Bon Jovi continues packing houses more than a year into the biggest tour of the band's nearly 30-year career, having grossed close to $30 million and sold more than a quarter million tickets since resuming the trek Feb. 9, according to 15 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore so far this year.
That adds to their total of $197 million in grosses and almost 2 million in attendance reported to Boxscore last year from the tour, which was already enough to make it the top tour of the year in Billboard's annual Year In Music issue.
Produced globally by AEG Live and booked by Creative Artists Agency, the tour began as The Circle tour and evolved into the Greatest Hits tour in support of the band's first "Greatest Hits" release last November. Bon Jovi also finished atop the touring chart in 2008; since 1986, a band finishing top twice in three years has only been accomplished by the Rolling Stones (1998 and 1999) and the Grateful Dead (1991 and 1993). Paul Korzilius of Bon Jovi Management oversees the band's touring and co-manages the band with David Munns.
The current tour will be the highest-grossing and highest-attended of the band's career and among the top 10 highest-grossing tours of all time.
In addition to its run through arenas, since last February Bon Jovi has played seven sold-out nights at three U.S. stadiums: four at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. ($21 million gross, more than 200,000 tickets sold), two at Chicago's Soldier Field, and one at Gillette Stadium near Boston. The band also performed five nights at four Canadian stadiums, as well as stadiums across Europe, the Pacific Rim, and Latin America. Another highlight was a 12-night stand at London's O2 Arena that took in $18 million. This summer Bon Jovi will play another 24 stadiums in Europe before wrapping the tour July 31 in Lisbon, Portugal, with 144 total shows in the books.
Remarkably, demand has not softened in markets where Bon Jovi has previously played stadiums on this tour, as the band returned for two sold-out nights at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Feb. 14-15 after playing two stadium dates in the market last year. Bon Jovi also sold out three Madison Square Gardens in New York in February, and returned to Boston for a sellout at TD Garden Arena March 1. And in Chicago, Bon Jovi sold out two nights at the United Center March 8-9.
The Circle/Greatest Hits tour caps a remarkably successful decade for the band and a rare elevation in a lengthy career arc, a fact not lost on the band's Jon Bon Jovi. "You can show up, but that doesn't mean the people are going to go, and that doesn't mean they're going to come next time and next time," the singer told Billboard in an interview last December. "When you think about it objectively, we've had five albums in this decade, we've toured every one, and people came back every time. It says something for the band and the production and the performance that people feel they're getting their money's worth, especially in this economic downturn. People really don't have that disposable income, so they make choices and this is one of them. This is a luxury for them, and we don't take that for granted."