The Jacksons: "VICTORY TOUR 1984" statistics

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Postby Mulvanaghty » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:04 am

The Jacksons "Victory Tour" in 1984 was at that time, the highest grossing tour in history. It is reported to have grossed $75 million dollars from 55 concerts in Canada and the United States. Despite the fact that the tour only visited two countries and that there were only 55 shows, it was at that time, the highest grossing tour in history. The high gross was achieved with an average ticket price of $30 dollars, which was nearly double the price of most of the industries highest ticket prices at that time.

The tour was the 2nd highest attended tour in history, taking second place to the Rolling Stones Tattoo You Tour(1981-1982) which played 87 shows in North America and Europe, but had an average ticket price of $15 dollars.

The Jacksons Victory Tour 1984 was the first tour to ever play 53 stadium shows on one tour. No world tour, had ever played that many large sized venue's, in fact, only The Rolling Stones Tattoo You tour comes close.

One wonders why the tour was not expanded to include, Europe, South America, Australia, Japan, and other markets, but that involved time, and expensive cost given the size of the production and the need to transport it around the world. Either an earlier start date in 1984 or going into 1985 would have been required for a true "world tour". For whatever the reason, the Jacksons decided to limit the tour to just the United States and Canada.

The tour started at a time, when Thriller had just achieved album sales of 18 to 19 million in the United States, and another 18 million copies outside the United States. Despite it being a "Jacksons" tour, the enormous demand to see it was obviously because of Michael.

The following are the boxscore results that were reported to Amusement Business and then reprinted in the weekly column in Billboard magazine. Boxscores are available for 35 of the shows. 18 of the remaining 20 shows had their attendance listed in the year end issue of Billboard Magazine for 1984. The attendance for 2 of the 4 Philadelphia shows is still unknown. The official gross from 20 of the shows is still unknown as well, but with average ticket price of around $30 dollars, this can be roughly caculated since attendance is known for all but 2 shows.

Results are grouped by city and venue, so one combined attendance figure and one combined gross figure will be listed for multiple shows in one city/venue. To get the per show attendance and gross, you will have to divide the number of shows by the total gross and attendance.

The tour had remarkable results for markets that are consider to be secondary markets in terms of size in the concert industry. The tour likely still holds many attendance records for several venues and perhaps even gross records. I'll note these where it is likely that the tour still holds the record with simply (record) after each attendance and gross figure that still probably holds it. Nearly all of the shows set records for attendence and gross in each spot the tour visited, and a few still hold up even today, and those are noted. I'll also list the shows that are missing results for attendance and gross.



1,2,3. Kansas City, Mo. : July 6-8, 1984 : Arrowhead Stadium : GROSS $4,050,000(record) : ATTENDANCE 135,000(record) : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 3

4,5,6. Irving, Tex. : July 13-15, 1984 : Texas Stadium : GROSS $3,564,090 : ATTENDANCE 118,803 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 3

7,8,9. Jacksonville, Fla. : July 21-23, 1984 : Gator Bowl : GROSS $4,050,000(record) : ATTENDANCE 135,000(record) : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 3

10,11,12. East Rutherford, N.J. : July 29-31, 1984 : Giants Stadium : GROSS $4,523,940 : ATTENDANCE 150,798 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 3

13,14. New York City, NY. : August 4-5, 1984 : Madison Square Garden : GROSS $960,000 : ATTENDANCE 32,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS 2

15,16,17. Knoxville, TN : August 10-12, 1984 : Neyland Stadium : GROSS $4,452,210(record) : ATTENDANCE 148,407(record) : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 3

18,19,20. Pontiac, Mich. : August 17-19, 1984 : Silverdome : GROSS $4,350,030 : ATTENDANCE 145,000 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 3

21,22. Buffalo, NY : August 25-26, 1984 : Rich Stadium : GROSS $2,820,000 : ATTENDANCE 94,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS 2

23,24. Philadelphia, PA : September 1-2, 1984 : JFK Stadium : GROSS $4,350,000 : ATTENDANCE 145,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS 2

25,26. Denver, CO. : September 7-8, 1984 : Mile High Stadium : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE 106,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS ?

