Concert tours by the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand and country duo Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were among the top-grossing tours in North America in 2006, helping drive ticket revenue to a record $3.6 billion, according to figures released Thursday by Pollstar, the industry trade magazine.
The figures represent a 16 percent increase over 2005, when North American concert ticket sales totaled $3.1 billion, said Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar’s editor-in-chief.
Concert receipts for the top 100 tours of the year totaled $2.33 billion, up 12.6 percent from last year.
“Not only did we set a record for gross revenues, but we did it by selling more tickets rather than more expensive tickets,” Bongiovanni said.
Fans purchased 37.9 million tickets to the top 100 concert tours, compared with 36.3 million in 2005, according to Pollstar.
The average ticket price paid to attend a show on those tours was $61.45, up 8 percent over last year’s average of $56.88, Bongiovanni said.
The average ticket price increase, which amounts to $4.57, was similar to the increase seen between 2004 and 2005.
“That’s a good sign for the business,” Bongiovanni said.
The Rolling Stones’ “A Bigger Bang” tour, which actually began in the fall of 2005, led all other concert tours this year with $138.5 million in gross receipts, Pollstar said. The average Stones ticket was $136.63. The tour sold about 1.01 million tickets.
Streisand’s tour ranked second, generating $92.5 million in gross sales, with the average ticket price at $298.36.
The tour by McGraw and Hill brought $88.8 million in gross receipts, with the average ticket selling for $80.92.
Country crooner Kenny Chesney’s tour led all others in the number of tickets sold with 1.13 million. His tour pulled in $66 million in gross receipts, with the average ticket going for $58.34.
Not all the tours that pulled in hefty gross ticket sales were put on by individual touring artists. The Cirque Du Soleil “Delirium” tour generated $82.1 million, while Trans-Siberian Orchestra earned $37.3 million. Another extravaganza, the “American Idols Live” tour, pulled in $35 million.
Among the other acts that ended the year in the top 25 by sales receipts were Coldplay, The Who, Dave Matthews Band, Shakira and Bon Jovi.