2013 in Review: The Top 20 Biggest Money-Making Concert Tours of the Year

By Greg Haymes

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who opened their wallet to buy tickets to the big concerts last year, but now it’s official. 2013 was a record-breaking year for the concert industry world-wide, according to Pollstar, the concert industry-tracking publication. The Top 20 concert tours raked in $2.43 billion in ticket sales, a whopping 24 percent increase over the 2012 figures – an increase of more than $470.5 million.

So who had the biggest money-making tour of the year, scooping up more than a quarter of a billion dollars around the globe? That was Bon Jovi earning a $259.5 total gross, the highest in its career. (Of course, the reviews weren’t always so good – especially for the band’s July 22 tour stop at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, that had lots of angry fans howling for their money back.) With a gross of just $201.1 million, Bon Jovi also landed at the No. 1 spot on the 2010 list.

In 2013, Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter tour and Pink rounded out the top three. And there were a couple of newcomers to the list, too. One Direction grabbed 10th place by grossing a total of $114 million, while Bruno Mars clocked in at No. 17 with his $72.4 million total.

On the down side, only three of the Top 20 top grossing concert tours made a stop in Nippertown last year: Bon Jovi at SPAC; Fleetwood Mac and Kenny Chesney at Albany’s Times Union Center.

Here’s the run-down of the Biggest Grossing Worldwide Concert tours, according to Pollstar:

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1. Bon Jovi ($259.5)
2. Beyonce ($188.6)
3. Pink ($170.6)
4. Justin Bieber ($169)
5. Bruce Springstein & the E Street Band ($145.4)
6. Rihanna ($141.9)
7. Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal” ($133.4)
8. Taylor Swift ($131)
9. Depeche Mode ($119.6)
10. One Direction ($114)

And the rest of the Top 20 for 2013:
11. Paul McCartney
12. The Rolling Stones
13. Muse
14. Fleetwood Mac
15. Kenny Chesney
16. Roger Waters
17. Bruno Mars
18. Jay Z & Justin Timberlake
19. Elton John
20. Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo”

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