If Keith Richards' prediction that the Rolling Stones will hit the road next year holds true, they'll be joining what is already a strong lineup of tours for early 2013. Lady Gaga, the Who, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi, No Doubt, Rihanna, Pink, One Direction, Mumford and Sons, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Bruce Springsteen are just some of the acts that have already confirmed or are likely to tour next year. "It's pretty healthy," says Randy Phillips, chief executive of AEG Live, one of the top concert promoters.
For the most part, the concert business seems to have rebounded from the disastrous 2010 summer season, during which the economy and overly high ticket prices kept fans from showing up – and forced promoters to slash costs at the last minute. "2010 was a year of recalibrating the business," says Jim Guerinot, manager of No Doubt, who are likely to perform next summer. "I think it's in great shape. The one big message that's kind of gotten through is people are pricing their tickets appropriately."
One exception to that rule is the Stones, who are charging as much as $815 (including service fees) for their December 13th and 15th dates at Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center. Ticket prices on StubHub have risen as high as $600,000. (That doesn't mean anybody will pay that much, but still.)
AEG's Phillips believes that the Stones will likely regroup after their four upcoming shows in Newark and London before making a formal decision on 2013. "They haven't agreed to tour yet," he says. "Right now, as we were told, these four shows are going to be it for the 50th anniversary, then they're going to decide what they're going to do afterwards."
In any case, the calendar for next year is already packed with superstars. Confirmed tours include:
- Lady Gaga (January-March)
- The Who (through late February)
- One Direction (June-August)
- Rihanna (March-May)
- Pink (February-March)
- Maroon 5 (February-April)
- Swedish House Mafia (February-March)
- Jason Aldean (February-July)
And that's not all. Sources confirm to Rolling Stone that major acts including No Doubt, Swift, Bieber, Mumford and Sons, Aerosmith, Phish, Dave Matthews Band and Nicki Minaj will all be on the road in 2013 as well.
On top of those acts, wild cards for the year include Springsteen, Green Day, Young and Crazy Horse, Elton John, Usher (he's confirmed for Europe), Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart (possibly with Steve Winwood) and Linkin Park.
"I always think it's a big year," says Dennis Arfa, agent for Stewart, Metallica and Linkin Park, among others. "There will certainly be a quantity of stars out there. Whether they're the biggest stars in the world, or the Top Three, that's another question."