2015 was a lucrative year for the touring industry. Not surprisingly, it was a number of more established acts that took center stage when it came to fans turning out to see live music.
Whilst Taylor Swift was the biggest grossing act to tour this year with gross ticket sales in excess of $250 million, figures from U.S. based Pollstar show that tours by The Rolling Stones, U2 and Fleetwood Mac were right up there amongst the highest-grossing tours of the year worldwide.
AC/DC came in a very respectable second with $180 million in gross earnings for it’s Rock or Bust Tour, but it’s worth noting that the Australian rockers sold more tickets than any other—more than 2.3 million.
Irish rockers U2 came in at fourth place on the list. The Irish rockers’ iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour took in $152.2 million with the band selling almost 1.3 million tickets over the band’s 76 concerts. Newly reformed Fleetwood Mac earned the #6 slot with the band’s On with the Show tour bringing in $125.1 million, while selling just under 1 million tickets for the band’s 78 performances.
Rock ‘n’ roll giant The Rolling Stones came in at #10 on the list. The Stones’ Zip Code Tour grossed $109.7 million from ticket sales of about 630,000. Even though the band played only 14 dates, the band easily boasted the highest average ticket price of any concert at $174.50.
Rounding off some of the higher tallies in the list are Madonna who came in at #11, she grossed $88.4 million; Paul McCartney at #13, bringing in a hefty $77.7 million; Elton John at #14, with gross receipts of $77.6 million; Billy Joel at #18, after grossing $69.9 million; and Neil Diamond at #20, after earning $68 million.
It just goes to show that the elder statesmen and women of rock ‘n’ roll still make their mark when it comes to live music.