|Bon Jovi tour's big payoff
Bon Jovi's Have a Nice Day world tour is proving to be worth all the fuss.
And more than 20 years into its career, the New Jersey band looks to have reached the stature as a live act that could carry it for another two decades.
Since the tour began Nov. 2, Bon Jovi has "without question" put up its strongest numbers ever, according to Rob Light, the band's agent and managing partner at Creative Artists Agency.
"Sales, attendance, dollars, merchandise; on every level it has been great," Light tells Billboard. "This is monumentally strong."
AEG Live nailed down the international promotional rights for the tour after what apparently was a hotly contested competition with rival Clear Channel Entertainment. The outing, which includes at least 75 dates, is AEG Live's first international touring model.
"Don't let anyone say differently - it was an active, do-or-die, win-at-all-costs bidding war," says Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live.
"I knew this tour was going to do well, and I felt we were going to make money and get the full promoter profit," Phillips continues. "But this tour is on steroids, it's doing so well. It has blown way past our internal projections."
Last time out in 2003, Bon Jovi grossed $42.4 million and drew 788,607 from dates at U.S. arenas and European stadiums. That was enough to rank the band 11th among all touring acts for the year. Bon Jovi worked with various promoters on that tour, which helped set the stage for the battle to promote Have a Nice Day.
"Every time Jon 1/8Bon Jovi 3/8 has toured, there has always been the exploration of what kind of deals are out there," Light says. "This year, with everybody's belief that this was going to be one of the biggest tours in the world, the offers were much more aggressive."
Bon Jovi's growth in the past few tours has been "exponential," Light says. "There's a moment in any artist's career where you click over from just a touring act to iconic. And I think Bon Jovi made that transition this year, where they're in the same league as the U2s and the Stones and the Springsteens of the world. The tours and the live shows are so good they have the ability to sell tickets based on the sheer force of performing ability."
After AEG Live got the nod to promote Bon Jovi worldwide came industry talk that AEG had vastly overpaid for the tour.
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