Rock icons U2 showed they still know how to put on a good show as the top earning tour for 2011 with an estimated $156 million in North America and 2,387,535 tickets sold across the globe.
The Irish rockers’ ‘360° Tour’ earned an estimated $231.9 million worldwide and helped the music touring industry see an estimated $2.1 billion global year.
U2 wasn’t alone in a good 2011 touring year with 90’s boy band Take That earning an estimated $224 million, Bon Jovi an estimated $148.5 million, country music darling Taylor Swift an estimated $104.5 million, and Roger Waters an estimated $103.6 million. Other big selling acts of 2011 included Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and Kanye West and Jay-Z.
North American ticket sales were reportedly down slightly with a four percent drop in sales compared to 2010, according to Pollstar. The decline could be attributed to the fact that top selling albums, such as Adele’s ’21,’ had no tour to support the release (in Adele’s case it was due to the singer’s throat surgery).
Things are looking bright for the touring industry in 2012 with a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tour, a Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary reunion tour in the works, a rumored tour by the Rolling Stones, and a possible tour by Madonna to support her new album.