I don’t think I’ve seen a concert this year

Concert Tour Attendance Up This Year
NEW YORK – Concert attendance jumped by 24 percent in the first half of the year as acts like the Dixie Chicks, Cher and the Rolling Stones helped reverse a two-year slide in ticket sales.
Fans bought 13.1 million concert tickets to the top 50 concert tours from January to June, compared to 10.6 million sold during the same period last year, according to Pollstar, the industry trade magazine. Gross receipts were up 26 percent to $678 million, up from $538 million in 2001.
“We’re back up to kind of where we were in 2000,” said Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar’s editor-in-chief. “We had progressively been selling fewer tickets as the prices escalated.”
But trouble may be looming for summer tours due to cold, rainy weather that delayed the traditional kickoff in late May and early June. “It’s really hard to sell a ticket to an outdoor concert if it’s raining all the time,” Bongiovanni said.
Concert attendance had been declining steadily since 2000, when 12.9 million tickets were sold. The average ticket price for the first six months this year was approximately $52 ó up only one dollar from the previous year, according to Pollstar. Last year, ticket prices cost an average of $51, up from $47 the previous year.
Yet for the biggest acts, prices continue to rise. Tickets for the top-grossing tour √≥ Elton John and Billy Joel √≥ cost an average of $113. The Rolling Stones’ average ticket cost $158, up from $119 when they toured last year.
“The really expensive tickets are largely being bought by the aging baby boomers,” said Bongiovanni.
Baby boomer acts such as the Stones, Fleetwood Mac and Cher represented half of the top 10 concerts for the first six months of the year. But country acts such as the Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chessney and Tim McGraw also performed strongly.
“The Dixie Chicks were one of the few acts that seemed to do great business just about everywhere they went,” Bongiovanni said of the female trio, which wasn’t hurt by the Bush-bashing controversy that engulfed them earlier this year.
Though Chessney was the 10th-highest grossing tour, he actually was the top draw according to tickets sold. His tour sold 682,000 tickets at an average price of $36, grossing $24.4 million. In comparison, Elton John and Billy Joel sold approximately 465,000 tickets at an average price of $113, grossing $52.7 million.
One act placed in the top 10 without even going on tour. Celine Dion’s Las Vegas stage show has grossed $33.2 million since it opened in March.
“That was something of an experiment, and that did very well,” Bongiovanni said.