27,28. Montreal, Canada : September 16-17, 1984 : Olympic Park Stadium : GROSS $2,640,000 : ATTENDANCE 110,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS 2

29,30. Washington, D.C. : September 21-22, 1984 : RFK Stadium : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE 90,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS ?

31,32. Philadelphia, PA : September 28-29, 1984 : JFK Stadium : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE ? : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS ?

33,34,35. Toronto, Canada : October 5-7, 1984 : Canadian National Exhibition Stadium : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE 141,864 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS ?

36,37,38. Chicago, IL. : October 12-14, 1984 : Comiskey Park : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE 106,000 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS ?

39,40. Cleveland, Ohio : October 19-20, 1984 : Municipal Stadium : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE 74,600 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS ?

41,42. Atlanta, GA : October 26-27, 1984 : Fulton County Stadium : GROSS $1,960,000 : ATTENDANCE 70,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS 2

43,44. Miami, FL : November 2-3, 1984 : Orange Bowl : GROSS $3,382,064 : ATTENDANCE 120,788 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS 2

45,46. Houston, TX : November 9-10, 1984 : Astrodome : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE 61,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS ?

47,48,49. Vancouver, Canada : November 16-18, 1984 : B.C. Place : GROSS $2,896,800 : ATTENDANCE 96,560 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 0

50,51,52. Los Angeles, CA : Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 1984 : Dodger Stadium : GROSS $4,200,000 : ATTENDANCE 150,000 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 3

53,54,55. Los Angeles, CA : December 7-9, 1984 : Dodger Stadium : GROSS ? : ATTENDANCE 115,000 : SHOWS 3 : SELLOUTS 0


TOTAL ATTENDANCE: 2,345,820
SHOWS: 53
SHOWS with missing attendance: 2



The cost of the tour was $13 million dollars and the Jacksons had $41,000,000 guarantee!
Last edited by Mulvanaghty on Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby evaorig » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:32 am

41,42. Atlanta, GA : October 26-27, 1984 : Fulton County Stadium : GROSS $1,960,000 : ATTENDANCE 70,000 : SHOWS 2 : SELLOUTS 2

I live in Atlanta and that Stadium no longer exist. I was 15 years old at that time and man it was cold but a great show. It was a nice gift from my dad for making all A's and B's on my report card.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:32 am

Of the 35 shows for which statistics were provided for, here are the following combined totals for those Victory Tour shows:

35 Victory Tour Shows with statistics
GROSS: $48,199,134
ATTENDANCE: 1,651,356
Average GROSS per show: $1,377,118
Average ATTENDANCE per show: 47,182


The Reported but not exact totals for the entire 55 date tour are an attendance of 2.5 million and a gross of $75 million
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Postby Maripol » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:22 am

Wow, this is fascinating stuff
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Postby pisha » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:23 pm

Thank you Mulvanaghty for all that information.Do you have the same statistics of another Michael Jackson's tours?

Thanks
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:37 pm

pisha wrote:Thank you Mulvanaghty for all that information.Do you have the same statistics of another Michael Jackson's tours?

Thanks
I might have the tour that occured prior to the Victory tour. Does anyone here know the dates on that one?
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Postby NothingFails » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:48 pm

man, if major concerts only had average ticket prices of $15-30 today. The Stones came to town a few months ago with tickets ranging from $60-300, and seeing a Stones concert is hardly the event that it was in 1981 when they were actually currently hot and actually having new hits instead of just being an oldies act, and they only charged $15 then.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:56 am

NothingFails wrote:man, if major concerts only had average ticket prices of $15-30 today. The Stones came to town a few months ago with tickets ranging from $60-300, and seeing a Stones concert is hardly the event that it was in 1981 when they were actually currently hot and actually having new hits instead of just being an oldies act, and they only charged $15 then.
You realize that 15 dollars in 1981 is about 35 dollars in 2007. Then, you have to figure in the inflation in ticket prices within the industry itself, which really started in 1994 when the industry realized scalpers collectively were walking away with more money than they were in many cases. The industry realized it could make a lot more money and was underestimating the market value of concert tickets. People indeed valued music events as much as sporting events, and in many cases more than sporting events depending on the artist and how often they toured.

