Aoki, Avicii & Bassnectar U.S. tours bring in the millions
Tue 17th Jul, 2012 News 2676 viewsin
While the ‘EDM’ boom in North America might be the media talking point of the moment, DJs still have a way to go before they unseat country music and Cirque du Soleil in the money-making stakes. Data released this week by Pollstar in its mid-year report of the touring business reveals a 1.2% rise in Stateside touring grosses, helped in some part by dance artists. (You’ll find it a touch more verifiable than this list.) “The new generation of EDM artists are starting to have a greater impact as they begin doing larger tours in more traditional arenas,” Pollstar reports. That said, the Top Ten is still dominated by wizened heritage acts charging top dollar for tickets, among them Roger Waters, Van Halen, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen. The top-earner, though, is Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson show The Immortal, which has raked in $78.5 in the first six months of 2012.
When it comes to DJs, they’ve had to play a lot more shows to qualify for the Pollstar Top 100 than their rock counterparts on the list. For example, the Eagles grossed $5.5 million by playing just three shows in the first half of 2012, with an average ticket price of $143.59. Steve Aoki is the highest ranking dance artist, but he did 88 shows in 88 cities, with an average ticket price of $32, to make his $4.5 million haul. The next most lucrative touring DJ at #83 is Avicii, who still managed to amass $4.1 million with his Le7els tour around North America, despite industry concerns that he’d gone too big too soon. Coming in at #87 is Bassnectar, whose pulling power on the home circuit continues to grow. He ticked off 27 shows in the first half of the year and grossed $3.5 million.
That might seem like big money, but it’s chump change against the earning capacity of Celine Dion or Coldplay. Canadian R&B/hip hop superstar Drake, for one, grossed $30.2 million with his 43-date tour – and all without a helping hand from the David Guetta hit factory. Only time will tell if the likes of Tiesto can get close to entrenched country music figures like Kenny Chesney. At the end of the day, though, we can rest easy that Radiohead took in more than Nickelback.
On the festival side, Pollstar reported the $47.3 million gross for 2012’s Coachella festival in the Californian desert represented the largest-ever reported for a single concert event. As ever, the dance line-up there proved a significant drawcard with Amon Tobin, Modeselektor, Kaskade, Nero, the Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris to name a few, with Radiohead and Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg (& Tupac hologram) as headliners. You can see the poll here.