Reported $147.3 million in grosses from 45 shows.

Touring is a global business and the Rolling Stones are, predictably, the top touring band in the world for the first half of 2006. Based on figures reported to Billboard Boxscore from Nov. 1, 2005, through mid-May, the Stones' Bigger Bang tour, produced by Michael Cohl, reported $147.3 million in grosses from 45 shows in U.S. arenas and international stadiums.

Cohl says the period covered in the chart were high times for the Stones. “This includes the tail end of the American tour, plus the Superbowl, which was the biggest television audience the band had ever played to,” Cohl tells Billboard.biz. “Then two weeks later we played to two million people at a free concert on the beach in Copacobana which was the biggest live audience anyone’s ever had.”

The band also went to Australia for stadium dates and “actually had a better Austalian leg this time than we did before,” says Cohl. “It’s kind of astounding when it keeps improving 43 years later."

While it’s doubtful it would have passed its elder brethren, U2 is second for the mid-year and would have improved its already hefty take of $73 million for the period had it not postponed dates because of a family illness. The shows have been rescheduled.

Bon Jovi is the third-highest-grossing act for the period, reporting more than $65 million and 866,873 in attendance, selling out 54 of 57 shows.

Rounding out the top 10 are Billy Joel ($47.4 million), Cirque du Soleil's Delirium ($38.7 million), Aerosmith ($35 million), Coldplay ($29 million), Luis Miguel ($25 million), Trans Siberian Orchestra ($24 million), and Paul McCartney ($17.6 million).

In general, the North American touring industry is maintaining a healthy pace. Gross dollars for January-June of 2006 are up 24.6% from the same period last year, driven mostly by the tours cited above. With attendance up just 5.4%, high ticket prices have helped boost the increase.

Worldwide, revenue is up 13.3% and attendance up 2%.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print