Randy Lewis, LATimes.com 12/29/16
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band navigated “The River” 35th anniversary tour all the way to the bank in 2016, pulling in $268.3 million globally to score the top-grossing concert trek of the year worldwide, according to Pollstar, the concert industry-tracking publication.
Beyoncé nipped close at the E Streeters’ heels, grossing $256.4 million from her Formation world tour, followed by Coldplay ($241 million), Guns N’ Roses ($188.4 million) and Adele ($167.7 million) to round out Pollstar’s top five.
“In what has been a banner year for the concert business, the Top 10 Tours alone grossed a combined $1.67 billion,” Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni noted in a statement. “That is significantly better than the $1.5 billion in 2015.”
It is, in fact, an 11.3% increase.
Adele is one of just two performers to have emerged in the new millennium to make the Top 10, the other being Justin Bieber, whose tour grossed $163.3 million, placing him at No. 6 on the list.
That’s a bit of a come down from last year, when Taylor Swift had the top-grossing tour of 2015 worldwide and the Top 10 also include such relative newcomers as One Direction and Ed Sheeran.
Following Bieber on the 2016 roster, Paul McCartney posted a worldwide gross of $110.6 million; Garth Brooks, $97 million; the Rolling Stones, $90.9 million; and Céline Dion, $85.5 million.
Coldplay, however, sold the most tickets, moving almost 2.7 million during the year, followed by Springsteen at 2.4 million and Beyoncé at 2.2 million.
Dion easily had the top average ticket price of $146.26, followed by McCartney at $127.43, the Stones at $122.33, Beyoncé at $114.59 and Springsteen at $111.48.
In terms of average gross per show, however, the Stones dwarfed the competition, taking in an staggering $9.1 million from just 14 performances in 10 cities. Beyoncé finished second with an average of nearly $5.6 million at 49 shows in 46 cities, then Coldplay at just under $5.5 million from 60 shows in 44 cities and Guns N’ Roses at almost $5.4 million from 44 shows in 35 cities.
Brooks can claim the most affordable tour among the Top 10 finishers, tickets averaging just $69.29 for the 102 performances he gave in 25 cities.
Pollstar is still finalizing figures for its annual ranking of the Top 200 tours globally and in North America; results will be posted in its Jan. 6 edition.
Bongiovanni noted that Beyoncé took top honors for the highest-grossing North American tour of 2016, but the figure for that portion of her world tour was not released.
Both Springsteen and Beyonce surpassed Swift’s field-leading gross of $250.1 million in 2015.