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Old 04-26-2006, 01:10 AM   #16
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I'd like to see a list by tickets sold.
Grosses don't account for inflation.
And selling more t-shirts doesn't mean anything to me.
To me, the biggest tour is who played to the most people.
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:15 AM   #17
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more the north american sales are good but it be even better if i had global regardless of the year.


I take it Voodoo L is the highest attendance tour of all time ?
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:14 PM   #18
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Originally posted by vaz02
more the north american sales are good but it be even better if i had global regardless of the year.


I take it Voodoo L is the highest attendance tour of all time ?
What I put down above for the Global GROSS figures is really the best I have.

If you want, I can construct the American top 10 Grosses regardless of the year or years the tour falls, which would take into account every single show.

Voodoo Lounge is the highest attended tour for which statistics are available for every show. Its unlikely that another tour had a higher attendance, although the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels tour is likely very close to the Voodoo Lounge attendence figure. The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge tour had more Stadium shows than any other tour in history.

As far as sources go, Billboard.com does NOT archive its weekly boxscore chart, so even if you became a member to view their entire site, you will not find anything except this weeks Boxscore chart for shows just recently played over the past couple of weeks.

But, if you find a library somewhere that has back issues of Billboard Magazine, you would be able to look at weekly statistics posted in the Boxscore chart. Of course, that would take a massive amount of time to verify all attendance and GROSS figure totals, because you would have to add up each show individually. But that is where much of my information comes from.

Another area is Pollstaronline, I'll have to check for the exact web address if you need it. There you may be able find some free information and if you payed to become a member of the website, you would get access to all their data, but remember it only covers North America. Also remember that when they compile their list of the biggest grossing tours, they only consider what was grossed in a single calander year.

amusementbusiness.com at one time had an archive, but they no longer appear to have one now on their website, even through membership. But its another place you can investigate.


Sorry if this is all a bit confusing, and not as precise and accurate as you might expect. Let me know if you want me to reconvert the pollstar top 10 for North America to include the full tours regardless of how many years they fall in.

One more thing, if you want attendence information for all these tours, that will be much more difficult to get and sometimes my not be available. The industry is always judging things based on tour GROSS as opposed to attendance, which is reasonable when comparing tours in the same time period, but is an inaccurate way to compare tours that took place more than a decade apart from each other.
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2DMfan
I'd like to see a list by tickets sold.
Grosses don't account for inflation.
And selling more t-shirts doesn't mean anything to me.
To me, the biggest tour is who played to the most people.

The sell of t-shirts or other merchandise is not included in the Gross total. The Gross totals are derived from the sell of tickets alone.

While Grosses don't account for inflation, they do account for the more expensive ticket prices which are a result of larger demand typically. There are a lot of artist who could generate very large numbers on the road if they only charged 10 dollars a ticket. When comparing tours that are in the same year or with a few years of each other, its best to compare concert grosses, since ticket price is based on demand.

But if your going to compare the Who's first farwell tour in 1982, to a tour 2006, then its best to compare attendance first. Another thing to consider is that some tours, were simply smaller and did not involve shows in every market where a show could have been played. Some artist don't like to be on the road indefinitely. Just another thing to consider which makes the comparisons more complex.
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Old 04-27-2006, 03:21 AM   #20
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The sell of t-shirts or other merchandise is not included in the Gross total. The Gross totals are derived from the sell of tickets alone.

While Grosses don't account for inflation, they do account for the more expensive ticket prices which are a result of larger demand typically. There are a lot of artist who could generate very large numbers on the road if they only charged 10 dollars a ticket. When comparing tours that are in the same year or with a few years of each other, its best to compare concert grosses, since ticket price is based on demand.

But if your going to compare the Who's first farwell tour in 1982, to a tour 2006, then its best to compare attendance first. Another thing to consider is that some tours, were simply smaller and did not involve shows in every market where a show could have been played. Some artist don't like to be on the road indefinitely. Just another thing to consider which makes the comparisons more complex.
I didn't know merchandise wasn't included, that's good to know.

