HITS Daily Double


MIDYEAR MONEY: At midyear, according to Pollstar, the top 100 North American tours have grossed $1.69b, with an average gross per show of $856k (up close to 25% year over year). The top tours worldwide were Bad Bunny, Elton John, BTS, Morgan Wallen and Genesis. In the U.K., Hyde Park, Glastonbury and more have done exceptional business. Harry Styles’ barnstorming run through U.K. stadiums and Europe precedes a record-setting spate of U.S. commitments (including 15 MSGs and 15 Forums) in the late summer and fall. Travis Scott, meanwhile, sold out two O2 arenas this week in record time. Last week’s Hyde Park BST shows by the Eagles, Elton, the Stones and Adele were historic, wowing even the most jaded industryites. Adele’s triumphant London stint, during which she candidly addressed her stage fright and delivered two dazzling concert performances, portends that her previously deferred Vegas residency will take place this fall. The Crush-backed Hella Mega tour sold out across Europe and the U.K., with 75k in London, which has been the center of the live world for the last two weeks, with stadiums and arenas packed for a myriad of unforgettable appearances. The

PAY AT THE PUMP: After a glorious surge in the first half of the year, though, the overall concert market has noticeably softened. The reasons for this are numerous. Let’s start with the external factors; overall inflation and skyrocketing fuel prices in particular have begun exerting serious pressure on both touring economics and household expenditures.

But developments pertaining to demand are also in play. For one, consumers now face an extremely crowded market. Any act that could book a rescheduled or new tour for summer/fall ’22 is out on the road making up for dates lost during the shutdown, all vying for the limited budget consumers can presently allot for live music—a budget that, for some, has already been exhausted. Additionally, fans are more reluctant now to shell out for a show or festival that’s five or six months down the road if there’s no guarantee it will happen when scheduled. The postponements and cancellations of the last two-plus years have observably shaken consumer confidence.

In addition to the pain exerted on tours by gas prices, personnel costs have also climbed—and the economic tides are pushing up production expenses as well. All this has caused the price of tickets and associated services to soar, further dampening consumer eagerness to invest.

SAME AS IT EVER WAS: In response to rising costs and more muted turnstile action, some promoters are cancelling and pulling out of shows—as happened with Day N Vegas 2022. Even so, many biz-watchers insist, it’s the same as it’s ever been: hit or miss. Most larger tours are doing well in the parts of the country that typically support them and struggling where they’ve always struggled. Stadium outings, for the most part, are on track to break records. With relief on gas prices already starting to take effect, could a second recovery be on the horizon?