Its probably impossible to charge less than 30 US dollars today and play major arena's or stadiums given the cost involved in touring and reserving the venue.
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Postby Moggio » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:03 am

http://www.michaeljacksonforsale.com/ht ... ictory.htm

This site provides different attendance figures for some of the Victory tour shows than compared to what you have posted. But the figures you posted are probably accurate, since they're apparently from Billboard Boxscores from the mid 80s.

One market in particular that has odd figures is Vancouver, BC. The Victory tour's three shows at BC Place Stadium you posted have an attendance of over 96,000. Which is weird because two shows at BC Place Stadium should have covered the 96,000+, since BC Place's capacity is 60,000.

Very interesting, either way...
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Postby Basil » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:44 am

NothingFails wrote:man, if major concerts only had average ticket prices of $15-30 today. The Stones came to town a few months ago with tickets ranging from $60-300, and seeing a Stones concert is hardly the event that it was in 1981 when they were actually currently hot and actually having new hits instead of just being an oldies act, and they only charged $15 then.
Yeah, I agree with you about ticket prices.

Are you sure they were as low as $60?. In the UK last summer the cheapest ticket was about $120. I'm a Stones fan but didn't go as those prices are ridiculous for a Stadium. I might just consider it for an indoor show, but even that is really pushing it.

The Victory tour was the first to double the normal ticket price and it worked because Michael Jackson (but not really The Jacksons) was red hot at the time.

Then The Eagles reformed and charged way over the norm. It was known as The Greed Tour at the time! :D And quite rightly so.

The Stones hiked their prices sometime in the 1990's and attendances fell as a result. Before that they always sold out everywhere. Their own fault - it really is pure Greed.
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Postby Basil » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:48 am

Mulvanaghty wrote:
pisha wrote:Thank you Mulvanaghty for all that information.Do you have the same statistics of another Michael Jackson's tours?

Thanks
I might have the tour that occured prior to the Victory tour. Does anyone here know the dates on that one?
I believe they toured in 1980/1 which produced the Jacksons Live album. Must have been an arena type tour.

MJ was already outselling the band with the Off the Wall album.

MJ's first solo tour was for the Bad album in 1988/9 I think.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:49 am

Moggio wrote:http://www.michaeljacksonforsale.com/html/Tours-Victory.htm

This site provides different attendance figures for some of the Victory tour shows than compared to what you have posted. But the figures you posted are probably accurate, since they're apparently from Billboard Boxscores from the mid 80s.

One market in particular that has odd figures is Vancouver, BC. The Victory tour's three shows at BC Place Stadium you posted have an attendance of over 96,000. Which is weird because two shows at BC Place Stadium should have covered the 96,000+, since BC Place's capacity is 60,000.

Very interesting, either way...
I got the dates for the shows that were not in Billboard boxscores from the Michael Jackson site you posted above. As for the Vancouver show, all that Billboard Boxscore listed for the date was November 16-18, 1984. Usually, a number of sellouts is given, but that was not the case for Vancouver which means none of the shows soldout. I would assume that November 16-18 would include a date on the 17th, so it was 3 shows at a reduced capacity.
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Postby NothingFails » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:24 am

Basil wrote:
NothingFails wrote:man, if major concerts only had average ticket prices of $15-30 today. The Stones came to town a few months ago with tickets ranging from $60-300, and seeing a Stones concert is hardly the event that it was in 1981 when they were actually currently hot and actually having new hits instead of just being an oldies act, and they only charged $15 then.
Yeah, I agree with you about ticket prices.

Are you sure they were as low as $60?. In the UK last summer the cheapest ticket was about $120. I'm a Stones fan but didn't go as those prices are ridiculous for a Stadium. I might just consider it for an indoor show, but even that is really pushing it.

