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Led by Taylor Swift’s $1 bn tour, 2023 concerts set new record

This combination of file pictures created on September 18, 2023 shows US singer-songwriter Beyonce and US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. PHOTO/AFP

Led by Beyonce and Taylor Swift, whose “Eras Tour” was the first to bring in more than $1 billion, ticket revenues from the top 100 concert tours of 2023 jumped to a record $9.17 billion, industry magazine Pollstar said Friday.

Total sales for the 2023 tours (stretching for a year starting from mid-November 2022) skyrocketed 46 percent as compared to the previous year, which was also a record.

“2023 was a colossus, the likes of which the live industry has never before seen,” Pollstar said on its website.

All metrics showed increases: the average revenue from a concert was up 53 percent to $2.37 million; total ticket sales rose 18 percent to 70 million; and average ticket prices were up more than 23 percent to $130.81.

Swift’s tour broke new ground, becoming the first in history to surpass the symbolic $1 billion mark in ticket sales in 60 dates from March to November 2023.

But Pollstar predicted that the pop megastar, named Time magazine’s Person of the Year on Wednesday, could pass the $2 billion mark by the time the tour eventually wraps up.

The only one to have come close to a billion up till now was Elton John, whose marathon “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” — 328 dates over five years — raked in $939 million.

Beyonce took in $579 million over 56 dates for her “Renaissance Tour” for second place in 2023, while Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Harry Styles rounded out the top five.

Pollstar noted that this was the first time in 15 years, when Madonna and Celine Dion dominated the rankings in 2008, that two women were at the top of the rankings, calling it “an extremely positive sign for this industry.”

“The duo not only smashed the glass ceiling but created a more inclusive roof in their wake,” Pollstar said.

The outlook for 2024 appears to be promising, with more concerts from Swift, Springsteen and Coldplay, plus tours from the Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters and Carrie Underwood.


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