Adele, Paul McCartney Tours Power a 'Record-Breaking Year' For Live In Australia: Report

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Adele performs at Genting Arena on March 29, 2016 in Birmingham, England.

Stadium runs by Adele, Paul McCartney, Guns N’ Roses and Justin Bieber contributed to a “record-breaking year” for Australia’s live entertainment business, according to a new report.   

After a handful of relatively quiet years, Australia’s concerts business came roaring back in 2017, Live Performance Australia explains in its 2017 Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report, published Thursday.   

The business of concerts is powering growth across the entire live sector. In a period when Bruce Springsteen, Drake, Yusuf / Cat Stevens, Ariana Grande and the Dixie Chicks played arenas up and down the country, and homegrown acts Midnight Oil and Sia mounted open-air treks of their own, concerts generated historic levels of ticket sales and revenue, at A$826 million ($584 million), up a whopping 87.7 percent.    

Australians loved going to shows, the data indicates, with 8.5 million attending a concert during the 2016-17 period, up nearly 50 per cent. And they paid more for the experience. Ticket prices ballooned in price by 23.9% to A$105.73 ($74.30), further boosting this revenue gain. 

It’s the first year of growth in concerts revenue since 2013 and the highest ever revenue and attendance recorded for live shows, which include pop, rock, country, dance and hip-hop, since the report was launched in 2004. LPA attributes the spike “primarily due to the large number of prominent acts with arena or stadium tours that attracted large crowds and toured to almost all the five major cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide)" over the 12 months.

Meanwhile, festivals (listed in the report as "contemporary music" festivals) enjoyed gains in revenue (26% to A$100.7 million or $71 million) and attendance (26.7% to 850,000), with Splendour in the Grass, Bluesfest, CMC Rocks Qld, Gympie Muster and Groovin’ the Moo among the big performers. Again, this growth was powered by international acts touring the market, though expect the festivals category to continue in this trajectory as the traveling Download and Good Things brands, among others, become established on the calendar. 

All told, more than 23 million Australians attended live events, up 23 percent, with over A$1.88 billion ($1.33 billion) generated through ticket sales, a 32% gain. Every state and territory generated growth in revenue and attendance during the year-long period, the report reveals.

LPA's study shows that the live performance industry "continues to contribute significantly to our economy and cultural ecology,” explains Evelyn Richardson, CEO of LPA. The volume of tickets issued to live performance events was more than the combined attendances at AFL, NRL, Soccer, Super Rugby, Cricket and NBL in the same year, adds Richardson, citing data from Stadiums Australia’s Australian Sporting Attendances 2018.

Ernst & Young prepared the annual document on behalf of LPA, which describes it as the most comprehensive and reliable survey of ticket sales and attendance for the territory’s live performance events.

Download the LPA report here.