The Victory tour was the first to double the normal ticket price and it worked because Michael Jackson (but not really The Jacksons) was red hot at the time.

Then The Eagles reformed and charged way over the norm. It was known as The Greed Tour at the time! :D And quite rightly so.

The Stones hiked their prices sometime in the 1990's and attendances fell as a result. Before that they always sold out everywhere. Their own fault - it really is pure Greed.
Yep. I know about inflation and all, but I think 35-50 should be reasonable for a major artist. Not everyone can afford spending on ticket prices like that. There are three big reunion tours I'd love to see this summer (Van Halen with Roth, The Police, Genesis) but I know I'll probably only be able to afford one at best because I know all three of these will be over $100 for reasonable seats. Hell, The Police will probably charge Streisand type prices because the anticipation has built up for so many years). And the sad thing is, seeing a reunited Police in 2007 for $500 is a major ripoff considering you could've seen them in their peak in 1983 for $12.50. That's a little too much inflation IMO.
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Postby Basil » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:32 pm

NothingFails wrote:Yep. I know about inflation and all, but I think 35-50 should be reasonable for a major artist. Not everyone can afford spending on ticket prices like that.
Absolutely, $35-50 dollars seems more than enough for most concert tickets.

Indeed I see plenty of excellent bands for this kind of money, and they are not ants on a stage 200 yards away.

It's just Greed for some big artists - some rather past their best.... :wink:
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:12 pm

NothingFails wrote:
Basil wrote:
NothingFails wrote:man, if major concerts only had average ticket prices of $15-30 today. The Stones came to town a few months ago with tickets ranging from $60-300, and seeing a Stones concert is hardly the event that it was in 1981 when they were actually currently hot and actually having new hits instead of just being an oldies act, and they only charged $15 then.
Yeah, I agree with you about ticket prices.

Are you sure they were as low as $60?. In the UK last summer the cheapest ticket was about $120. I'm a Stones fan but didn't go as those prices are ridiculous for a Stadium. I might just consider it for an indoor show, but even that is really pushing it.

The Victory tour was the first to double the normal ticket price and it worked because Michael Jackson (but not really The Jacksons) was red hot at the time.

Then The Eagles reformed and charged way over the norm. It was known as The Greed Tour at the time! :D And quite rightly so.

The Stones hiked their prices sometime in the 1990's and attendances fell as a result. Before that they always sold out everywhere. Their own fault - it really is pure Greed.
Yep. I know about inflation and all, but I think 35-50 should be reasonable for a major artist. Not everyone can afford spending on ticket prices like that. There are three big reunion tours I'd love to see this summer (Van Halen with Roth, The Police, Genesis) but I know I'll probably only be able to afford one at best because I know all three of these will be over $100 for reasonable seats. Hell, The Police will probably charge Streisand type prices because the anticipation has built up for so many years). And the sad thing is, seeing a reunited Police in 2007 for $500 is a major ripoff considering you could've seen them in their peak in 1983 for $12.50. That's a little too much inflation IMO.
Actually, the top price for the Synchronicity Tour 1983-1984 was $17.50 in the United States.

I don't think The Police will be charging prices that are sky high. I think it will be closer to what U2 charged, but there are so many things that could impact like, venue choice, number of shows etc. If its a small tour in Arena's, then I think you could see some really high prices, but if they do Stadiums or a longer tour in Arena's or Stadiums, then I think you'll see prices more like U2 or Genesis.

Being away for such a long time is not always a benefit. Sometimes the time away can decrease demand for a tour rather than increase it. Its all dependent on how radio, other media outlets, general public, and original fans have treated the artist in the intervening years. 23 years away is probably the longest anyone has been off the road and then come back. The only thing remotely comparable would be The Eagles who were away for 14 years.

