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Ed Sheeran’s $213.9 million grossing 2018 tour breaks records

By | Published on Tuesday 17 July 2018

Ed Sheeran

If you’re feeling just a little bit nostalgic for all those unnecessary news stories earlier in the year confirming thatĀ your main man Eddy Sheeran was the most successful recording artist in the world in 2017, then sit down and get ready to digest, dissect, analyse and enjoy this unnecessary confirmation that your dominant dude Eddy Sheeran is the most successful touring artist in the world in 2018.

US live industry trade magazineĀ Pollstar has just published its mid-year touring report, packed full of data about ticket sales and box office income from the biggest touring acts of the year so far. And, somewhat unsurprisingly, Sheeran – along with his trusty guitar and box of pedals – tops the chart with gross income for his touring activity in the first half of the year reported at $213.9 million.

That’s $100 million more than second place artist Bruno Mars, despite Sheeran’s average ticket price being $50 lower. Indeed, Sheeran’s average ticket price – at $80.90 – is the lowest of all the top ten touring artists of 2018 so far. Third place The Rolling Stones have the highest average ticket price in the top ten at $159.17, which is how they managed to gross slightly over $100 million while performing just twelve shows, compared to Sheeran’s 52.

Adding to Sheeran’s list of stat-based achievements, Pollstar notes that “Ed Sheeran’s $213.9 million gross is the largest ever recorded on the Mid-Year Worldwide Chart – which began in 2009”.

It then adds: “It’s a massive 40% increase over last year’s number one ranked Guns N Roses trek, which totalled $151.5 million and 20% higher than the chart’s [previous] all-time topper, AC/DC who brought in $177.5 million in 2010”.

Of course, Sheeran still has plenty more shows to come in the second half of 2018, so presumably plenty more cash will drop on top of that $213.9 million in the months ahead. Speaking to Pollstar about the various new stat brags now enjoyed by his client, Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp said that their touring strategy had always been based on keeping average ticket prices down while playing more shows.

He mused: “Our live strategy has always been the same: a great show put on at an affordable ticket price for Ed’s fans. The bottom line is that we have to make the experience special and we have to make everyone want to come back again. We have always strived to never waiver from that ethic. There is no VIP up-sell nonsense or overpriced tickets [and] we’ve fought very hard against unscrupulous secondary markets. We go to as many places as we can”.

By combining IFPI’s unsurprising revelation that Sheeran was the biggest recording artist last year with Pollstar’s unsurprising confirmation that Sheeran was the biggest touring artist in the first half of this year, there should be no surprises that Forbes has just listed Sheeran has the highest paid solo artist in its new Highest Paid Celebrities chart. U2 and Coldplay rank higher, but with all band members grouped together.

However, all the musical stars are out-ranked in pay-packet terms by the likes of Floyd Mayweather, George Clooney, Judge Judy and Kylie Jenner. So cash-hungry kids who find learning to play guitar a bit of a chore might instead want to have a go at fighting, flogging coffee, studying law or – erm – well, nothing really.

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