Ed Sheeran Nets Top Grossing Tour of April, Approaches U2's All-Time Record
More than two years deep into The Divide Tour, Ed Sheeran continues his unstoppable global momentum with the highest grossing tour of April. Between April 4 and 28, he played eight concerts throughout Asia, grossing $31.8 million and selling 277,864 tickets according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. With these latest grosses, Sheeran’s tour becomes the second in the history of Billboard Boxscore to gross over $600 million.
These latest figures mark an international high point for Sheeran. The singer-songwriter grossed $6.1 million at the Tokyo Dome on April 9, and $5.6 million at Singapore’s National Stadium on April 26. They are the best showings of his career in Asia, outdoing his $5 million gross at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan on April 13-14, 2018 on an earlier leg of the tour.
In all, Sheeran has earned $50.8 million in Asia during The Divide Tour and $54.3 million on the continent across his career, dating back to a March 7, 2015 performance at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena ($611,000). His recent $30 million-plus outing towers over his previous trips to Asia, building upon the $9.9 million he grossed over four shows in April of 2018, and $9.2 million earned over six shows in November of 2017.
With each visit, Sheeran continues to add new markets to his repertoire. He played his first show in Taiwan on April 4, where he grossed $3.3 million at the Taoyuan City Stadium.
In December, Billboard noted that Sheeran would need to gross $171.4 million in 2019 to notch the highest grossing tour of all time. After 18 dates in South America, South Africa, and Asia (including a May 3 performance in Jakarta, Indonesia), he has closed that gap, with just $109 million separating The Divide Tour and U2’s 360 Tour ($736.4 million; 2009-11).
He’ll begin the tour’s final leg on May 24 in Lyon, France, the first of 35 European dates. If he maintains a $3.1 million average gross per show, the all-time record will be his. His average during the April Asian run was $4 million per night, while he maintained a pace of $4.8 million each show during last year’s European run.
After topping March’s Top Tours chart, P!nk ranks No. 2 in April, joining Sheeran as the only other act to sell over 200,00 tickets during the month. Her 14 shows in April grossed $28.9 million, with more North American shows to report during May.
KISS (No. 6) and Justin Timberlake (No. 7) are the only acts that have ranked among the top 10 tours on all three monthly recaps so far. KISS is playing a limited run of dates in May, while Timberlake’s Man of the Woods Tour came to a close on April 13, so both streaks may be in jeopardy come next month’s rankings. Sheeran, P!nk, and Cher (No. 8) celebrate their respective second top 10 appearances.
Sheeran also dominates this month’s Top Boxscores chart, as all eight of his individual engagements rank among the top 30, including Nos. 5, 7, and 8 with shows in Tokyo, Singapore and an April 23 appearance at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka. He’s the only act with multiple entries in the top 10, though several artists manage multiple showings in the top 30. P!nk makes four appearances (Nos. 9, 14, 22, 28), while Eric Church has three (Nos. 23, 26, 29). Take That, Billy Joel, and Timberlake each have two engagements on this month’s chart.
April’s top grossing engagement is Lollapalooza Brasil, the second Latin American festival top the monthly Top Boxscores chart (Mexico City’s Electric Daisy Carnival won top honors in February). Headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Post Malone and Lenny Kravitz, the three-day event grossed $14.7 million and sold 246,000 tickets. The festival’s attendance figure is more than twice that of its closest competitor – Australia’s Byron Bay Bluesfest sold over 105,000 tickets and earned $11.3 million, enough to rank No. 3 on this month’s chart.
The O2 Arena, the month’s top grossing venue by a margin of 2.6-to-1, appears three times on the Top Boxscores chart. The world-famous London arena shines with multi-date engagements from Drake (No. 2; $13.5 million; 7 shows), Take That (No. 4; $7.7 million; 5 shows), and Mendes (No. 17; $3.3 million; 3 shows).
Live Nation and AEG Presents continue to dominate the monthly Top Promoters ranking, with nine-digit grosses and seven-figure attendance counts.