Concert Numbers Are Up

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter


With major acts like Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Radiohead, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, the Police, Rush and the Jonas Brothers touring this summer, Live Nation’s second quarter earnings report, released after the market close yesterday, shows an increase in both average concert attendance and average gross per show.
With major acts like Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Radiohead, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, the Police, Rush and the Jonas Brothers touring this summer, Live Nation’s second quarter earnings report, released after the market close yesterday, shows an increase in both average concert attendance and average gross per show.

Compared to last year’s figures, average concert attendance for North American amphitheaters is up for the quarter by 1,360 people per show, bringing the average number of people per show to 9,109. With more bodies in the seats, and on the lawn, the average gross per concert has increased by $134, 240 for an average total of $430, 767.

What makes these figures so impressive is their novelty. In the past five years, there has only been an increase in amphitheatre concert attendance and gross once . . . in 2006. With the exception of that record-breaking touring year, data collected over the past ten years shows a steady decline in amphitheater and revenue.

In explaining his company’s surprising figures, Jason Garner, CEO of North American music for Live Nation, noted, “On top of having a bunch of great artists, we’re running the business more efficiently than we ever have. So not only do we have a lot of people coming to the venues, our operating costs per head are down, our marketing costs are down as we’ve really moved into Internet-based marketing.”

Despite Garner’s positive comments about his company’s earnings and his belief in the likelihood of future success in the industry, some live music insiders fear that Live Nation’s report might be just another outlier, like that seen in 2006. Statistics may not reveal the accurate effects of high fuel costs and a slowing national economy until Live Nation’s third quarter report.


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