The Police should do fantastic, but its incredibly hard to predict exactly what that will mean after being away for so long. I just hope I'm able to get a ticket. I remember getting shut out initially for U2's first leg of the Vertigo Tour in the USA, and that was not fun. The Scalpers will no doubt contribute to the difficulty in getting tickets at normal prices.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm

Basil wrote:
NothingFails wrote:Yep. I know about inflation and all, but I think 35-50 should be reasonable for a major artist. Not everyone can afford spending on ticket prices like that.
Absolutely, $35-50 dollars seems more than enough for most concert tickets.

Indeed I see plenty of excellent bands for this kind of money, and they are not ants on a stage 200 yards away.

It's just Greed for some big artists - some rather past their best.... :wink:
Its business, and if they can charge those prices and still sell the ticket, they probably should, or scalpers will make the money.
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Postby Moggio » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:50 am

Mulvanaghty wrote:Actually, the top price for the Synchronicity Tour 1983-1984 was $17.50 in the United States.
The NYC metro area Shea Stadium gig was $20.

Mulvanaghty wrote:I don't think The Police will be charging prices that are sky high. I think it will be closer to what U2 charged, but there are so many things that could impact like, venue choice, number of shows etc. If its a small tour in Arena's, then I think you could see some really high prices, but if they do Stadiums or a longer tour in Arena's or Stadiums, then I think you'll see prices more like U2 or Genesis.
I believe the average price for The Police's reunion tour this year will be about $100 and they'll be able to sell out stadiums in North America in at least 12 markets at those prices. But depending on how many shows they perform and since the tour is going to be in the summer, it's a long shot but they might be scheduled to play amphitheaters...?

Mulvanaghty wrote:The Police should do fantastic, but its incredibly hard to predict exactly what that will mean after being away for so long.
If you have the right info to refer to, I don't think it's that hard at all...really.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:31 am

Moggio wrote:
Mulvanaghty wrote:Actually, the top price for the Synchronicity Tour 1983-1984 was $17.50 in the United States.
The NYC metro area Shea Stadium gig was $20.

Mulvanaghty wrote:I don't think The Police will be charging prices that are sky high. I think it will be closer to what U2 charged, but there are so many things that could impact like, venue choice, number of shows etc. If its a small tour in Arena's, then I think you could see some really high prices, but if they do Stadiums or a longer tour in Arena's or Stadiums, then I think you'll see prices more like U2 or Genesis.
I believe the average price for The Police's reunion tour this year will be about $100 and they'll be able to sell out stadiums in North America in at least 12 markets at those prices. But depending on how many shows they perform and since the tour is going to be in the summer, it's a long shot but they might be scheduled to play amphitheaters...?

Mulvanaghty wrote:The Police should do fantastic, but its incredibly hard to predict exactly what that will mean after being away for so long.
If you have the right info to refer to, I don't think it's that hard at all...really.
Well, one way is album sales, but thats not always an accurate gauge as to how well an artist will do on the road. Some people that sell 10 million copies of an album struggle to fill theaters and arena's. Another way and probably more accurate than album sales is how the artist did on the tour the last time, but the last time the Police were on tour was in 1983-1984 with the last show being in Melbourne Australia on March 4, 1984 at the showgrounds. How much radio airplay a band receives, especially on classic rock radio in this case is a factor as well as any other media exposure.

With The Police though, the last info we have on most of this is from 1984. How accurate can info from 23 years ago or more be in predicting the size of a tour in 2007? The rest is really just album sales data since then, spread out over a 23 year period.

By the way Moggio, your No Control on U2 interference.com right? Your writing and view points are so similar, even the same wording occasionally, plus you both live in or near Vancouver Canada.
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Postby Moggio » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:28 am

Mulvanaghty wrote:Well, one way is album sales, but thats not always an accurate gauge as to how well an artist will do on the road. Some people that sell 10 million copies of an album struggle to fill theaters and arena's.
I know...but as you know, The Police were selling out arenas even before the Synchronicity tour.

Mulvanaghty wrote:Another way and probably more accurate than album sales is how the artist did on the tour the last time, but the last time the Police were on tour was in 1983-1984 with the last show being in Melbourne Australia on March 4, 1984 at the showgrounds. How much radio airplay a band receives, especially on classic rock radio in this case is a factor as well as any other media exposure.

