In July 2019, P!nk took top honors with $61.5 million earned, slicing past The Rolling Stones’ $61.1 million gross with a narrow lead of $433,644, or 0.71%. On this month’s Top Tours chart, we see an even closer race at the top.
Post Malone’s The Runaway Tour is the biggest tour of the month with $27.2 million, in a near-tie with Celine Dion’s Courage World Tour at No. 2, also with a total gross of $27.2 million. The difference between them amounts to a miniscule $8,948, or a margin of 0.03%.
Both artists – one a genre-busting superstar of pop and hip-hop, the other a legendary diva and balladeer – took similar routes to the peak of February’s Top Tours chart. They played consistently in North American arenas throughout the month, with Post performing 15 shows and Dion playing 13. At two fewer dates, Dion posted the better per-show average, pacing $2.1 million per night, as opposed to Post’s $1.8 million. Dion also sported a slightly higher average ticket ($169 to Post’s $137), leaving Post with the stronger per-night attendance (13,293 tickets vs. Dion’s 12,390).
The Runaway Tour’s February highlight was a Feb. 21 showing at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, grossing $2.2 million, falling just short of the month’s Top Boxscores chart. Dion, on the other hand, makes four appearances on the tally, bolstered by two double-headers, at No. 9 with a Feb. 28-29 showing at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center ($5.1 million) and No. 16 for two shows at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Feb. 18-19 ($3.6 million).
These two tours began four days apart, Post on Sept. 14, 2019 at the Tacoma Dome in Washington, and Dion on Sept. 18 at Quebec City’s Centre Videotron. It’s the fourth monthly Top Tours showing for The Runaway Tour, and following it’s all-conquering stretch in October, its second month at No. 1.
Meanwhile, February marks The Courage Tour’s second consecutive month in the runner-up position, and fifth consecutive month on the chart. Through Feb. 29, Dion’s world tour has earned $96.4 million and sold 596,813 tickets across 48 shows, while Post has grossed $84.1 million and sold 657,031 tickets from 50 shows. Both tours were scheduled to play throughout much of 2020 but currently sit in a holding pattern due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.
It’s not only Post Malone and Celine Dion wrestling for the No. 1 position. After topping the tally for the fourth time in January, Elton John recedes to No. 3 with a 29-day gross of $26.9 million. That means his monthly gross trails that of Post Malone by $356,540 (1.31%), still less than the difference between P!nk and The Rolling Stones’ nail-biter last summer.
John ventured into stadiums in New Zealand, playing just nine shows for a per-night average of $3 million and 24,314 tickets. He achieves the month’s best-attended tour with a total of 218,830 tickets sold.
At No. 4 is the Eagles, with $23.3 million from just seven shows. That lands them the strongest per-show average of the month, at $3.3 million each night. They lead February’s Top Boxscores chart with a three-peat at Madison Square Garden, where they earned $10.7 million on Feb. 14, 15, and 18.
Finally, the band becomes the third artist to rule Nos. 1-2 on the Boxscores tally, following BTS in May 2019 and George Strait in March 2019. They sit in the runner-up slot with another three shows at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on Feb. 7-8, 11 ($9.3 million; 39,375 tickets).
Outside of Dion’s noble fight for the month’s top tours, female acts make up only four of 30 positions, or 13% of the chart. This is the smallest representation of women on the tally in six months, when four female-fronted artists charted in September 2019. Further, while male acts on this month’s chart represent a wide variety of genre, even among contemporary acts (Post Malone; Jonas Brothers; The 1975), the women gracing the top 30 generally shared the same airwaves and retail shelves at the same time (Dion; Madonna; Mariah Carey).
Diversity of genre fares slightly better on this month’s chart. Rock leads the charge with 10 of the top 30 tours, fronted by classic rock acts like John, Eagles, KISS, and Aerosmith. There are seven pop tours, ranging from Michael Bublé to Carey to the Jonas Brothers. Latin, country, hip-hop, and even classical make up the remaining spots, as well as non-traditional tours by Oprah Winfrey and the cast of Strictly Come Dancing.
The top 30 tours of the month collectively earned $263.1 million, representing a 9.2% increase over the biggest tours of February 2019. The uptick is a small bright spot at an uncertain time for the touring industry, which has been upended by mass postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19. Amid the chaos, the increase in business is a sign that the appetite for live entertainment could be stronger than ever when the industry eventually resumes.