Taylor Swift Sets All-Time Touring Record With $1 Billion Gross

Taylor Swift performs during The Eras Tour concert at SoFi Stadium
Billion Dollar Behemoth: Taylor Swift sets all-time touring record as “The Eras Tour” becomes the first to cross the $1 billion threshold. Pictured here performing at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on Aug. 7, 2023 (Allen J. Schaben / LA Times / Getty Images)

Taylor Swift has just accomplished the impossible; something extraordinary that no other artist in history has ever done: Her “Eras Tour” grossed over $1 billion — $1,039,263,762 — making it the single highest-grossing trek of all time and the first tour ever to cross the 10-digit threshold. This figure is an estimate based on Pollstar Boxoffice reports combined with extensive research including ticket prices in each market, record capacities at each venue and comparable tour data.

2023 Year-End Business Analysis
The Great Return Becomes Historic Golden Age

That Swift, 33, accomplished this in only eight months, in which she played 60 shows coinciding with Pollstar’s chart year (Nov. 17, 2022 – Nov. 15, 2023), which included the tour’s debut on March 17 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ, and ending on Nov. 11 at Estadio Más Monumental in Buenos Aires, makes her accomplishment even more remarkable. In that time, she sold a mind-boggling 4.3 million tickets at an average ticket price of $238.95, putting her average show gross at a massive $17,321,063 for this leg of the tour. Her average ticket price, it should be noted, wasn’t even the highest priced. Of the top 20 tours on the 2023 Worldwide Tours chart, she was the fifth highest.

Still, her tour set all kinds of stadium records, including six shows at L.A. County’s SoFi Stadium, the highest three-day attendance totals ever at N.J.’s MetLife (217,635) and Dallas’ AT&T Stadium (210,607) and single-day records at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium (71K), Pittsburgh’s Acrisure Stadium (73,117) and Lumen Field (72,171).

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The speed with which she broke the touring record, March-November, is also unprecedented. By comparison, Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” this year set the previous touring record with an impressive $939 million haul, but he did it in 328 shows — more than five times as many shows as Swift. It also took the legendary Sir Elton five years, from Sept. 8, 2018, to July 8, 2023, to set the record due largely to pandemic delays and his hip injury. Additionally, “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” primarily played arenas where Swift was all stadiums, with an average capacity of 72K.

Sir Elton eclipsed Ed Sheeran’s pre-pandemic “Divide Tour” which spanned almost two and a half years, from March 2017 through August 2019, and grossed over $776 million from 257 shows selling more than 8.8 million tickets. That’s more than four times as many shows and took 3.5 times longer than Swift, who still had a 25% higher gross.


Another key to the success of “Eras Tour,” promoted by Messina Touring Group/AEG, is Swift’s timing. Her post-pandemic stadium run came during what Pollstar last year had christened “The Great Return,” in which the live business, following pandemic shutdowns, saw exponential growth, which continued this year and has become something of a Golden Age (see 2023 Year End analysis) with massive year-over-year growth.

According to Pollstar Boxoffice Reports, total grosses for 2023’s Worldwide Top 100 Tours were up a massive 46% over 2022 from $6.28 billion to $9.17 billion this year, far surpassing what was a record-setting 2022. Average grosses were up even more, 53.2% to $2.37 million from $1.54 million the year before; attendance was up both in total tickets sold, up 18.38% to 70.1 million; and average tickets per show up 24.25% to 18.1K; and average ticket price was up 23.3% to $130.81.

Night Two Of Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
BEJEWELED: Taylor Swift, whose “Eras Tour” this year set the all-time touring record crossing the billion dollar threshold, is pictured performing at Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos on Nov. 19, 2023, in Rio de Janeiro (TAS2023 via Getty Images)

Putting the astronomical gross of “The Eras Tour” in perspective, its $1.04 billion is 11.3% of the entire $9.17 billion Top 100 Worldwide Tour Chart gross. Swift’s stadium tour is part of a larger upward gravitational force of bigger shows, which last year sister publication VenuesNow called “The Year of the Stadium.” But it’s not just stadiums, every size venue saw increases, but especially stadiums and arenas, which had the highest growth. Stadium grosses in 2023 were up 35% to $3.62 billion and arenas rose 38% to a whopping 6.18 billion, which accounts for a huge swath of the Worldwide Top 100 grosses.

“The Eras Tour”’s merch game, too, was at another level and saw enormous per caps and innovations, which included setting up merch trailers outside stadiums in between concert dates. Pollstar estimates “Eras Tour”’s merch per capita in the $40 range, according to reports from different venues. That amount would put her merch revenue at an estimated $200 million and likely higher with non-concert day revenues.

While the data is staggering, Swift’s massive success this year shouldn’t come as a surprise to any sentient being. Over the last year, Swift has dominated the marketplace, much of the cultural zeitgeist and media coverage like no other artist ever and in seemingly positive ways. Her new and re-recorded music topped charts (she currently has five albums in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200) impacting both the label and streaming businesses; her “The Eras Tour” film is the all-time most successful concert film, grossing nearly $250 million worldwide and counting and distributed directly through theaters — impacting the film industry; the tour’s ticketing on-sale debacle last year made headlines across the globe, eliciting so much puffery and grandstanding from Capitol Hill and pundits alike but seems to be having a positive impact; and not that it’s our purview or care, but even her reported relationship with an NFL player has impacted TV ratings for America’s No. 1 sport.