With The Police though, the last info we have on most of this is from 1984. How accurate can info from 23 years ago or more be in predicting the size of a tour in 2007? The rest is really just album sales data since then, spread out over a 23 year period.
Well, there are formulas and new business models strictly based on reunion, greatest hits or nostalgic tours that seem to have been constructed recently. Bowie, Motley Crue, Prince, etc., have all had an immense surge in ticket sales but not album sales in the past few years.

Mulvanaghty wrote:By the way Moggio, your No Control on U2 interference.com right? Your writing and view points are so similar, even the same wording occasionally, plus you both live in or near Vancouver Canada.
Busted by, Sting2! :wink: Yeah, it's me. I don't post on interference.com any longer because my fiance (who's a HUGE U2 fan and has met Bono several times) doesn't want me to and it's also obviously not the place for me any longer because of how I now feel about U2...

And btw, I harbour no hard feelings towards you, even though there are many pages of debate on this forum and on interference.com in the past. Actually, we could probably learn a great deal from one another, instead of arguing all the time. It's just that I really didn't like how you would sometimes bend the facts/stats...
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Postby Herkenrath » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:38 am

It would be interesting to see a list of top grossing tours ever, BUT inflation-adjusted.

It's the same with the top grossing movies. One lists states that Titanic is the top grossing movie of all time the other, more credible list is inflation adjusted and thus lists Gone With The Wind as the top grosser.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:13 pm

Moggio wrote:
Mulvanaghty wrote:Well, one way is album sales, but thats not always an accurate gauge as to how well an artist will do on the road. Some people that sell 10 million copies of an album struggle to fill theaters and arena's.
I know...but as you know, The Police were selling out arenas even before the Synchronicity tour.

Mulvanaghty wrote:Another way and probably more accurate than album sales is how the artist did on the tour the last time, but the last time the Police were on tour was in 1983-1984 with the last show being in Melbourne Australia on March 4, 1984 at the showgrounds. How much radio airplay a band receives, especially on classic rock radio in this case is a factor as well as any other media exposure.

With The Police though, the last info we have on most of this is from 1984. How accurate can info from 23 years ago or more be in predicting the size of a tour in 2007? The rest is really just album sales data since then, spread out over a 23 year period.
Well, there are formulas and new business models strictly based on reunion, greatest hits or nostalgic tours that seem to have been constructed recently. Bowie, Motley Crue, Prince, etc., have all had an immense surge in ticket sales but not album sales in the past few years.

Mulvanaghty wrote:By the way Moggio, your No Control on U2 interference.com right? Your writing and view points are so similar, even the same wording occasionally, plus you both live in or near Vancouver Canada.
Busted by, Sting2! :wink: Yeah, it's me. I don't post on interference.com any longer because my fiance (who's a HUGE U2 fan and has met Bono several times) doesn't want me to and it's also obviously not the place for me any longer because of how I now feel about U2...

And btw, I harbour no hard feelings towards you, even though there are many pages of debate on this forum and on interference.com in the past. Actually, we could probably learn a great deal from one another, instead of arguing all the time. It's just that I really didn't like how you would sometimes bend the facts/stats...
Interesting. The Police started selling out arena's in Europe in 1980, they did not do their first full scale arena tour of North America until 1982 for Ghost In The Machine. The Zenyatta Mondatta Tour of North America was primarily a theater tour, as the band had yet to receive a GOLD album in the United States, which they would get by the end of the North American Tour in December 1980. They came back in January 1981 and played 4 arena shows before heading off to Japan and Australia to finish out the rest of the tour.


I think Bowie, has consistently been releasing albums every two to three years, as well as touring. Motley Crue may have taken a break for a few years, but I think they came back gradually, testing a few markets and then doing more based on those results. Prince was consistently huge on the album release scene at least up to 1993, so he was only really away for maybe 10 years at best in terms of being out of the public eye. 23 years is a long time, and I think the only thing remotely comparable would be the Eagles 14 year break. Still, the Eagles had fantastic catalog sales in the United States during that time as well as consistent radio airplay on classic rock radio.