And your right about demand vs. inflation, good point.
It's conceivable that someone could play to 10,000 people at $10/per ticket and gross $100K even if they aren't a huge draw, people might just want the cheap entertainment.

Whereas U2 might make a million dollars playing to the same size crowd, there does need to be a variable for demand.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:04 PM   #21
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Here are the 15 largest Grossing tours ever North America. This list is based on the entire tour, and does not cut off the figures because parts of tours fall in different years. I combined the Billy Joel/Elton John tours of 2001, 2002, and 2003 into one tour because I was uncertain if they were seperate individual tours or simply one long one.



1. The Rolling Stones "A Bigger Bang Tour" $200 million + (exact total figure not reported yet) 2005-2006

2. The Rolling Stones "Bridges To Babylon/No Security Tour" $185 million 1997-1999

3. Billy Joel/Elton John $173.6 million 2001/2002/2003

4. Eagles "Hell Freezes Over Tour" $162.7 million 1994-1996

5. Bruce Springsteen "The Rising Tour" $158.4 million 2002-2003

6. Cher " Farewell Tour" $141.8 million 2002-2003

7. U2 "Vertigo Tour" $138.9 million 2005

8. The Rolling Stones "Licks Tour" $126.4 million 2002-2003

9. The Rolling Stones "Voodoo Lounge Tour" $121.2 million 1994

10. N'Sync "Celebrity Tour" $120 million 2001-2002

11. U2 "Elevation" $109.7 million 2001

12. Bruce Springsteen $107.3 million 1999-2000

13. Eagles $104.7 million 2002-2003

14. Pink Floyd "Division Bell Tour" $103.5 million 1994

15. Paul McCartney $103.3 million 2002



While U2's Vertigo Tour ranks at only #7 in this list, it should be remembered that nearly every show was soldout in minutes or hours and dozens of shows could have been added to the tour in North America because the demand was there. That would have substantially increased the GROSS total. Most of the tours ahead of it met demand and in fact did not sellout every show.



Here is the top 10 from Pollstar which only uses the highest single calander year gross total, which cuts some tours totals off.

1. The Rolling Stones "A Bigger Bang Tour" $162 million 2005
2. U2 "Vertigo Tour" $138.9 million 2005
3. The Rolling Stones "Voodoo Loung Tour" $121.2 million 1994
4. Bruce Springsteen "The Rising Tour" $115.9 million 2003
5. U2 "Elevation Tour" $109.7 million 2001
6. Pink Floyd "Division Bell tour" $103.5 million 1994
7. Paul McCartney $103.3 million 2002
8. The Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels Tour" $98 million 1989
9. The Rolling Stones "Bridges To Babylon Tour" $89.3 million 1997
10. The Rolling Stones "Licks Tour" $87.9 million 2002




Here are the top 10 tours worldwide regardless of the years the tour may fall in.



1. Rolling Stones "A Bigger Bang Tour" 2005-2006 Should be the highest Grossing tour of all time by the time it finishes in August 2006. Projected Gross is slightly above $400 million.

2. U2 "Vertigo Tour" 2005-2006 Prior to the postponement of the tour, the GROSS was $333,206,884. 10 shows remain, all in stadiums and should push the final GROSS to around $380 million dollars.

3. Rolling Stones "Bridges To Babylon/No Security Tour" 1997/1998/1999 $339 million GROSS.

4. Rolling Stones "Voodoo Lounge Tour " 1994-1995 $319 million GROSS.

5. Rolling Stones "Licks Tour" 2002-2003 $300 million GROSS.


At #6 is likely Bruce Springsteens "Rising Tour" which did about $157.3 million in the USA, and probably another $75 million outside of North America for a total of around $230 million worldwide. This could be a little higher or lower, and would require a look up of the European Boxscores from 2003 to get a confirmed total.

At #7 is likely the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over Tour" which started in 1994 and went through the end of 1996. The tour Grossed $140 million dollars just from its North American dates in 1994 and 1995. It then did another $20 million in North America in 1996. Shows outside North America were smaller in number, but with a total North American Gross of $160 million from nearly 3 years of touring, its likely that the global total is around $200 million.

