U2’s Vertigo tour was the top-grossing trek of 2005, according to year-end figures from Billboard Boxscore that will be published in the Dec. 24 issue of magazine, which hits newsstands Friday (Dec. 16). Vertigo reported grosses of $260 million and drew more than 3 million people to 90 concerts, all of which were sell-outs.
In addition, U2’s June 24-27 run at Dublin’s Croke Park was named Boxscore of the year, grossing more than $21.1 million and drawing nearly 247,000 fans.
Coming in second to U2 this year were the Eagles, who grossed $117 million from 77 shows, followed by Neil Diamond, who raked in more than $71 million. Country star Kenny Chesney placed fourth with a gross of $63 million; his attendance draw of 1.1 million was second only to U2.
The top 10 touring grosses are rounded out by Paul McCartney ($60 million), Rod Stewart ($49 million), Elton John ($45.5 million touring, plus another $30 million via his Las Vegas show “The Red Piano”), Dave Matthews Band ($45 million), Jimmy Buffett ($41 million) and Green Day ($36.5 million).
Billboard Boxscore does not reflect a year-to-date gross for the Rolling Stones’ ongoing On Stage tour. Traditionally, the group’s promoter does not submit box-office information to Billboard until after the tour is complete.
The year’s top-grossing arena was New York’s Madison Square Garden, a distinction it has earned for six straight years. Mansfield, Mass.’ Tweeter Center was the top-grossing amphitheater for the third year in a row.
In 2005, North American concerts grossed just over $2 billion, down 6.2% from 2004, according to Billboard Boxscore. Attendance was down 3.8% to 45.7 million.