Thanks to performances by newcomers, veterans and other special events, midsize venues enjoyed steady ticket sales during the midyear period.
In addition to the top 10 venues recap of 15,001-plus-capacity arenas, Billboard's midyear touring charts include a tally ranking smaller buildings in multiple categories.
Similar to last year's midyear report, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre (BEC) in Australia retains the No. 1 slot on the top 10 venues tally for buildings with capacities between 10,001 and 15,000.
Radio City Music Hall in New York holds the No. 1 position on the recap for facilities with capacities between 5,001 and 10,000. And Las Vegas' Colosseum at Caesars Palace recaptures the top spot on the venues tally for buildings with capacities of 5,000 seats and fewer.
Along with the top 10 charts ranking arenas, these three lists are based on Billboard Boxscore grosses compiled for shows that took place between Nov. 1, 2011, and May 31, 2012.
Tim Worton, group director of arenas at AEG Ogden, which oversees operation of the BEC, says it's "clear that Australians are in love with the live music experience and promoters are encouraged by this and the strong dollar to continue bringing the acts here."
Concerts by such acts as Dolly Parton (three shows), Roger Waters (three), Cold Chisel (three), Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (three), Prince (two shows), Taylor Swift (two), Rod Stewart, Elton John and John Fogerty helped the 13,500-capacity BEC gross nearly $35 million and draw 259,384 fans to 40 events.
Worton also attributes the BEC's success to significant attention on digital marketing, social media and a revamped website.
MSG Entertainment executive VP of bookings Bob Shea cites sold-out performances by Antony & the Johnsons, Big Time Rush, Pulp, the Fray, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Juan Luis Guerra, Feist and comedians Daniel Tosh and Gabriel Iglesias as some of the "diverse event bookings contributed to [Radio City Music Hall's] success this year."
The 5,901-capacity facility grossed $89.3 million and drew 1.2 million concert-goers to 240 events.
"From Kelly Clarkson to Lenny Kravitz, the Great Stage hosted major sold-out performances by a wide spectrum of performers in 2012," Shea says, also citing multiple-night runs by Barry Manilow (three), Lady Antebellum (two), Aretha Franklin (two) and Pitbull (two).
Driven primarily by residency performances and some one-off shows, the 4,000-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace rang up nearly $30 million in grosses and drew more than 206,843 fans to 52 shows.
"The Colosseum is the preeminent venue of its type in the world, and Caesars Palace is extremely selective on who performs there," Caesars Entertainment senior VP of entertainment Jason Gastwirth says. "There is no doubt that all of our resident headliners - Celine Dion, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld - as well as our guest performers including Janet Jackson, Jeff Dunham and Paul Simon, exceed that measure of greatness."
John Meglen, president and co-CEO of Concerts West/AEG Live, says the Colosseum has created the gold standard for the modern residency model.
"The beginning of 2012 to midyear and beyond has seen our focus return to the core group of world-renowned artists that call the Colosseum and Las Vegas home and perfecting the model the Colosseum has become synonymous with," Meglen says.••••