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Superstars fuel record concert sales

From Associated Press

Powerhouse tours by the Rolling Stones, U2 and Paul McCartney helped drive concert ticket revenues in North America to a record $3.1 billion in 2005, even as the number of tickets sold declined for a third year.

Fans purchased 36.1 million tickets to the top 100 concert tours, compared with 37.6 million in 2004, according to Pollstar, the industry trade magazine.

Despite a slow first half of the year and the decline in tickets sold, concert tours in 2005 amounted to a 10.7% increase in gross receipts. The record revenue was due largely to the rare confluence of superstar artists touring.

“McCartney and the Stones alone really helped drive up ticket prices,” said Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar’s editor in chief.

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Still, concertgoers proved this year that they remained willing to pay more to see their favorite acts, and the roster of legends that filled touring arenas had little trouble packing them in. Other veteran acts who ended the year among the top 20 in sales receipts included the Eagles, Elton John, Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen.

“The baby boomers really continue to support and fuel the concert business,” Bongiovanni said.


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