×

U2 Tops Pollstar’s Year-End Touring Chart With $316 Million Gross, Veteran Male Acts Dominate Top 20

UPDATED: [Note: Several days after this article published, Pollstar corrected its year-end top 20, noting that Bruce Springsteen was inaccurately placed at No. 14 in the Top 20 Tours chart; his current Broadway run of shows and the final dates of his “River” tour are begin categorized as separate entries. He has been removed from the Top 20 and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers added in the No. 20 spot.]

U2’s “Joshua Tree” 30th anniversary trek was the year’s top-grossing tour, according to a Pollstar year-end chart released Wednesday. The Live Nation-promoted jaunt, which comprised 50 shows in 38 cities, took in a whopping $316 million and reported a total of 2.71 million tickets sold.

Coming in second was Guns N’ Roses, with $292.5 million gross and 2.68 million tickets sold on an 81-date/74-city UTA/International Talent Booking tour that sold nearly as many tickets as U2’s, but charged an average of $40 less per head, according to Pollstar. Coldplay was third with a $238 million gross, Bruno Mars fourth with $200.1 million, and Metallica fifth with $152.8 million.

Unlike most airplay and streaming charts and Grammy nominations, which dominated by hip-hop/R&B and pop acts, the top live-music year-end grosses were dominated by veteran white male rock and pop artists — Garth Brooks is the highest-ranking country act at No. 10 with an estimated $101.4 million (the only other was Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s co-headlining tour, No. 18 with $79.3 million). Celine Dion was the highest ranking female artist with $101.2 million, a combination of arena dates and her Las Vegas residency. Lady Gaga landed at No. 15 with $85.7 million and Ariana Grande No. 20 with $68.5 million.

Similarly, the chart is dominated by veteran acts, with just 7 of the top 20 — Coldplay, Mars, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Gaga, The Weeknd and Grande — having released their debut albums in this millennium.

Overall, the Top 20 grossed $2.66 billion in 2017, a record high and increase of more than $264 million from 2016.

Pollstar’s Top 20 chart is available for viewing here — the complete data package will be released to subscribers on Jan. 5.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Snoop Dogg Weed

    In the Cannabis Business, Not All Star Strains Are Created Equal

    With the cannabis green rush in full swing, many celebrities are jumping into the fray with their own brands, including such well-known stoners as Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong. But as it turns out, not all star strains are created equal, so we assembled a trio of crack experts to put the product [...]

  • Richard Branson Jason Felts

    Kaaboo Festival Acquired by Virgin Fest Owner Jason Felts

    Kaaboo, which says it has “shifted the music festival paradigm by offering a highly amenitized festival experience for adults,” is now under new ownership. Virgin Fest founder and CEO Jason Felts (pictured above with Virgin founder Richard Branson) has fully acquired all of the festival brand assets through an affiliate of Virgin Fest, the music [...]

  • Live Nation Chief Michael Rapino Talks

    Live Nation-Ticketmaster Chief Michael Rapino Talks Dept. of Justice Inquiries

    Back in August, Senators Richard Blumenthal of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota made the most recent of several requests for an Department of Justice antitrust investigation into competition in the ticketing industry, and it soon became clear that the target of the probe was Live Nation and its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster, which [...]

  • Lowell Smokes Cafe Marijuana

    With Cannabis Lounges, On-Site Consumption, Marijuana-Infused Meals Go Legit

    Can this century’s Roaring ’20s repeat history but with pre-rolled joints instead of whiskey flasks and soccer moms as the new flappers? This month, West Hollywood will see the opening of the nation’s first at least quasi-legal cannabis consumption lounge, officially dubbed Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1211 N. La Brea between Fountain [...]

  • 2020 TV Season Preview

    How 2020's Fall TV Season Is Already Shaping Up

    Aiming to stand out in a crowded field, broadcasters this season have leaned on the stability of their schedules and the return of established hits. But for many of the same reasons, they’ve also begun to seed the ground for next year’s crop of shows, considering that top performers like “How to Get Away With [...]

  • Taylor Swift Talks Scott Borchetta’s ‘Sneaky’

    Taylor Swift Talks Scott Borchetta's 'Betrayal,' 'Sneaky' Deal With Scooter Braun

    While Taylor Swift’s sprawling Rolling Stone cover interview is largely about her music and herself, there’s also plenty about the personal and business dramas of the last three years. And not surprisingly, Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta — who this summer inked a reported $300 million deal for the Big Machine Records catalog and with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content