The touring industry continues its roller-coaster ride in 2007, with North American concert dollars and attendance down double digits after a record year in 2006.

The final numbers tallied from Billboard Boxscore reports in 2007 are eye-opening: North American gross concert dollars are down 10.2% to $2.6 billion, and concert attendance is down a staggering 19.2% to 51 million.

Of course, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2, Bon Jovi and Barbra Streisand were all touring arenas and stadiums worldwide in 2006, pumping up dollars and attendance. Still, down is down, and way down is way down.

"Yes, a 19.2% decrease in attendance is very disturbing, since it reflects that the consumers are not really supporting breaking and mid-level talent," AEG Live president/ CEO Randy Phillips says. "If this trend continues, who will be the headliners of tomorrow?"

For industry-leading Live Nation, 2007 "was a lighter touring year than 2006," according to Jason Garner, president of North American Music for Live Nation. "We saw fewer artists on the road, especially in our global touring unit. We had some great artists out; there were just less of them than past years."

The Stones alone accounted for $425 million in 2006's numbers. Stones tickets topped out at $450, compared with about $250 for this year's top tour, the Police.

But the double-digit decreases of 2007 should concern even the most optimistic in the business.

When worldwide numbers are taken into consideration, the trend is...

Click here to read the full year-end wrap, including what to expect in 2008, how the touring industry is transitioning and more.

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