Unfortunately, it seems that classic rock radio does not play the Police as much as they used to(in the United States), and you seem to hear them now more on the adult contemporary(some songs) radio than on the classic rock radio stations. Your adult contemporary radio listners do not tend to be heavy album buyers and concert going individuals as listeners of classic rock radio.

I think 23 years is the longest any artist has been away from the music world and I think its definitely more difficult to predict how things will turn out, than for an artist that was away for just 5, 10, or 15 years.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:23 pm

Herkenrath wrote:It would be interesting to see a list of top grossing tours ever, BUT inflation-adjusted.

It's the same with the top grossing movies. One lists states that Titanic is the top grossing movie of all time the other, more credible list is inflation adjusted and thus lists Gone With The Wind as the top grosser.
With concert tickets and tours, its not enough to just adjust for inflation though. While movie tickets simply rise in price based on inflation, there is in addition to normal inflation, inflation in the industry which causes concert tickets to rise as promoters discover they are able to charge more for tickets. A really big watershed year for that was 1994 where several of the big stadium tours saw much higher ticket prices than normal. Prices were rising prior to that, but it was much more gradual. After 1994, the average price of all concert tickets steadily rose faster than inflation.

I really think the only way you can compare tours of different decades is by comparing attendance. Then again, as you get back to the earlier years like the early 1980s, the 1970s and 1960s, you start to run in to factors like, smaller music buying and concert going population, and smaller tours by artist not related to actual business reasons.

The Beatles were by far the most popular artist in the world in 1966, but few people remember or realize that most of the 15 to 20 shows they played in the USA in 1966, several in stadiums, did not sellout. But that was simply the nature of the business back then, given the music buying population. So, a direct comparison with a tour say in the 1980s would not be accurate. You have to adjust for all these differences between the two time periods.
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Postby Moggio » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:16 am

Mulvanaghty wrote:I think Bowie, has consistently been releasing albums every two to three years, as well as touring. Motley Crue may have taken a break for a few years, but I think they came back gradually, testing a few markets and then doing more based on those results. Prince was consistently huge on the album release scene at least up to 1993, so he was only really away for maybe 10 years at best in terms of being out of the public eye. 23 years is a long time, and I think the only thing remotely comparable would be the Eagles 14 year break. Still, the Eagles had fantastic catalog sales in the United States during that time as well as consistent radio airplay on classic rock radio.
I really don't believe that the length of time a successful artist takes off (well, unless it's been since the 60s, 50s or sooner...) makes a difference in terms of selling concert tickets (especially if they've been proven to be a "sure thing" on tour in the past), unless they're a part of a genre that traditionally doesn't sell very many concert tickets unless they have a current hit single or album. There are many good examples of that...

Mulvanaghty wrote:Unfortunately, it seems that classic rock radio does not play the Police as much as they used to(in the United States), and you seem to hear them now more on the adult contemporary(some songs) radio than on the classic rock radio stations. Your adult contemporary radio listners do not tend to be heavy album buyers and concert going individuals as listeners of classic rock radio.
That's probably because The Police's back catalogue is not a strong seller. Considering they've only released five studio albums, Synchronicity is their ONLY studio album that has sold over 500,000 copies in the US since 1991, according to Soundscan. On the other hand, since they've released a million best ofs/box sets/greatest hits/compilation albums since the mid 80s, it's not too surprising that their catalogue sales are weak. Also, since virtually all of mainstream radio playlists are dictated by payola from record companies, it's not a big surprise The Police don't get as much radio play compared to MUCH stronger sellers like, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc.


