Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so far

The first half of 2023 has seen the continuation of 'The Stadium Era' as stars such as Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, and Coldplay are playing to packed venues despite the global economic slowdown

Rucha Sharma
Published: Jun 28, 2023 06:09:00 PM IST
Updated: Jun 28, 2023 06:43:02 PM IST

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farTaylor Swift and Bad Bunny Image: Getty Images

The Indian film industry is crawling back to normalcy in 2023 with hits such as KGF: Chapter 2, RRR, Brahmāstra: Part One–Shiva, Pathaan, and Ponniyin Selvan: II, among others. Hollywood is also looking at a proper blockbuster summer since the pandemic with a release roster that includes titles such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Oppenheimer, Barbie, Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning, Part One, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Dune Part 2. As the larger entertainment industry is finding its footing even amid signs of a global slowdown, the live performance segment of the industry is poised to break the bank at the box office.

Taylor Swift with her Eras Tour, the return of Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen to live concerts, Harry Styles' Love on Tour,  Elton John's farewell shows, and Ed Sheeran's Mathematics tour have been bringing audiences to fill up stadia to the brink. According to Pollstar, live entertainment industry analysts, the average gross per show for the top 100 live performances in the world has already crossed the $1 million threshold in the first two quarters of 2023. Live events around the globe in 2023 averaged 12,655 sold seats per show, an increase of 49.3 percent compared to last year’s ticket average of 8,475. It is also a 27.8 percent hike over 2019’s average of 9,901 tickets per show. The total box office haul of the 100 highest-grossing tours in the first half of 2023 stands at a massive $2.83 billion. And it doesn't include the numbers gathered by Beyonce's Renaissance Tour since the complete sales figures are yet to be reported.

If we look at the top 10 tours ranked by Pollstar, every genre of music is covered, as Kevin Hart's stand-up comedy act represents the other live performance genre. Gone are the days when U2, The Rolling Stones, and other rock legends were the only bands capable of selling massive capacity stadiums. From the pop of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran to R&B and house music of Beyonce to Daddy Yankee's hip-hop and Bad Bunny's Latin rap, every artiste and genre attracts a concert audience. People pay to watch big names perform, making them recession- and turmoil-proof.

Top 10 highest-grossing concerts of 2023 (so far)

Artist Tour Gross (H1 2023)
Taylor Swift Eras Tour $300,804,808
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 2023 Tour $142,605,835
Harry Styles Love On Tour $124,000,392
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Tour $110,328,403
Ed Sheeran (+–=÷×) Tour $105,309,873
Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 Global Stadium Tour $91,488,134
Coldplay Music Of The Spheres Tour $65,436,386
Daddy Yankee La Última Vuelta World Tour $60,461,483
Kevin Hart The Reality Check Tour $50,041,814
Bad Bunny World's Hottest Tour $49,112,859

Here's a look at the top 10 highest-grossing concerts from the first half of 2023

1) Taylor Swift—Eras Tour*

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Scott Legato/TAS23/Getty Images

Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Ford Field on June 09, 2023, in Detroit, Michigan. The last time Taylor Swift did a stadium tour—Reputation Stadium Tour—was in 2018. Since then, she has released four studio albums, and The Eras Tour is a tribute to these four titles— Lover (2019), Folklore (2020), Evermore (2020), and Midnights (2022).

  • Gross: $300,804,808
  • Average Ticket Price: $253.56
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 53,923
  • Total Tickets: 1,186,314
  • Average Gross: $13,627,946

2) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band—2023 Tour*

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Kieran Frost/Redferns

(L-R) Jake Clemons, Patti Scialfa,  Garry Tallent, Max Weinberg, Steven Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen perform with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street at RDS Arena on May 05, 2023, in Dublin, Ireland. This is the first time since 2017 the band has come back on tour, filling stadiums like never before.

  • Gross: $142,605,835
  • Average Ticket Price: $211.80
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 18,702
  • Total Tickets: 673,277
  • Average Gross: $3,961,273

3) Harry Styles—Love On Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Ben Stansall / AFP

British singer Harry Styles performs onstage during BRIT Awards 2023 ceremony and live show in London on February 11, 2023. This is the second time the former One Direction member has gone on a solo world tour. 'Love On Tour' supports his second and third albums, Fine Line and Harry's House, respectively.

