These Are the 15 Highest Grossing Tours Ever
For those familiar with the landscape of the music business, you are likely familiar with the notion that touring is the biggest money-maker for artists, especially those signed to major labels. Well, it's true. Today, we'll be covering the highest grossing tours in the history of music.
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While this list is sure to change in the future, as of right now, these are currently the fifteen highest grossing tours ever. You might not guess who found their way to the number one spot.
15. Bruno Mars - 24K Magic World Tour
Tour Profit: $367.7M
Years Active: 2017 - 2018
Bruno Mars' 24K Magic World Tour had a very impressive run in the late 2010's. It boasted over three million attendees total, and averaged over $1.8M in gross revenue per show. Anderson .Paak opened for his future Silk Sonic partner on the European leg of this world tour.
14. U2 - Vertigo Tour
Tour Profit: $389M
Years Active: 2005 - 2006
U2's Vertigo Tour was built out to further push their album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, and it succeeded, to say the least. The legendary Irish band averaged nearly three million dollars per show across 131 appearances.
13. U2 - The Joshua Tree Tours
Tour Profit: $390.7M
Years Active: 2017, 2019
Next up on our list is U2's The Joshua Tree Tours, which ran in 2017 and 2019, celebrating the 30th anniversary of their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. They averaged almost $6M in gross revenue per show across 66 shows, not to mention over three million total attendees.
12. Pink - Beautiful Trauma World Tour
Tour Profit: $397.3M
Years Active: 2018 - 2019
The Beautiful Trauma World Tour was Pink's seventh tour, which was in support of her seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma. Across 155 shows, Pink averaged $2.5M per show in front of three million total fans.
11. Madonna - Sticky & Sweet Tour
Tour Profit: $411M
Years Active: 2008 - 2009
In 2008 and 2009, Madonna toured the world with her Sticky & Sweet Tour. This was her 11th time leading a tour, which promoted her 8th studio album, Hard Candy. In 85 shows, Madonna averaged almost $5M per show in gross revenue and played in front of 3.5 million total fans.
10. Metallica - WorldWired Tour
Tour Profit: $416.9M
Years Active: 2016 - 2019
Metallica's WorldWired Tour ran for three years from 2016-2019, and put up some impressive numbers: 128 shows, over $3M per show on average, and over 4,000,000t total attendance.
9. AC/DC - Black Ice World Tour
Tour Profit: $441.1
Years Active: 2008 - 2010
AC/DC has made a huge impact on rock since their start in Australia, and their Black Ice Tour is nothing short of legendary: almost 5 million total attendees across 167 shows, averaging nearly $3M in gross revenue per event.
8. Roger Waters - The Wall Live
Roger Waters / Live Nation
Tour Profit: $458.6M
Years Active: 2010 - 2013
Roger Waters and his The Wall Live tour had a great three-year run starting in 2010. $2M per show on average for 219 shows, with over 4 million total attendees. This one has gone down in the books for good reason.
7. Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams Tour
Coldplay / Atlantic Records
Tour Profit: $523M
Years Active: 2016 - 2017
In 2016, Coldplay kicked off their A Head Full of Dreams Tour, which would prove to be a massive success. Over 5 million fans showed up throughout the tour, scoring the band a gross revenue of roughly $4.5M per show across 114 different shows worldwide.
6. The Rolling Stones - No Filter Tour
Tour Profit: $546.5M
Years Active: 2017 - 2021
In 2017, The Rolling Stones kicked off their No Filter Tour: 58 shows across the globe in front of nearly 3 million fans total. This tour helped the legendary rockers score very big - roughly $10M per show big. That's the highest average gross revenue per show that you'll find on this list. It took a lot to get to this point.
5. The Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang Tour
The Rolling Stones / Ticketmaster
Tour Profit: $558.2M
Years Active: 2005 - 2007
Before the Stones could pull in the historic numbers we mentioned in the previous spot on our list. Over a decade prior, they kicked off their A Bigger Bang Tour, which thanks to their hard work across 147 shows, pulled in over $550 million in total gross revenue.
4. Guns N' Roses - Not In This Lifetime Tour
Tour Profit: $584.2M
Years Active: 2016 - 2019
In 2016, Guns N' Roses began what would become the fourth-highest grossing tour of all time. 158 shows in front of over five million people for a three-year span netted them over $580 million dollars - $3.7 million per show on average.
3. U2 - U2 360 Tour
Tour Profit: $736.4M
Years Active: 2009 - 2011
With this being their third appearance on our list today, it's truly unfathomable to think about just how much revenue U2 has brought in over the course of their iconic career. In 2009, they started what would be the third-highest grossing tour ever, U2 360. In 110 shows, they drew over 7 million fans to attend, who'd end up putting nearly $7 million in the band's pocket per show.
2. Elton John - Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour
Tour Profit: $750M
Years Active: 2018 - Present
Since 2018, Elton John has been touring the world on his appropriately named final tour, The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Though it's still ongoing, he's pulled in roughly $75o million in gross revenue so far in 278 shows around the world. 5 million fans per show helped score the legend almost $3 million per show.
1. Ed Sheeran - ÷ Tour
Tour Profit: $776.2M
Years Active: 2017 - 2019
At number one on our list is Ed Sheeran for his ÷ Tour. This set the record for the highest grossing tour ever, at almost $780 million in gross revenue. It brought in almost 9 million fans total, who helped Ed Sheeran bring in over $3 million per show across 255 events.
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