Q1 Chart Topper Coldplay’s ‘Music Of The Spheres’ On Track To Be Highest Grossing Band Tour Of All Time

A HEAD FULL OF DREAMS: Coldplay’s “Music Of The Spheres Tour” has quietly become historical, topping Pollstar’s 2024 Q1 charts and by year-end will cross the billion-dollar threshold, surpassing Elton John’s record-setting tour. Here, Coldplay performs at Manchester Etihad Stadium in May 2023. (Photo by Peter Byrne / PA Images / Getty Images)

Perhaps it was all the exuberance surrounding 2023’s “Golden Age,” with massive double-digit growth across the live industry, that seemed to obscure just how historic Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres World Tour” is.

There was also Taylor Swift. Her earth-shattering year, complete with seismology readings, a record-setting concert doc, re-recorded chart-topping albums, NFL viewership numbers and, not least in any way, the first billion-dollar gross ever for her “Eras Tour” that eclipsed sun, moon and other tours.

Beyoncé’s record-setting “Renaissance Tour,” 2023’s second-highest grossing trek, grossed $580 million, shattering Bad Bunny’s calendar year record of $435 million. And Bruce Springsteen’s gathering of the E Street Band, for the year’s third-highest-grossing tour, is always a cause for celebration and headlines.

Meanwhile, Coldplay, ranked No. 4 on last year’s Worldwide Year End Tours chart, quietly and steadily built one of the most historic and successful tours of all time with little fanfare. It easily rivals the successes of the aforementioned, especially in this first quarter of 2024. Coldplay tops Pollstar’s Q1 Worldwide Top 100 Artists chart (see page 22), with a $100.5 million gross over the course of 13 performances, beating out U2’s Sphere run, at No. 2, by $5 million while playing to nearly half a million more fans.

SEE: Pollstar‘s Quarterly Report of Top Tours Worldwide

“Music of the Spheres” kicked off two years ago on March 18, 2022, at San José, Costa Rica’s Estadio Nacional. The all-stadium tour is already the third highest-grossing trek of all time with an $810.9 million haul – and counting. Some of the tour’s jaw-dropping and record-setting grosses include $49.2 million for six nights at Wembley Stadium; $49.7 million for 10 nights at Buenos Aires’ Estadio River Plate; and $43.4 million for six shows in January at Singapore’s National Stadium. At the same time, Coldplay has kept its average ticket price relatively low. The band’s 2023 average ticket cost of $113.95 was less than half that of Swift’s $238.95; and 46% less than Beyonce’s $208.80 average ticket price. 

Among the highest-grossing tours of all time, the “Music of the Spheres” trek trails only Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,” which grossed $939.1 million and took almost five years to complete (thanks, pandemic), and Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” juggernaut, which Pollstar estimates grossed $1.04 billion.

Now in the tour’s final year, with 43 stadium dates remaining through November and a $6.1 million gross average per show, Coldplay could potentially be the first band to rack up $1 billion in global concert grosses on a single tour. The “Spheres” tour is also likely to top 10 million tickets by the time it wraps, which would be more than any other tour with high all-time grosses. None have sold 10 million during one tour, although Ed Sheeran is closest with 8.9 million tickets on his “Divide” tour.

“It’s no surprise to me that Coldplay has become one of the most successful touring acts of all time,” said the band’s international agent Josh Javor, WME’s London co-head of music. “The band has been setting trends and pushing the boundaries of how fans experience a concert for years. This show has a great value for the ticket price and is one that attendees truly never forget – the amount of pure entertainment that the band packs into one show is unparalleled!”

Indeed, Coldplay is one of the most successful groups of all time. It ranked No. 8 on Pollstar’s Top Tours of the 2010s chart, grossing $731,805,591. And, according to box-office reports dating back to February 2001, Coldplay has grossed a whopping $1.77 billion and sold more than 19.3 million tickets for an average gross of $2.78 million per concert.

The band also led the impressive 2016 Super Bowl 50 Halftime show with guest appearances from Bruno Mars and Beyoncé. Additionally, the band has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and won seven Grammy Awards since the 2000 release of debut album Parachutes. The band’s four members, frontman Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion all met at University College of London and officially formed Coldplay in 1997.

Kudos to Coldplay, too, for its unwavering commitment to touring as sustainably as possible. An independent certification by an M.I.T. environmental professor verified that the “Spheres” tour produced 47% less CO2 emissions than “A Head Full of Dreams Tour,” the band’s last stadium run. Additionally, the tour is running “the entire show (audio, lights, lasers etc.)” with 100% renewable energy.

This year, the group parted ways with longtime manager Dave Holmes. They are now managed by the team of Phil Harvey, Mandi Frost and Arlene Moon and repped by Wasserman Music’s Marty Diamond in the U.S. and internationally by Javor.

Coldplay’s upcoming concert appearances include a headlining date at 2024’s Glastonbury Festival, which will make them the first band ever to headline the massive festival five times.