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Pollstar & VenuesNow announce U2 as 'Artist of the Decade' & O2 Arena as 'Venue of the Decade'


Mon, Nov 25th 2019 07:00 am

U2 is tops, with gross topping $1 billion; 02 Arena had highest ticket count

Decade’s Top 20 touring artists include The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney

Decade’s top venues include Radio City Music Hall, Auditorio Nacional, Manchester Arena, Madison Square Garden, MetLife Stadium, Foro Sol

Pollstar, the leading trade publication for the live entertainment industry, and its sister outlet, VenuesNow, the venue industry’s leading trade magazine, have named the touring “Artists of the Decade” and “Venues of the Decade” based on touring grosses and ticket sales, respectively.

In the No. 1 position for artists is 22-time Grammy-winning band U2, with a staggering $1 billion-plus total gross* for the decade. The No. 1 venue is The O2 arena in London, with an incredible 15.5 million tickets* sold.

Touring Artists of the Decade

  1. U2 – $1,038,104,132 gross
  2. The Rolling Stones – $929,196,083 gross
  3. Ed Sheeran – $922,361,663 gross
  4. Taylor Swift – $899,627,048 gross
  5. Beyoncé – $857,405,819 gross
  6. Bon Jovi – $836,661,584 gross
  7. Paul McCartney – $813,811,559 gross
  8. Coldplay – $731,805,591 gross
  9. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – $729,789,815 gross
  10. Roger Waters – $702,231,419 gross

For artists ranked No. 11-20, including tour grosses, click here.

Top Stops: Top 20 for the 2010s

The Top 20 list is venues ranked by tickets sold across all capacity categories from Nov. 19, 2009, to Nov. 19, 2019 (updated as of Nov. 15).

  1. The O2, London – 15,579,691 tickets sold
  2. Radio City Music Hall, New York – 13,715,654 tickets sold
  3. Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City – 13,257,170 tickets sold
  4. Manchester Arena, England – 10,084,262 tickets sold
  5. Madison Square Garden, New York – 9,615,706 tickets sold
  6. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey – 8,015,609 tickets sold
  7. Foro Sol, Mexico City – 7,258,783 tickets sold
  8. Scotiabank Arena, Toronto – 6,490,847 tickets sold
  9. Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany – 6,430,861 tickets sold
  10. 3Arena, Dublin – 6,413,131 tickets sold

For venues ranked No. 11-20, including ticket sales totals, click here.

Additionally, VenuesNow ranked, in six capacity categories, the top venues by ticket sales totals from Nov. 19, 2009, to Nov. 19, 2019 (updated as of Nov. 15).

•Top Stops of the Decade: More Than 30,000 Capacity

  1. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford
  2. Foro Sol, Mexico City
  3. Wembley Stadium, London

•Top Stops of the Decade: 15,001-30,000 Capacity

  1. The O2, London
  2. Manchester Arena, England
  3. Madison Square Garden, New York

•Top Stops of the Decade: 10,001-15,000 Capacity

  1. 3Arena, Dublin
  2. The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland
  3. Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia

•Top Stops of the Decade: 5,001-10,000 Capacity

  1. Radio City Music Hall, New York
  2. Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City
  3. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Colo.

•Top Stops of the Decade: 2,001-5,000 Capacity

  1. Fox Theatre, Atlanta
  2. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
  3. Durham (N.C.) Performing Arts Center

•Top Stops of the Decade: 2,000 or Less Capacity

  1. 9:30 Club, Washington
  2. Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
  3. Teatro Renault, São Paulo

For venues ranked No. 4-15 on all six Top Stops of the Decade lists and all tickets sold, visit www.venuesnow.com/venues-of-the-decade.

Both Pollstar and VenuesNow are part of parent company Oak View Group’s Media & Conferences Division helmed by President Ray Waddell, with Andy Gensler serving as executive editor of both publications.

"The preceding decade saw the live entertainment industry undergo a remarkable renaissance, emerging from the lows of the 'great slump' of 2009-10 to achieve unprecedented levels of box office success," Waddell said. "The artists and venues represented here in Pollstar and VenuesNow are a testament to what works in live entertainment, regardless of decade: Give the fans what they want. We salute the artists and venues of the decade and look forward to the next 10 years of excellence in live!"

Gensler added: “The decade’s growth, as chronicled by Pollstar Boxoffice and the editorial team, is incredible by every available live metric. Between 2010 and 2019 the live industry grew by double digits, including the average gross per show on Top 100 Worldwide Tour Chart, jumping a whopping 87%. On the buildings side, knowing what it takes to operate a successful venue in today's hyper-competitive market, what The O2, MetLife Stadium, 3Arena, Radio City Music Hall, Fox Theatre, the 9:30 Club and other best in class buildings have accomplished over the past decade is an amazing achievement."

*Grosses and ticket counts are based on reporting.

Since its founding in 1981, Pollstar has been the only trade publication dedicated to covering the worldwide concert industry. Pollstar data is the leading resource for the touring industry, encompassing box office numbers, routing and directories. Pollstar produces a weekly print magazine, publishes daily content to Pollstar.com and its "Daily Pulse” e-newsletter, and executes the world’s largest gathering of live music industry professionals – Pollstar Live! – which, in 2019, celebrated its 30th anniversary.

VenuesNow (founded in 2002 as Venues Today) is the leading trade publication covering live entertainment venues across the globe, serving managers, owners, operators and bookers of arenas, amphitheaters, stadiums, performing arts centers, clubs, theaters and convention centers. VenuesNow delivers industry-leading analysis and data-driven content geared to helping venues and their industry partners operate more effectively and profitably.

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