After exploring the stories of these U2 fans, it obvious that their desire to experience the awe and granduer of U2 live is what saved the concert industry from another down year in 2011. At least that’s what the numbers say.
According to Billboard, here’s a breakdown of the numbers in their Year in Touring article:
…the final leg of U2’s record-shattering 360 tour was enough to make U2 the top touring act of 2011, with $293.3 million in box office and nearly 3 million in ticket sales generated in the time frame of Nov. 1, 2010-Nov. 8, 2011, according to Billboard Boxscore.
The final 360 tally is $736,421,586 with attendance of more than 7 million, according to Boxscore, both all-time touring industry records. The tour wrapped July 30 in Moncton, New Brunswick, with 110 stadium sellouts.
The significance of the tour is finally sinking in for Live Nation Global Touring chairman Arthur Fogel, worldwide producer of the epic trek. “As time moves on and we get further away from it, it actually seems more impressive than when you’re actually in the middle of it,” says Fogel. “When you can capture the attention and imagination and enjoyment of 7 million people, that’s what this business is all about.”
A closer look at the numbers also shows that these numbers are what they appear to be because, as Billboard points out, there was a decline in the number of venues reporting to Box and there’s more than one way to look at the box office percentages.
In North America, 22% fewer shows reported still generated a 7% increase in total gross and only a 3% decrease in attendance. IT’s fair to say that the decline in shows reported to Boxscore reflects a decline in reporting following last year’s meltdown, but touring traffic likely decreased somewhat due to extensive packaging this year and more caution overall in mounting tours.
When analyzed by the more telling barometer of per-show averages, the numbers look even better. Worldwide, the average gross per show was up a whopping 45%, and the average attendance was up 27.3%, reflecting both the growth in international touring markets the global nature of megatours by the likes of U2, Bon Jovi, Waters, and others.
This is just a first pass and some of the 2011 touring numbers, and we’ll take a deeper dive and a closer comparison to 2010’s tally in our year-end wrap-up and explorations on future episode of Live Fix Radio.