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Year-End: Bon Jovi Leads As Top Touring Act of 2010 13 December 2010
Billboard Business News article

Source: Billboard Business News

The struggles of the touring business in 2010 often threatened to overshadow the good news: As the recap of the top tours of the year shows, plenty of acts did stellar business on the road.

And the intriguing mix of pop, rock, country, veteran and new artists on the top tours tally shows a broad range of attractions and gives reason for optimism.

Billboard's year-end touring recaps are compiled from Boxscore data reported for the Nov. 28, 2009, issue through the Nov. 20, 2010, issue.

Ten of the top 25 tours of the year were logged by artists who have risen to headlining status in the past decade, and three of the top tours are by artists in their earliest days of touring: Lady Gaga (No. 4), Taylor Swift (No. 15) and Justin Bieber (No. 19). In fact, all three of them have yet to hit their 25th birthday.

But, as is typical, the road veterans ring up the biggest box office. Bon Jovi's Circle tour (which has morphed into a greatest-hits tour that extends into 2011) leads all touring artists. Grossing $146.5 million, the four New Jersey boys played for 1,591,154 people at 69 reported shows.

Not far behind is the mighty U2, whose 360? world stadium tour came in at more than $131 million with attendance of 1,312,784 from a mere 22 shows. Had U2 not been forced to postpone the tour's second North American leg due to Bono's back surgery, the trek would probably have already ranked as the highest-grossing tour ever. The band will likely reach that milestone when it resumes the 360? schedule in 2011.

Even without the second North American leg, U2 kept shattering box-office records across Europe with its massive "in the round" staging concept that allows capacity to satisfy the huge demand for tickets. For U2, the return of 360? to European markets was a triumphant one, and sales for the return to America are similarly strong.


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