None of that data, in any way, shape or form is to diminish the “Eras Tour,” and how utterly brilliant, ambitious and superlative it is. A career retrospective divided into 10 distinct acts, the show delves deep into her back catalog covering 40-something songs over the course of an epic three-and-a-half-hour performance. Swift is preternaturally talented, she is an accomplished and versatile musician, singer and dancer of the highest caliber all brought to life with jaw-dropping production (with an assist from creative director and production designer Ethan Tobman) that is tastefully integrated with the music and never bombastic or garish. Her stamina is superhuman, much as her deep connection with fans is authentic and heartfelt. She can hold a massive stadium rapt playing solo guitar or piano, performing precision choreography, donning haute couture costumes (thank you, Roberto Cavalli) and engaging in smart banter between songs. When all is said and done, “The Eras Tour” is easily one of the greatest shows, if not the greatest show on earth.

Swift’s connection with her fans is unlike anything anywhere. Swifties, while cross-generational, skew young, female and jubilant. Fans are clad in every phase of Swift’s costuming from sparkling shifts and ballroom gowns to halter tops and cowboy hats to leotards and oversized tees – facets not only of Taylor, but of the fans themselves. Her quick-witted hyper-articulate lyrics are known by all and by heart and screamed at the top of young lungs throughout. Snippets of those bons mots are proudly written on their trade ’em, collect ’em, give ’em away bracelets, the currency of the realm. To witness the tweens and younger set spit out lines verbatim like “Your Midas touch on the Chevy door / November flush and your flannel cure / This dorm was once a madhouse / I made a joke, Well, it’s made for me” (“Champagne Problems”) is heartbreakingly sweet.

Shop Therapy: “The Eras Tour” merch booth, set-up outside stadiums on non-show days and often had multiple-hour-long lines. Pollstar estimates the tour’s mech sales thus far are in the range of $175-$200 million. Photo by Fernando Gens / picture alliance / Getty Images

“The Eras Tour” was absolutely the right tour at the right time in Swift’s career, which over the last 18 years has built a towering fanbase. She came to Nashville a 14-year-old ingénue, some nineteen years ago, where she clearly learned, absorbed and ultimately transcended the lessons Music City’s highly developed industry ecosystem had to offer.

And she never stopped playing live. From country fairs to radio promotions to meet and greets, Swift steadily grew her live career not skipping steps. Her touring trajectory in the last ten years makes this abundantly clear. “The Red Tour” ran March 13, 2013 – June 12, 2014 and grossed $146 million; “The 1989 World Tour” ran from May 5, 2015 – Dec. 12, 2015 and grossed $250 million, while her May 8, 2018 – Nov. 21, 2018 “Reputation Stadium Tour” brought in $345 million, which set the record that year for the highest grossing North American Tour.

“The Eras Tour,” though, blew all comers out of the water and still has six more stadium dates that fell outside Pollstar’s chart year: three dates at Estadio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Nov. Nov. 17, 19 and 20 and two dates (one date was postponed due to weather) at Allianz Parque, São Paulo, Brazil Nov. 24, 25 and 26. Based on her average show gross of $17,321,062, those six shows would increase the gross by roughly $103 million during the calendar year putting “The Eras Tour”’s at $1.14 billion.

Swift will go back out with “The Eras Tour” starting Feb. 7 in Tokyo before heading to Australia and Singapore for six nights at Singapore National Stadium March 2-9. The tour heads to Europe May 9 with two shows at Paris La Defense Arena and runs through Aug. 20 with five nights at Wembley Stadium. The tour then returns to the U.S. in October 2024 with triple-plays announced for Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, New Orleans’ Caesars Superdome and Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and then winds down with six nights at Rogers Centre in Toronto and three nights at Vancouver’s BC Place Dec. 4-6.

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If Swift’s “Eras Tour” plays all 65 international dates slated for 2024, which include the six dates outside of Pollstar’s chart year, based on her estimated $17,321,062 revenue per show, it will put her total gross for the 2024 leg at $1.125 billion. When that’s added to 2023’s total of $1.039 billion, Pollstar can project the “Eras Tour” has the possibility of setting an even more astronomical record, that is hard to even fathom: a $2.165 billion gross — which is more than the GDP of 17 small nations.

It will take some time before all the implications of Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” are fully understood. Her epochal trek is a potent multifaceted symbol for our times, rife with social, political, economic and cultural meaning (how many days this year went by that you did not hear some news of Taylor Swift?), which we’ll leave to cultural theorists and pundits to deconstruct. From a live industry standpoint, however, her tour is both qualitatively and quantitatively an all-time high and something for this industry to behold.

Additional reporting by Bob Allen.