  • Gross: $124,000,392
  • Average Ticket Price: $115.07
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 31,694
  • Total Tickets: 1,077,622
  • Average Gross: $3,647,070

4) Elton John—Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Oli SCARFF / AFP

British legendary singer Elton John performs on the Pyramid Stage on day 5 of the Glastonbury festival in the village of Pilton in Somerset, southwest England, on June 25, 2023. Elton John closed out Britain's legendary Glastonbury Festival on Sunday in what has been billed as his final UK performance. The 76-year-old pop superstar is winding down a glittering live career with a global farewell tour, having played his last concerts in the United States in May ahead of a final gig in Stockholm on July 8.

  • Gross: $110,328,403
  • Average Ticket Price: $163.95
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 20,392
  • Total Tickets: 672,950
  • Average Gross: $3,343,284

5) Ed Sheeran—+–=÷× Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Singer Ed Sheeran performs on NBC's "Today" show at Rockefeller Center in New York, U.S., June 6, 2023. Also known as The Mathematics Tour, it is the fourth concert run of the English singer-songwriter. The setlist for the tour includes songs from his most recent album - (Subtract).

  • Gross: $105,309,873
  • Average Ticket Price: $104.20
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 40,424
  • Total Tickets: 1,010,616
  • Average Gross: $4,212,394

6) Red Hot Chili Peppers—2023 Global Stadium Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Steve Jennings/WireImage

(L-R) Anthony Kiedas, Flea and John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers perform on Day 3 of BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival at Napa Valley Expo on May 28, 2023, in Napa, California. Having released albums Unlimited Love (April 2022) and Return of the Dream Canteen (October 2022), the American rock band decided to take the new tracks on the world tour.

  • Gross: $91,488,134
  • Average Ticket Price: $123.87
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 38,873
  • Total Tickets: 738,601
  • Average Gross: $4,815,164

7) Coldplay—Music Of The Spheres Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Coldplay in concert at the Manchester Etihad Stadium as part of their Music Of The Spheres World Tour on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. This is the first time since the pandemic the British rock band is performing on a world tour. The setlist for their concerts leans towards the ninth studio album that shares the title with the name of the tour.

  • Gross: $65,436,386
  • Average Ticket Price: $88.86
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 66,949
  • Total Tickets:  736,439
  • Average Gross: $5,948,762

8) Daddy Yankee—La Última Vuelta World Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Photo by Medios y Media/Getty Images

Daddy Yankee performs during a concert as part of the 'La Ultima Vuelta World Tour' at Estadio Mobil Super on November 23, 2022, in Monterrey, Mexico. The Puerto Rican rapper and singer began this tour on July 16, 2022, in support of his latest album Legendaddy.

  • Gross:  $60,461,483
  • Average Ticket Price: $96.62
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 27,206
  • Total Tickets: 625,748
  • Average Gross: $2,628,760 

9) Kevin Hart—The Reality Check Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

In this file photo, you can see actor Kevin Hart speak onstage during "Spike's Rock the Troops" event held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor on October 22, 2016, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His current outing—The Reality Check Tour—touches upon experiences from his personal life and gives hot takes on current events, from politics to pop culture.

  • Gross: $50,041,814
  • Average Ticket Price: $107.00
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show:  8,503
  • Total Tickets: 467,686
  • Average Gross: $909,851

10) Bad Bunny—World’s Hottest Tour

From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, top 10 highest-grossing live concert tours of 2023 so farImage: John Parra/WireImage

In this file photo, you can see Bad Bunny perform during his El Último Tour Del Mundo at FTX Arena on April 01, 2022, in Miami, Florida. Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, aka Bad Bunny, took his fourth studio album, 'Un Verano Sin Ti', around the world with his first-ever stadium tour. DJ Alesso and Diplo accompanied him as opening acts.

  • Gross: $49,112,859
  • Average Ticket Price: $102.81
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 39,807
  • Total Tickets: 477,688
  • Average Gross: $4,092,738

Worldwide top 100 tours

According to Pollstar, almost every facet of the live entertainment experience across the top 100 world tours this year reflects growth over the same period in 2022 and 2019, the two most recent complete years of live concert activity.

  • Average Gross: $1,473,145
  • Average Ticket Price: $116.41
  • Average Tickets Sold Per Show: 12,655
  • Total Gross: $2.83 billion
  • Total Tickets Sold: 24.3 million
(*totals are estimated as complete sales figures have not yet been reported)