All the way back in September 2019, Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer came together to announce The Hella Mega Tour. The co-headlining team-up would take the three rock icons to stadiums for the first time around the world throughout 2020, but was then, of course, delayed due to COVID.
One of the first to kick things off as venues opened throughout summer 2021, the U.S. leg of The Hella Mega Tour ran from July 24 through Sept. 6, bringing in $67.3 million and selling 659,000 tickets along the way, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore.
The tour kicked off with a sold-out night at the Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas (20 miles outside Dallas), earning $3.22 million and selling 37,500 tickets. Its biggest dates were in the cities you might expect. The highest-grossing show was the Aug. 4 play at New York’s Citi Field ($4.72 million) and the show with the most tickets sold was the tour’s penultimate performance on Sept. 3 at LA’s Dodger Stadium (41,900 tickets).
This post-COVID glory included its own peaks and valleys. Fall Out Boy missed three dates of the tour in August when an unspecified member of their touring crew contracted COVID-19. That includes the aforementioned New York show, plus dates at Boston’s Fenway Park and Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
On one hand, joining these three bands on a stadium tour was a no-brainer. Over the last three decades, they’ve earned a combined 62.7 million album equivalent units in the U.S., according to MRC Data, and amassed 49 top 10 songs on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart. Bridging the gap between ’90s punk and alternative with 2000s-era emo, combining their powers was, in theory, a simple recipe for success on the road.
But on the other hand, historical Boxscore data indicated it wasn’t a sure thing for blockbuster stadium business. Aside from the odd show here or there, Weezer and Fall Out Boy had no stadium experience, mostly headlining (and recently, co-headlining) arenas and amphitheaters. Green day had headlined a smattering of stadiums, mostly in support of their 2004 album American Idiot.
The end result shows that their combined powers defied any previous headline history. The Hella Mega Tour averaged 33,000 tickets each night across its 20 shows — more than double the pace of Green Day’s previous peak, and more than three times Fall Out Boy’s and Weezer’s.
Even if you stack each individual band’s career-best on top of one another (32,852 tickets), you’d just fall short of Hella Mega’s average attendance (32,953). One can assume that there is some overlap between these three bands’ fanbases. That means the pairing makes sense artistically, but also makes the tour’s 1+1+1=3 result that much more impressive.
Not only did the trifecta bring fans out, it also allowed them to play with ticket price. The tour’s average $102.19 ticket (prices ranged from $24.50 to $244.50) is close to double that of each band’s usual price, compounding with the tour’s jacked-up attendance rate to send grosses through the roof (that’s an intended pun on the bands going from indoor arenas to outdoor stadiums).
The Hella Mega Tour paced $3.36 million per show, which, as the above graph displays, towers over each band’s previous career peak. Here, when you stack each of their bests on top of one another ($1.48 million), Hella Mega’s average is still more than double their combined total.
In this way, Hella Mega’s 1+1+1 equaled… something significantly greater than three.
Bob McLynn, co-founder of Crush Music (the management company for all three bands on the tour), tells Billboard, “Three headline sets from three iconic acts. That’s Hella Mega. Each of the bands had to buy into the whole concept in order for this to work, a bit of give and take. The results were there. Europe’s going to be even bigger next year, excited for that.”
Adding each band’s third of the tour to their previous totals, Green Day has now grossed $182.8 million and sold 4.75 million tickets across their career, Fall Out Boy stands at $83 million and 2.23 million tickets, and Weezer comes to $75.3 million and 2.79 million tickets.
The Hella Mega Tour was promoted by Live Nation. As McLynn referenced, it will resume June 19, 2022, for eight shows in Europe.