Bon Jovi's Lost Highway tour tops the list of the biggest tours for 2008, based on data reported to Billboard Boxscore from Nov. 14, 2007, through Nov. 11, 2008. The trek, promoted in North America and Europe by AEG Live, grossed $210.6 million and drew 2,157,675 fans.
In second place is Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Magic tour, which grossed $204.5 million for the period. Springsteen reported another $31 million for last year, taking his two-year Boxscore total to more than $235 million.
Rounding out the top 10 are Madonna ($162 million for the still-underway Sticky & Sweet tour), the Police ($150 million on the second leg of their reunion tour), Celine Dion ($91 million), Kenny Chesney ($86 million), Neil Diamond ($81.2 million), Spice Girls ($70 million), Eagles ($56.6 million) and Rascal Flatts ($55.8 million).
The Spice Girls' 17 sellouts at the O2 Arena last December-January were the highest-grossing engagement of the year, taking in $33.8 million and drawing 256,647. Other top Boxscores for the year were Celine Dion at the Bell Centre in Montreal ($23.1 million), Madonna at Stade de France in Paris ($17.6 million), Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. (about $17 million), and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. ($14.2 million).
For the overall touring industry, grosses reported to Billboard Boxscore totaled slightly less than $4 billion worldwide, the most ever for a year and up almost 13% over last year.
But global reported concert attendance is virtually flat, with 6% fewer shows. And North American concert attendance is down nearly 2%, after a nearly 20% decrease last year, continuing a troubling trend. Better news is evident on a show-by-show basis; the average box office gross in North America is up 18% and average attendance is up 6.3%, reflecting that some of the attendance decline can be attributed to a decrease in the overall show count.
For more of Billboard.com's 2008 Year in Music special section, please click here.