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U2’s big grosses and the production quandary

U2_360_stage U2 tops Forbes’ list of the top-earning musicians of the year, with the Irish band bringing in $130 million over the last 12 months. (The runners-up were AC/DC, $114 million; Beyonce, $87 million; Bruce Springsteen, $70 million; and Britney Spears, $64 million.) The mag notes that Bono and friends’ elaborately mounted 360 Tour sold 1.3 million tickets at an average price of $94 dollars.

This news comes as the concert business is experiencing one of the worst summers in recent memory. High ticket prices in the midst of a depressed economy are perceived as a large part of the problem. But Live Nation Entertainment executive chairman Irving Azoff identified high production costs as another contributor to the situation. In a Los Angeles Times story summarizing Live Nation’s pitch to analysts last week, Azoff opined that “the consumer is going to be just as happy with a stage set that may fit
in 12 trucks as opposed to 22″ if ticket prices were pushed down as a result.

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