Despite Police Tour, Concerts, Like CDs, Experience 2007 Decline

December 26, 2007 12:15 PM ET

Like much of the music industry, North American ticket sales suffered a drop this year, as the top twenty tours of 2007 generated only $996 million, the worst numbers since 2004. Despite the Police reunion tour -- the year's top-earner with $131 million, which makes it the fourth highest-grossing in history -- totals still were down 15.6 percent from last year's gross. Kenny Chesney and Justin Timberlake tours made $71.1 and $70.6 million, respectively, to take second and third place. While four acts sold more than one million concert tickets in '06, only the Police and Chesney surpassed that total in 2007.

The concert circuit was no doubt hurt by the Hannah Montana Ticketmaster scandal, as well as the fact that the top six best-selling albums of 2007 were all released in 2006, which affected promotional tours. Perennial chart toppers the Rolling Stones also took a year off to tour Europe. Fingers are being pointed at the Dave Matthews Band and Bruce Springsteen, who both set out on fan-friendly tours that saw them price tickets at lower average prices. Still, the numbers would have been better if the number five tour, the Van Halen jaunt with David Lee Roth back at the mike, had started at its original kick-off point in the summer of 2007. Because of its late start (due to Eddie Van Halen's rehab stint), the majority of its shows will bleed over into 2008. With Van Halen still getting along a mere five days 'til New Year's, and a possible Led Zeppelin tour on the horizon, 2008 looks to be a stronger year for the concert biz.

Related Stories:
Daughtry, The Police Named Kings of the 2007 Billboard Charts
Tweens Rejoice: Ticketmaster Defeats Evil Ticket-Snatching Monster
According To Baseless Evidence, Led Zeppelin To Tour!

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Don't Dream It's Over”

Crowded House | 1986

Early in the sessions for Crowded House's debut album, the band and producer Mitchell Froom were still feeling each other out, and at one point Froom substituted session musicians for the band's Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. "At the time it was a quite threatening thing," Neil Finn told Rolling Stone. "The next day we recorded 'Don't Dream It's Over,' and it had a particularly sad groove to it — I think because Paul and Nick had faced their own mortality." As for the song itself, "It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on — don't dream it's over," Finn explained.

More Song Stories entries »