2018’s Top-Earning Rock Tours Include U2, Rolling Stones

U2, the Rolling Stones, Journey and Def Leppard had some of the highest-grossing tours of 2018, each taking in at least $97 million between November 2017 and November 2018. A total of nine rock artists populated the top 20 in the list, which was dominated by pop artists, reports Billboard.

U2 sold 840,000 tickets for its 55 shows, generating $119.2 million. The Rolling Stones sold 751,000 tickets at just 14 shows, making $117.9 million. The Journey and Def Leppard combined tour sold more than 1 million tickets for 60 shows, generating $97.1 million in sales. These three tours landed in the seventh, eight, and tenth spots, respectively, on the list.

Topping the list is English songwriter Ed Sheeran, who made more than three times as much as U2 ($429.5 million) by selling 4.8 million tickets at 99 shows. Rounding out the top three are Taylor Swift ($315.2 million), and Beyonce and Jay-Z’s combined tour ($253.5 million).

Sheeran set a record for an all-time highest-grossing solo tour and also edged out a successful tour the Rolling Stones embarked on 12 years ago.

“Not only does Sheeran easily claim the year’s biggest tour, but the Divide Tour’s $429,491,502 is also the biggest year-end total in the history of Billboard Boxscore … he narrowly eclipses the Rolling Stones’ 2006 total of $425.1 million,” Billboard noted.

Sheehan’s tour was just one of six to gross more than $300 million in one year, “following the Rolling Stones in 2006, U2 in 2009 and 2017, Guns N’ Roses in 2017, and Taylor Swift in 2018.”

Meanwhile, ticket prices continue to rise. In 2017, they increased an average of 14.1 per cent, according to Pollstar. The Rolling Stone’s typically charged $156.94 per ticket but were outdone by the Eagles ($162.60) and Elton John ($156.94). Other average ticket prices: U2 ($141.88), Foo Fighters ($112.71), Journey and Def Leppard ($96.78), and Dead & Company ($81.50).

2018 TOP 25 TOURS

Ed Sheeran: $429,491,502
Taylor Swift: $315,186,362
Beyoncé and Jay-Z: $253,514,983
Bruno Mars: $237,770,168
Pink: $180,402,074
Justin Timberlake: $149,277,272
U2: $119,203,900
The Rolling Stones: $117,844,618
Kenny Chesney: $114,333,176
Journey & Def Leppard: $97,095,894
Eagles: $93,454,297
Drake: $81,446,702
Depeche Mode: $78,804,765
Foo Fighters: $77,750,695
Celine Dion: $76,465,107
Billy Joel: $70,227,385
Luke Bryan: $67,572,102
Luis Miguel: $64,935,983
Harry Styles: $61,073,923
Dead & Company: $56,220,873
Andre Rieu: $55,933,149
Elton John: $55,387,328
Shania Twain: $52,587,060
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: $50,228,977
Jay-Z: $45,496,805

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