The next 3 tours are close in GROSS, but I only have exact figures for one, which is POPMART, so I'll put it first.

8. U2 "POPMART" 1997-1998 $171,677,024 GROSS

9. Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels Tour" 1989-1990 close to $170 million. There are no precise figures for this tours dates OUTSIDE North America since this tour is prior to 1995 when Amusement Business started to track such data. Because of that, this figure will always be an estimate of some sort.

10. Pink Floyd "Division Bell Tour" 1994 close to $170 million. This tour is in the same boat as the Steel Wheels tour because its international figures took place prior to 1995 and were not recorded by Amusement Business.


The farwell tours by Tina Tour and Cher were both large extensive multi-year tours that might be competitive enough for the top 10. I don't have the international figures, but in North America, Tina Turner did $80.2 million. She likely did as much if not more outside North America. Cher's 2002-2003 North American total was a massive $141.8 million. Also, Paul McCartney's recent tour from 2002 could be a contender but I'm not sure how many shows he played outside of North America if any.



Remember that when dealing with the highest Grossing Tour, recent tours will usually place higher, simply because of increasing ticket prices. The highest grossing tour in history is not necessarily the highest attended tour in history. The highest attended global tour in history where exact figures are available for both its North American and international shows is the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge tour, with a total attendance for 6.4 million.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:12 AM   #22
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Wow...thanks, Sting!
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:17 AM   #23
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I'm suprised Metallica isn't somewhere on that list?
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Old 05-02-2006, 02:41 AM   #24
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I'm suprised Metallica isn't somewhere on that list?
Perhaps Metallica's longest tour in the early 1990s was for the Black Album. This tour consisted of over 250 shows from 1991 through 1993. Most of the shows were in Arena's though at ticket prices that were around $20 to $25 dollars. Even if every show was soldout, which was not the case, the total GROSS would not make any of the above list.

The Above list are based on GROSS and the ticket prices charged are to low for most tours prior to 1994 to be included in any of the above list. Notice ZOO TV and Joshua Tree are not on the list.

Metallica did a brief tour in 1994 of large USA outdoor theaters, but still were typically talking about a max capacity of 20,000 with ticket prices below $30 dollars.


In 1996, Metallica was a headliner for the festival Lalapooloza. Since it was a festival, those figures would not be counted since many people came to see other bands and not just Metallica. The Load tour played Arena's, and perhaps a few stadiums in Europe, but demand was not as high for the Black Album tour, plus ticket prices were still very low compared to today's prices.

In 1998, Metallica went on the road for Reload and while attendance was good at many venues despite the tour coming right after the one for Load, it was not that long of a tour and ticket prices were still low.

In 2000, Metallica headlined a 20 to 30 date Stadium tour featuring 5 bands. Ticket prices were up finally, but again, this was essentially a festival with so many big name bands on the bill. Despite this, it did not gross enough with so few shows to make any of the charts.

The Tour for St. Anger started off with a festival type Stadium tour in 2003. Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit were on the lineup and just like the previous festivals, this is not an exclusive Metallica tour so would not count toward their total.

The St. Anger Tour in North America which was primarily in 2004 did about nearly $60 million dollars. Metallica did a lot of Arena shows with high ticket prices, but many of the shows did not sellout. I have the GROSS totals for both their North American Festival Tour in 2003 and their North American tour by themselves in 2004. If you did combine the gross for both, it would be a little above $100 million and would make the North American list which includes "full tours" and does not cut off figures for tours that go into the next year. But since the 2003 tour in North America was a big name multi-band line up and not just a Metallica show, it is not counted as apart of Metallica's own tour.

Metallica has had strong attendance in Arena's ever since the "And Justice For All Tour". But, despite their multi-band stadium tours with GNR, Lalapoolooza 1996 and other festival stadium tours, they have never got to the level where they could play stadiums in North America by themselves with relatively unknown opening acts if any.

In North America, the band probably peaked with either the Black Album or the Load album in terms of attendance and sellouts for the tours to support those albums. The St. Anger Tour in 2004 had some shows at only about 50% capacity.
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