New York (July 24, 2006)–Calamity can get in the way of the most carefully planned tours, but that hasn’t stopped the Rolling Stones or U2 from heading Billboard‘s mid-year tour grosses. Traveling the world, the Stones racked up $147.5 million from 45 shows between November 1 and mid-May, while U2 scarfed up $73 million. Both tours have their audio supplied by Clair Brothers Audio (Lititz, PA), and each was sidelined by illness: Keith Richards reportedly requiring brain surgery after falling from a coconut tree in New Zealand; and an undisclosed family illness in U2’s case. Similarly, both tours have announced when they’ll resume, so presumably they’ll reign the year-end chart all over again.
Following those two, Bon Jovi ranked third with over $65 million in grosses, with all but three of its 57 shows sold out. The rest of the top 10 included Billy Joel ($47.4 million), Cirque du Soleil’s Delirium ($38.7 million), Aerosmith ($35 million), Coldplay ($29 million), Luis Miguel ($25 million), Trans Siberian Orchestra ($24 million), and Paul McCartney ($17.6 million).
Likely the most important stats for the industry in the report aren’t the amounts that star acts are lining their pockets with, but rather overall ticket sales. The magazine reports that gross touring receipts are up nearly 25 percent over the same time period last year, although it hastens to add that it’s largely due to the acts in the top 10. While tour promoters have been talking about keeping ticket prices down over the last few years, once again, high prices have been the boosting factor behind the current top grossers, as attendence is up only 5.4 percent. Even so, the North American stats are roughly double those of the international scene, where revenue is up 13.3 percent and attendance is up 2 percent.