The Mötley Crüe?-Def Leppard stadium tour, beginning June 18 in Jacksonville, Florida, is up to 1 million tickets and $130 million in gross sales — not counting $5 million worth of VIP seats, agents and managers say.
“One band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and another has one of the biggest rock books ever that was turned into a film and the film was seen by tens of millions,” says Allen Kovac, Mötley Crüe’s manager, adding that Netflix’s The Dirt biopic boosted the band’s streaming by 300% and shifted its audience from boomers to millennials. “We knew co-headlining would dramatically lift the ticket sales.”
Dennis Arfa, agent for both acts, says he was searching last fall for a way to reintroduce the retired-until-recently Mötley Crüe to the live business while looking for a package that could bring Def Leppard into stadiums. “We decided both bands performing together would make them a huge event,” he says. “After speaking to both bands, they agreed to get married.”
With opening acts Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Poison, tickets range from $150 to $400, not counting some varied pricing that reflects demand as part of “dynamic pricing.” It’s likely to be one of the summer’s biggest tours, although stadium runs by BTS, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber and others will compete for that distinction.
“There is a market out there for classic rock, metal and glam that is not being serviced,” says longtime promoter Randy Phillips, who is not affiliated with this tour. “Think how large and successful Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe were at the height of their careers — now they are just tapping back into those markets.”