q1 Top Promoters chart is Italian live entertainment company Vivo Concerti, since 2018 a part of the Eventim Live network. One reason for this successful ranking is Måneskin, the rock band from Rome, who played their first headline tour in the U.S. last year, selling 100,000 tickets across 25 shows, virtually all of them sold out. Highlights include two nights at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, Dec. 2-3, selling 6,479 tickets and grossing $402,544. The shows were part of Måneskin’s “Loud Kids World Tour,” currently residing in Europe, where it will close at Saku Suurhall in Tallinn, Estonia, May 19, having sold an estimated more than half-a-million tickets by that point.

Even while on the road, the band has announced the next trek in support of their new album Rush!, released in January. The “Rush! World Tour” tour kicks off Sept. 3 at EXPO Plaza in Hanover, Germany, with one stop in France before heading to North America. October and the beginning of November will be spent in Middle and South America, before heading to Brisbane, Australia, Nov. 20. In December, the Italian superstars will travel to the UK via Singapore and Japan.

As Andrea Ritrovato, general manager of Vivo Concerti told Pollstar, the company acts as much more than a promoter for Måneskin, handling all aspects of the band’s career including bookings and tour production. In the U.S. the company partners with Live Nation; in Mexico, it’s Live Nation subsidiary Ocesa. In the Americas, the band is repped by WME in the form of Rob Opaleski and Josh Kurfirst (North America), and Rob Markus (Mexico). In Europe the partner agency, is ITB, led by Rod MacSween, with Lucia Wade taking on an instrumental role. “We choose our partners all over the world,” Ritrovato said. “With Lucia we built 90% of the project since day one in Europe. She is our key partner, along with Rod, of course.”

Ahead of the “Rush! World Tour,” the 2023 Grammy Award nominees will play five special shows at three different stadiums in their home country: Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste (July 16), Stadio Olimpico in Rome (July 20-21), and Stadio San Siro in Milan (July 24-25). 220,000 tickets have already been sold, according to the promoter.

The Q1 Top 100 Tours chart is led by Elton John, whose epic farewell tour generated $64,359,927 in the reporting period. Originally scheduled to comprise 300 dates and travel the world for three years, COVID restrictions have drawn out the entire trek, potentially making it one of the longest-running tours in history. As John’s longtime promoter Barrie Marshall told Pollstar, what the team has pulled off on “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” despite the adverse circumstances was nothing short of phenomenal.

“We have had to move his shows several times and are impressed by the loyalty of his fans – who go with him and patiently wait for his appearance for them, holding on to their tickets for not months, but sometimes years. This is testament to his talent, his incredible catalogue of songs, his warmth and personality to please his public,” he said. “Even if he stops touring, I have to believe he will still continue to write and undertake other projects, but probably not involving so much travelling. He will definitely not disappear; just to watch his piano playing is an experience in itself!”

While John took the top spot in terms of gross, in terms of ticket sales, the Q1 crown belongs to this week’s Pollstar cover star Daddy Yankee, who sold 625,748 tickets (240,725 more than John) in the reporting period, grossing $60,461.483. Third place goes to Harry Styles, who sold 618,786 tickets for a gross of $57,664,125.

Another category where Europe rules supreme is the Q1 Top 100 Arenas Ranked By Tickets, where Hallenstadion Zurich in Switzerland sold almost half a million tickets, or 483,097 to be exact. “I’m very pleased to see that so many event organizers, artists and, above all, concertgoers have visited us in the first few months of this year,” said the venue’s CEO, Philipp Musshafen. “The result shows that the demand for live events is still high even after the pandemic. Of course, the very positive result was also influenced by some COVID-related postponements from 2020/2021.” While many parts of the business have somewhat returned to normal, the artists’ and the audience’s willingness to commit to shows “has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.” He added, “And the rising prices are of course challenging for everyone, the energy price amongst many, which has increased tenfold!”

The Q1 Top 100 Arenas Ranked By Tickets chart is a reflection of how important Europe has become for touring artists, no matter where they are from. More than half of the buildings comprising the top 10 are either located in Europe or the UK. Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, is the runner up on the chart (418,731 tickets); Glasgow, Scotland’s OVO Hydro lands at No. 4 (309,321 tickets), followed by Madrid, Spain’s WiZink Center at No. 5 (281,081 tickets); Paris La Défense Arena in Nanterre, France at No. 7 (215,679 tickets), and London’s The O2 comes in at No. 9 (179,052 tickets).