Ed Sheeran has recorded the biggest-selling tour ever on the Mid-Year Worldwide Chart from Pollstar, having grossed more than $213.9m so far in 2018.
The record-breaking ÷ Tour marks a huge 40 per cent increase over last year’s No. 1 ranked Guns N’ Roses, which totalled $151.5m and 20 per cent higher than the chart’s all-time topper, AC/DC who brought in $177.5m in 2010.
The British popstar’s six-month tally nearly doubles the individual grosses from the rest of the mid-year’s Top 5 in Bruno Mars, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift and Pink, which sit around the $100m, mark.
“Our live strategy has always been the same,” said Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp of Grumpy Old Management, according to Pollstar.
“A great show put on at an affordable ticket price for Ed’s fans. The bottom line is that we have to make the experience special and we have to make everyone want to come back again. We have always strived to never waiver from that ethic. There is no VIP up-sell nonsense or overpriced tickets, we’ve fought very hard against unscrupulous secondary markets. We go to as many places as we can.”
The highest grossing stops for Sheeran were an estimated $23.92m over four nights at London’s Wembley Stadium and $20.83m for a record-setting four nights at Etihad in Melbourne.
Not far behind was two more record-setting four-nighters at Sydney’s ANZ and Cardiff’s Principality, each coming in at more than $19m.
In addition, Sheeran notched 2.6 million ticket sales in total, which is nearly double the Guns N’ Roses’ 1.4 million tickets in 2017 and 44 per cent higher than AC/DC’s chart-best at 1.8 million in 2010.
CAA’s music agent Jon Ollier said, according to Pollstar: “Ed and his team tirelessly go through all emails and tweets they receive from fans and we do our utmost to make sure any problems they have are fixed. They do so with a mantra of, ‘If just one person has a genuine problem with their experience, that is too many’ and this culture runs through the entire team.”
Steve Tilley, Ed Sheeran’s promoter and a director of Kilimanjaro Live in London, also noted the team’s highly publicised anti-secondary market stance and “pricing tickets sensitively based on the knowledge and continuity gained from being in place as Ed’s promoters from day one.”
He also said that all this combined with “Ed’s amazing knack to produce hit after hit” made for a “potent cocktail resulting in these astronomical ticket sales.”
Image: Markus Hillgärtner