2016 Biggest Classic Rock Tours

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In 2015, five of the year’s biggest tours were from classic rock acts the Rolling Stones (10), Fleetwood Mac (6), Foo Fighters (5), U2 (4) and AC/DC (2). Pop princess Taylor Swift was #1. So how did rockers fare in 2016 on Pollstar‘s annual year-end list? Pretty good though this time, only four traditional rock acts made the Top 10 list.

At the very top was Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band with an estimated $268.3 million. Guns N’ Roses were at #4 with their reunion tour. Paul McCartney‘s One On One tour was #7 and the Rolling Stones were at #9 with the relatively limited number of performances they did, primarily in Latin America.

Elsewhere, it was a big year for Beyoncé, Coldplay, Adele, Justin Bieber and others. (See the complete Top 25 chart below.)

Springsteen began 2016 with his The River tour which later evolved into marathon career-spanning performances, as he set and re-set records for his longest concerts to grateful audiences in New Jersey and Philadelphia. The band resumes touring in Australia and New Zealand this month.

After many false starts, Guns N’ Roses fans finally got to see their favorites beginning in April, followed by performances at Coachella and their Not in This Lifetime tour. They’ve booked dozens of 2017 dates.

After a very busy 2016, McCartney has stayed off the road this winter. So far in 2017, he has only announced dates in Japan.

The Stones released a very well-received album that was a return to their blues roots, but haven’t announced any 2017 tour plans.

Our tour listings for literally hundreds of artists, playing from stadiums all the way down to intimate clubs, can be found here. Big 2017 tours from U2Def LeppardNeil DiamondRoger Waters and Elton John, among others might crack the year’s Top 10.

Pollstar‘s complete 2016 chart:

1 $268.3 million – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
2 256.4 – Beyoncé
3 241.0 – Coldplay
4 188.4 – Guns N’ Roses
5 167.7 – Adele
6 168.3 – Justin Bieber
7 110.6 – Paul McCartney
8 97.0 – Garth Brooks
9 90.9 – Rolling Stones
10 85.5 – Celine Dion
11 84.3 – Drake
12 84.1 – Luke Bryan
13 82.2 – Madonna
14 76.6 – Billy Joel
15 73.9 – Black Sabbath
16 69.5 – Kenny Chesney
17 66.6 – Cirque du Soleil “Toruk”
18 65.5 – Muse
19 62.9 – Iron Maiden
20 61.4 – Rihanna
21 60.1 – Maroon 5
22 58.5 – Elton John
23 58.2 – Carrie Underwood
24 56.0 – Rod Stewart
25 55.3 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
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Best Classic Bands Staff

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