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New Pollstar figures show Elton John’s Australasian dates as world’s second most successful tour

New Pollstar figures show Elton John’s Australasian dates as world’s second most successful tour
April 7, 2020

Newly released figures show that Sir Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour dates in Australia and New Zealand over the past summer was the world’s second top grossing tour of recent months.

Global first-quarter figures (spanning the period from 21st November 2019 to 19th February 2020) released over the weekend from USA-based concert industry publication Pollstar, show that Sir Elton’s 31 dates in Australasia, which started at Perth’s HBF Park on 30th November, generated US$67.6 million in gross income.

While the artist’s Australian and New Zealand dates on his three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour finished at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium on 7th March (outside the reporting period), the concerts covered by Pollstar’s report recorded over 360,000 ticket sales.

While globally the Trans-Siberian Orchestra tour in North America topped Pollstar’s first-quarter figures, U2, whose last tour included dates at Perth's Optus Stadium and the Sydney Cricket Ground, as well as concerts in Singapore; Saitama, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; the Philippine Arena in Manila; and Mumbai, India during the reporting period, recorded 360,710 ticket sales and US$52 million gross income.

Among venues, the RAC Arena and Auckland’s Spark Arena dropped of Pollstar's Top One Hundred Arenas chart for the quarter, while the performance of other showed by rises and falls in ticket sales and income.

Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena recorded 130,990 ticket sales for the quarter, compared to 94,725 sales in the same period in 2018/19, to be Australia’s top performing arena.

Performance among leading venues in the region was:

Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney - 130,990 ticket sales, $14,465,197 gross income, 31st on Pollstar's Q1 Top One Hundred Arenas chart (94,725 ticket sales, $8,393,555 gross income in Q1 2018/19) 
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne - 97,822 ticket sales, $9,612,116 gross income, 40th on Pollstar's Q1 Top One Hundred Arenas chart 
Brisbane Entertainment Centre - 61,790 ticket sales, $7,368,517 gross income, 55th on Pollstar's Q1 Top One Hundred Arenas chart (101,674 ticket sales, $8,643,281 gross income in Q1 2018/19)
Horden Pavilion, Sydney - 42,270 ticket sales, $2,263,270 gross income, 72nd on Pollstar's Q1 Top One Hundred Arenas chart (49,351 ticket sales, $3,634,679 gross income in Q1 2018/190

With Australia’s live music industry now in shutdown because of Coronavirus restrictions on events and venues, the performance of Australia’s promoters suggest that bushfires and resultant poor air quality did have an adverse impact on Australia’s live music events.

With the reporting period largely unaffected by the Coronavirus pandemic, just four regional promoters made the Top 50 Promoters list, compared with 10 Australian promoters listed in the Top 100 performances, including Live Nation Australasia, Frontier Touring and TEG Dainty, in Pollstar’s mid-year 2019 report.

Those in the latest report were Frontier Touring (ranked fifth with gross income of US$47.4 million), Chugg Entertainment (ranked seventh with a turnover of US $55.7 million), Illusive Presents (43rd with US$5.1 million) and Adrian Bohm Presents (with $4.9 million).

Overall the figures showed significant global growth with Pollstar estimated that the global live sector would have reached US$12.2 billion by the end of 2020.

However, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, income is expected to be much less than this

In Australia, recovery may see local acts touring again in late spring while Michael Chugg of Chugg Entertainment told the Sydney Morning Herald that he expected overseas touring to only go back a consistent level this time next year.

Looking towards recovery, the Pollstar report suggests that “when the industry does return in 2020, fortune will favour the nimble. The complexity of a global megatour employing scores of personnel and a fleet of rolling stock makes uncertainty the enemy in a wildly divergent global economy and state of recovery. Some of these tours will sit out 2020.

“But tours with 10 or less crew, playing venues with capacities of 5,000 or less, with the ability to pivot to whatever market is available and price tickets at $50 or less will be positioned to take maximum advantage of fans pining for live music and eager to resume the shared experience that makes live the greatest industry in the world.”

The Pollstar report also conceded "another significant sector incompletely tracked by Pollstar is the massive amount of live music that takes place outside the radar of Pollstar reporting.

"Tens of millions of dollars per year are generated from live music in the form of small venues shows, casino and gaming resort entertainment, private shows, and countless fairs, festivals, rodeos, and sporting events that employ - and pay - live entertainers and those that make the shows happen."

Click here to view Pollstar's Q1 Top One Hundred Arenas chart.

Click here to view Pollstar's Top 50 Promoters chart.

Images: Sir Elton John during the Australian and New Zealand dates of his three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour (top), New Order at Hordern Pavilion (middle) and U2 at Singapore National Stadium (below, courtesy of the Singapore Sports Hub).

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17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package

5th March 2020 - Elton John concert attracts record crowds at Sunshine Coast Stadium

31st January 2020 - Sound Relief bushfire fundraising concerts cancelled

11th January 2020 - Bushfire impacted Rainbow Serpent Festival to be reborn

6th December 2019 - Fans warned over fake tickets as hundreds turned away from Elton John’s Adelaide concerts

28th November 2019 - Rod Laver Arena named as a top 10 highest grossing venue

28th October 2019 - Billboard reports strong performance by ASM Global’s Australian arenas

4th October 2019 - Australasian venues rate highly on Billboard’s ‘2019 Arena Power List’

11th April 2019 - AEG Ogden welcomes Gudinski and Chugg to its global family

26th March 2019 - Promoters Gudinski and Chugg announce new partnership

19th March 2019 - Hordern Pavilion welcomes new General Manager

31st January 2019 - Qudos Bank Arena welcomes more than a million people in 2018

30th January 2019 - Australian venues rank highly in growing 2018 international concert business earnings

24th January 2019 - Frontier Touring ranked top Australian promoter in new Billboard global report

6th October 2018 - Major revitalisation will ensure live music future at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion

21st September 2018 - P!NK sets new ticket sales record at Qudos Bank Arena

16th July 2018 - Australasian venues strong performers in Pollstar’s Mid-Year concert rankings

16th July 2018 - Pollstar acknowledges Bluesfest as Australia’s top music festival

16th July 2018 - Pollstar Mid-Year Charts show soaring ticket prices as Ed Sheeran’s tour breaks records

26th January 2018 - Record breaking year for global concert business

19th July 2017 - Pollstar Mid-Year rankings show Australia’s outdoor venues eclipsing indoor arenas

9th November 2014 - Allphones Arena ranked among world’s top arenas in Billboard Touring Awards

12th February 2009 - Michael Chugg named International Promoter of the Year

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