Coldplay & Guns N' Roses Join Top 10 of Billboard's Highest-Grossing Tours of All Time

The ranking of the highest-grossing concert tours in Billboard Boxscore history generally lies unaltered from year to year with few, if any, changes. (Billboard’s Boxscore touring data archives stretch back to 1990.) However, 2017 saw two new entries to the all-time list by both Coldplay and Guns N’ Roses.

Coldplay jumped to No. 3 overall with a gross of $523 million from its A Head Full of Dreams Tour that wrapped in November after a run that stretched over a year and a half. A total of 5.4 million tickets were sold during the five-continent trek that launched at the end of March 2016. Staged primarily in stadiums worldwide, the jaunt included 114 sold out performances in 83 venues, 13 of which topped $10 million in sales from multiple show runs.

The top grosser from the final leg was a two-show stint in Brazil at São Paulo’s Allianz Parque stadium, No. 1 on this chart with $10.4 million in sales. With 96,549 tickets sold for shows on Nov. 7 and 8, the engagement is one of 13 during the tour that topped $10 million at a single venue.

Named after the group’s seventh studio album that bowed in December of 2015, Coldplay’s tour also included various festival appearances during both years. The U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival and the Budweiser Made in America Festival in Philadelphia both hosted the band in 2016, and Hamburg’s Global Citizen Festival and the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas were on the schedule last year.

Guns N’ Roses follows at No. 4 on the all-time tour list based on a $475 million overall gross from 123 headlining performances on its own five-continent trek that is still ongoing -- additional shows are booked later this year. With the end of the band’s 2017 touring schedule in November, more than 4.3 million tickets had been sold on its Not In This Lifetime… trek.

GN’R also made festival appearances during both years of the tour beginning with a headlining slot at the Coachella Music Festival in April of 2016. Last year, the band also appeared at the TW Classic Festival in Belgium, São Paulo Trip in Brazil and Santiago Rock City in Chile as a main stage headliner.

Both tours supplanted Roger WatersThe Wall Live tour that previously ranked third on the all-time list. The Pink Floyd alum earned $459 million on his worldwide jaunt that ran from 2010 through 2013.

Below is the list of the top 10 tours of all time, based on Billboard’s Boxscore archives:

Top 10 Grossing Tours in Billboard Boxscore History*
Rank. Artist / Tour / Years / Gross
1. U2 / 360° Tour / 2009-2011 / $736 million
2. The Rolling Stones / A Bigger Bang / 2005-2007 / $558 million
3. Coldplay / A Head Full of Dreams Tour / 2016-2017 / $523 million
4. Guns N’ Roses / Not In This Lifetime… Tour / 2016-ongoing / $475 million
5. Roger Waters / The Wall Live / 2010-2013 / $459 million
6. AC/DC / Black Ice Tour / 2008-2010 / $441 million
7. Madonna / Sticky & Sweet Tour / 2008-2009 / $408 million
8. U2 / Vertigo Tour / 2005-2006 / $389 million
9. The Police / Reunion Tour / 2007-2008 / $362 million
10. Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour / 2011-2014 / $360 million
*From 1990 through Jan. 17, 2018

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