Rolling Stones Crowned 2021 Concert Business Champs

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Mick Jagger and Keith Richards performing “Street Fighting Man” on opening night of the Rolling Stones’ 2021 tour

The 2021 edition of the Rolling Stones’ “No Filter” tour was the year’s biggest, according to Pollstar, the trade publication dedicated to covering the worldwide concert industry. The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band, despite just playing 12 concerts, took in $115.5 million at the gate, easily outdistancing Harry Styles whose $86.7 million take covering 39 shows placed him second. Others in the top five, whether measured worldwide or solely just for North America were the “Hella Mega Tour” (featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer), Eagles, and Dead & Company.

The Stones’ average ticket price for their 2021 shows was $223.56. With an average of 43,052 seats sold, the band took in a whopping $9.6 million average gross per concert. While the average cost of an Eagles ticket was slightly higher ($229.66), the band played in arenas (versus stadiums for the Stones). Their average gross was thus a shade under $2.6 million.

In its year-end issue, Pollstar put 2020’s total lost revenue for the live events industry, which was shuttered in March due to the global pandemic, at more than $30 billion, a shocking figure for the live events industry. 2022 presents a vastly different scenario: based on Pollstar’s Q4 data, which represented most of 2021’s touring, Pollstar projects that 2022 is going to be a banner year for the live industry. Pollstar expects 2022’s total gross ticket revenue could reach more than $5.63 billion with ticket sales of nearly 65 million for the Top 100 Tours of 2022. Comparing those numbers against 2019’s record-setting year, Pollstar forecasts a 12% increase in tickets and a more modest 1% increase in gross revenues. The publication expects 2022 to be a record-setting year for live music.

The major artists scheduled to tour in 2022 include several who have postponed tours that were originally planned for 2022, such as the Motley Crue/Def Leppard/Poison stadium tour, Roger Waters’ “This Is Not a Drill” tour, and Elton John’s continuation of his farewell tour. In addition, tours are already on sale for such stars as Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Journey, Styx/REO Speedwagon, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ stadium tour, Steely Dan/Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and more.

Still not announced are tours by such giants as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Heart, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, AC/DC, and others.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

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  1. Chris
    #1 Chris 14 December, 2021, 02:35

    No wonder the Stones topped the list and took in 115 million. They charge so much for a damn ticket, even the seats a mile away! Save up your money or take out a loan. Love the Stones, but it is ridiculous!

    Reply this comment
    • Mike
      Mike 16 December, 2021, 06:05

      Saw them twice a week every week in the early 60s. Cant get to them now sadly. But the Stones were and are the greatest performing band on the planet. Rock on Mr Jagger. And you still owe me a drink an piggies.

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