NEW FIGURES show that U2’s 360° Tour has grossed more than $703 million (€534 million) after seven million rock fans paid to see the band over the past three years.
According to figures published by music industry journal Pollstar, the tour grossed $231.9 million last year after 2.38 million music fans paid to see the band at 34 gigs across 26 cities.
The US-based publisher shows that the tour grossed the highest amount of any rock band last year and on average grossed $8.9 million per gig with an average attendance of 91,828.
The figures show that U2’s three-gig stint at the Morumbi Stadium in São Paolo, Brazil, alone earned $32 million.
The $703 million is a gross figure and does not take into account the significant costs of staging the tour, which involved 110 gigs in 79 cities around the world over three years.
Hundreds of people were employed in transporting and constructing the 360° “Claw” stage, while the concerts provided a major economic boost in the cities where they took place.
The profits from the tour are shared between the four members of the band – Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton – their manager Paul McGuinness, their promoter Live Nation, and the local venue operator.
The 360° production increased the capacity of venues by up to 25%, resulting in record attendances.
The Pollstar figures show that one of the top-earning stints over the three years was the band’s sold-out three-night run at Dublin’s Croke Park, where the tour grossed $28.5 million.
A breakdown of the annual figures shows that the tour grossed $231.9 million in 2011; $160.9 million in 2010; and $311 million in 2009, when three million people paid on average $101 to see the band play.
The year 2009 was the largest grossing year of the tour, when the average gross per concert was $10 million.
The drop-off in revenue in 2010 came as a result of the band postponing a North American leg of the tour after Bono sustained a back injury in Munich.
The latest figures for U2’s main Irish company, U2 Ltd, for the 12 months to the end of 2010 show that its cash pile increased almost fivefold to €4 million.
The principal activity of the company is the creation, protection and licensing of intellectual property.