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

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

The global concert business is continuing to grow, with Pollstar’s Mid-Year Touring Report showing a 12% rise in gross income to an all-time high of US$2.21 billion – with Ed Sheeran’s massive ticket sales breaking records.

Sheeran’s US$213.9 million grossing world tour is, according to Pollstar Boxoffice reports, the largest ever recorded on the Mid-Year Worldwide Chart (which began in 2009).

Sheeran’s tour is a massive 40% increase over last year’s top ranked Guns N’ Roses tour, which totaled US$151.5 million.

As explained by Pollstar “Sheeran’s six-month tally is so massive it is nearly double the individual grosses from the rest of the mid-year’s Top 5 in Bruno Mars, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift and Pink which hover close to the $100 million mark.”

The first half of 2018 has seen Sheeran headline 52 stadium dates, including record-setting 18 concerts in Australia and New Zealand in March and April that sold a record-breaking 1 million tickets.

Sheeran also played in three dates in Japan and one in the Philippines along with 30 dates in Europe.

The tour’s highest grossing stops were an estimated US$23.92 million over four nights at London’s Wembley Stadium and US$20.83 million for a record-setting four nights at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium. This was followed closely by two more record-setting four-nighters at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, with each coming generating more than US$19 million.

Equally as staggering is the number of tickets Sheeran sold, 2.624 million in total, which is nearly double Guns N’ Roses 1.39 million tickets in 2017 and 44% higher than AC/DC’s chart-best at 1.823 million in 2010.

Pollstar add that “part of those over-the-top numbers can be attributed to Team Sheeran’s fan-first pricing, which at an estimated average of US$80.90 a show is well below the US$96.31 average on the Mid-Year Worldwide chart.”

Steve Tilley, Ed Sheeran’s promoter and a director of Kilimanjaro Live in London, noted the team’s highly publicised anti-secondary market stance and “pricing tickets sensitively based on the knowledge and continuity gained from being in place as Ed’s promoters from day one.”

He also said that all this combined with “Ed’s amazing knack to produce hit after hit” made for a “potent cocktail resulting in these astronomical ticket sales.”

Last May and April, when Sheeran sold a record-setting million tickets, Australia’s Frontier Touring Michael Gudinski told Pollstar that “One million tickets in this market is an absolute phenomenon and a feat which I don’t think will ever be beaten.”

Not only did Sheeran’s dominance set records, but it energised the veteran promoter, causing Gudinski to add “it’s inspired the whole company, and he’s completely rejuvenated my desire to get in early and develop artists’ careers.”

Record-Setting Worldwide Grosses
Pollstar’s Mid-Year Top 50 Worldwide Tours chart shows the strength of the live marker in 2018 with the survey reporting a 12% jump in total gross from last year’s US$1.97 billion to a record-setting US$2.21 billion – a US$240 million increase, representing the chart’s biggest rise since 2015/16 and a change from 2017’s mid-year total gross which actually decreased by $10 million.

Ticket Prices Soar
Pollstar also noted significant rises in average ticket prices ascontributing significantly to worldwide touring’s ascendant gross with a record high of US$96.31 – a 14.1% increase and a US$11.91 jump over 2017’s $84.40. 

Pollstar add “the precipitous rise speaks to the industry’s aggressive pricing strategy to better meet demand and exclude the secondary market. 

“This, while total tickets sold remained relatively constant from last year with a small 2.1% drop to 22.9 million from last year’s 23.4 million.”

Ed Sheeran image courtesy of Frontier Touring.

16th July 2018 - POLLSTAR ACKNOWLEDGES BLUESFEST AS AUSTRALIA’S TOP MUSIC FESTIVAL 

15th July 2018 - P!NK CONCERTS ATTRACT 6,000 VISITORS TO PERTH 

30th May 2018 - ED SHEERAN’S STRONG STANCE AGAINST TICKET SCALPERS HAS GLOBAL IMPACT 

16th March 2018 - MAN ARRESTED OVER SALES OF FAKE TICKETS FOR ED SHEERAN BRISBANE CONCERTS

10th March 2018 - ANZ STADIUM WARNS FANS TO BEWARE OF UNAUTHORISED ED SHEERAN TICKET SALES

8th March 2018 - GUDINSKI: ‘PROMOTERS AREN’T THE BAD GUYS’ IN ED SHEERAN TICKET SCALPING DEBATE

26th January 2018 - RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR GLOBAL CONCERT BUSINESS 

4th October 2017 - SMALL DECLINE IN ATTENDANCES AT STADIUMS QUEENSLAND VENUES

25th August 2017 - INDUSTRY AWARDS RECOGNISE THE BEST IN LEISURE COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING

19th July 2017 - POLLSTAR MID-YEAR RANKINGS SHOW AUSTRALIA’S OUTDOOR VENUES ECLIPSING INDOOR ARENAS

24th May 2017 - VENUES ASSESS SECURITY IN WAKE OF MANCHESTER ARENA TERRORIST ATTROCITY

23rd April 2017 - STAGE THREE MELBOURNE PARK REDEVELOPMENT TO INCLUDE NEW 5000-SEAT TENNIS ARENA 

21st April 2017 - RECORD SUMMER CONCERTS DELIVER $37 MILLION BOOST FOR AUCKLAND 

8th April 2017 - ADELE TOUR MAKES AUSTRALASIAN CONCERT HISTORY

20th January 2017 - AUSTRALASIAN VENUES STRONG PERFORMERS IN POLLSTAR 2016 TICKET SALES CHART

21st November 2016 - AUSTRALASIAN VENUES STRONG PERFORMERS IN POLLSTAR GLOBAL TICKET SALES RANKINGS

18th November 2016 - 2016 BILLBOARD TOURING AWARDS RECOGNISES THE BEST OF THE GLOBAL CONCERT INDUSTRY

2th November 2015 - LENDLEASE TO CONSTRUCT $338 MILLION ROD LAVER ARENA REFURBISHMENT


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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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