Concert Biz Surges In First Quarter

New York (April 18, 2006)--After two years of sluggish sales, it's ironic that the concert business may finally be shaking off its sluggishness during the winter months. Traditionally the slowest time of the year for the touring live sound reinforcement community, national-level SR companies had something to cheer about during the first quarter as business was definitely up.
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New York (April 18, 2006)--After two years of sluggish sales, it's ironic that the concert business may finally be shaking off its sluggishness during the winter months. Traditionally the slowest time of the year for the touring live sound reinforcement community, national-level SR companies had something to cheer about during the first quarter as business was definitely up.

While statistics for national SR companies--nearly all of which are privately owned--are hard to come by, box-office receipts are a solid indicator of the SR industry's health--and things are looking up.

According to Billboard, 7.3 million people attended concerts during the first quarter of 2006, making for nearly $375 in box office grosses. The result is that ticket sales are up 28 percent over the same period in 2005, and attendance is up 19 percent. Internationally, ticket sales are up 14 percent and about $180 million in box office, a statistic the magazine largely ascribes to U2's Vertigo tour, which recently went on hiatus.

Promoters are certainly likely to be happy over the new numbers--grosses may have risen but the number of shows held in North America was basically the same, with 2,525 reported in Q1 2005 and 2,595 in 2006, As a result, average attendance per show was up around 16 percent.