Canceled and postponed March/April concerts will cost the industry over half a billion dollars — and that’s just the start.
As cities, states and entire countries shut down to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, the touring industry is facing an unprecedented crisis. Live Nation, AEG and major booking agencies WME, Creative Artists Agency, UTA and Paradigm released a joint statement on March 12, effectively halting all major tours worldwide. In the days that followed, concert venues of all sizes closed to stop mass gatherings. As artists and executives scramble to reschedule album rollouts and get in on the livestreaming boom, an analysis of boxscore data from 2019 offers insight into the hundreds of millions of dollars the industry will likely miss out on from major tours in the coming months.
In 2019, the top 30 tours of March and April collectively grossed $697.5 million and sold over 6.5 million tickets during the 61-day period, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. That marks an 11% increase in revenue from the same period in 2018, which was already up 9% from 2017. These year-over-year increases can be explained by standard inflation, an ever-growing ticketing market and the broadening scope of global attractions, which are more inclusive of hip-hop, Latin and K-pop acts than ever before.