Ed Sheeran has shattered another record Down Under, and he has another, even loftier achievement in his sights.
The British singer-songwriter’s 2018 stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand has expanded to 18 shows, eclipsing the historic mark of 14 stadium dates for a single trek set by AC/DC’s Black Ice tour of 2010. Next up, Sheeran will try to take down the “Everest” of Australian live music benchmarks, the all-time sales record for a tour set by Dire Straits in 1986, when an estimated 900,000 people caught the Brothers In Arms shows.
Sheeran’s upcoming Divide tour itinerary grew from seven to 14 shows, but that wasn’t enough. As the first day of the general public onsale came to a close earlier this week, more than 710,000 tickets were snapped up, according to Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring, the promoter of the Australasian leg. So on Friday, Frontier Touring added new dates for Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Dunedin, meaning the artist “will surpass” Dire Straits’ seemingly untouchable 31-year-old record.
The records keep tumbling. With the announcement of these new dates, Sheeran sets the pace for the most stadium shows on one tour at Forsyth Barr in Dunedin (with three shows) and at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium (four shows).
In a statement issued Friday, Sheeran said, “I’ve always loved coming to Australia and New Zealand. So many amazing musicians have toured there and I am humbled to have broken these records.”
Michael Gudinski, head of Frontier Touring and chairman of the Mushroom Group of Companies, added, “This is now not only the biggest tour Frontier has promoted, but it’s the biggest tour in Australian and New Zealand touring history.”
Sheeran has a habit of smashing records in this part of the world. His hit “Shape Of You” recently logged a 15th week at No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart, trashing the previous streak of 13 weeks set by Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” in 1995. Sheeran also became the first artist to have simultaneous debuts at No. 1 and No. 2 on the ARIA Singles Chart (with “Shape Of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” respectively).
And when Divide (Asylum/Warner) began its chart reign, 16 tracks from it charted simultaneously inside the top 40, a new record. Sheeran’s third album is triple-platinum certified in Australia and it has just been certified six-times platinum in his homeland.
Tickets to the new shows go on sale at staggered times on June 1. Visit FrontierTouring.com for information on tickets and shows.