Mulvanaghty wrote:I think 23 years is the longest any artist has been away from the music world and I think its definitely more difficult to predict how things will turn out, than for an artist that was away for just 5, 10, or 15 years.
Maybe but IMO, even if there's say less than 30 North American dates scheduled for their 30th Anniversary tour later this year, they'll gross over $100 Million USD (I have a hunch that it's going to be a stadium tour). IMO, they'll have THE highest grossing tour of the year, when Pollstar's Top 100 Grossing Tours of 2007 is released or if Billboard.com reports it first, this time next year.
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Postby Mulvanaghty » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:24 am

Moggio wrote:
Mulvanaghty wrote:I think Bowie, has consistently been releasing albums every two to three years, as well as touring. Motley Crue may have taken a break for a few years, but I think they came back gradually, testing a few markets and then doing more based on those results. Prince was consistently huge on the album release scene at least up to 1993, so he was only really away for maybe 10 years at best in terms of being out of the public eye. 23 years is a long time, and I think the only thing remotely comparable would be the Eagles 14 year break. Still, the Eagles had fantastic catalog sales in the United States during that time as well as consistent radio airplay on classic rock radio.
I really don't believe that the length of time a successful artist takes off (well, unless it's been since the 60s, 50s or sooner...) makes a difference in terms of selling concert tickets (especially if they've been proven to be a "sure thing" on tour in the past), unless they're a part of a genre that traditionally doesn't sell very many concert tickets unless they have a current hit single or album. There are many good examples of that...

Mulvanaghty wrote:Unfortunately, it seems that classic rock radio does not play the Police as much as they used to(in the United States), and you seem to hear them now more on the adult contemporary(some songs) radio than on the classic rock radio stations. Your adult contemporary radio listners do not tend to be heavy album buyers and concert going individuals as listeners of classic rock radio.
That's probably because The Police's back catalogue is not a strong seller. Considering they've only released five studio albums, Synchronicity is their ONLY studio album that has sold over 500,000 copies in the US since 1991, according to Soundscan. On the other hand, since they've released a million best ofs/box sets/greatest hits/compilation albums since the mid 80s, it's not too surprising that their catalogue sales are weak. Also, since virtually all of mainstream radio playlists are dictated by payola from record companies, it's not a big surprise The Police don't get as much radio play compared to MUCH stronger sellers like, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc.


Mulvanaghty wrote:I think 23 years is the longest any artist has been away from the music world and I think its definitely more difficult to predict how things will turn out, than for an artist that was away for just 5, 10, or 15 years.
Maybe but IMO, even if there's say less than 30 North American dates scheduled for their 30th Anniversary tour later this year, they'll gross over $100 Million USD (I have a hunch that it's going to be a stadium tour). IMO, they'll have THE highest grossing tour of the year, when Pollstar's Top 100 Grossing Tours of 2007 is released or if Billboard.com reports it first, this time next year.
In the USA, the soundscan figure reported by Hanboo for Synchronicity is just over 500,000 copies, but the RIAA certified Synchronicity for 8 million in sales at the end of 2001, its last certification was for 4 million in 1984, but it may have been somewhat closer to 5 million when it was certified in 1984, but its sales figure simply never got updated. It is a bit ironic that after all this time, at least in the United States, Synchronicity is still their biggest selling album rather than the EBYT The Singles/Classics.

I'd say its radio airplay that is driving catalog sales, rather than catalog sales driving radio airplay. Radio(and music telivision in the old days) is often the first place many new listeners get to hear different types of music and artist. Other things that can help catalog sales of course are reunions, ones that last months as opposed to one or two shows, as well as releasing new material etc. Its seems like virtually everyone in the industry has done that except for The Police who broke up after their biggest selling album, which is rather unique in the industry.

It will be really interesting to see what the Police actually have planned for 2007. The latest rumor is a 3 to 4 month tour with about 50 shows worldwide. If that is the case, then I hope they do stadiums, because the prospect of only 20 Arena shows in North America would mean most people who want to see them here would not be able to get tickets. I hope they set things up so that everyone who wants to see them play gets a decent chance to do so.
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Postby DaniJ » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:09 pm

Mulvanaghty Thank you for the information!!! GREAT JOB!!! :D :lol:
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