The leading U.K. arenas recorded an 11% hike in the number of visitors for all events in 2006 to 8.3 million, with the number of ticket sales for music events jumping 11% to 5.9 million and accounting for 71% of the total attendance.

The study, by the 16-venue National Arena Association, including London's 12,300-capacity Wembley Arena, showed that pop concerts accounted for 2.03 million of the total attendance for U.K. music shows last year.

This was followed by 1.96 million attendances for rock gigs, and 1.66 million for classical concerts. The rest of the attendances for music shows, based on ticket sales, were for more family-oriented MOR (middle-of-the-road) music shows.

Of 2006's top 10 performances, Disney on Ice led the rankings with 124 shows during the year, followed by the BBC Proms classical concerts with 73 performances.

The next music act in the ranking for the number of performances is Irish pop band Westlife in sixth position with 32 shows, while former boy band Take That ranked tenth by putting on 26 shows at NAA venues.

In the ranking for total attendances per performer or event, Take That reached No. 2 in the ranking with 294,318 ticket sales (after leader Disney On Ice's 544,583 attendances). The next music act in the top 10 was Westlife, which recorded 238,718 paid-for attendances.

However, it is the Red Hot Chili Peppers that grabbed the most audiences for each of its performances with an average 18,116 tickets per show.

In second place is the Eagles with an average of 12,853 attendants per show, then George Michael (12,377), Depeche Mode (11,744) and Kasabian (11, 486). Take That reached seventh place with an average of 11,320 ticket sales per show.

The average ticket price for all shows 2006 was £30.45 ($59.78), compared with £25.47 ($50.00) the year before. But the average ticket price for music events leaped to £36.45 ($71.56) from £32.14 ($63.09) during the same period.

Westlife holds the record for the most attendance per music act in 2004, when the band was seen by 495,385 ticket buyers. R.E.M. holds the highest average attendance per show with 19,316 in 1999.

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