Stadium tours by U2, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson lifted concert revenues in 1997, with veteran acts in general dominating the touring landscape.
Total grosses reported to Amusement Business topped the $1 billion mark for the first time in two years and were up more than $190 million from last year. U2 finished as the top grossing act, reporting more than $138.5 million from 78 shows worldwide.
The Reba McEntire/Brooks & Dunn co-headlining tour finished tops among country acts, taking in close to $32 million; Garth Brooks led the way in country attendance, attracting 1.3 million fans and charging less than $20 per ticket. The top promoter of the year, including co-promotes, was Toronto-based The Next Attraction, which handled the Stones and U2 tours.
The top concert gross of the year was Michael Jackson's three-night stand in July at Wembley Stadium in London, which took in more than $9.2 million. No act that has broken in the 1990s made its way into the top 10 tours of the year, giving credence to concern by promoters that not enough stadium- or arena-level headlining acts are being developed.
The most successful festival tours were Lilith Fair and Ozzfest, with others posting disappointing numbers.
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