Whoever said “rock is dead” likely isn’t looking at the box office totals of the last few years. But FinanceBuzz recently did a statistical breakdown of the touring income generated by acts across all music genres and found that rock and its various offshoots are still earning quite well once all the receipts were counted. In fact, Classic Rock acts are yielding the highest average ticket price.
For this study, FinanceBuzz analyzed 13 genres of music, utilizing statistical data from Pollstar’s Top 200 North American tours of 2019-2021 and the Top 100 Global tours of 2017-2018.
While rock fans have remained loyal, they’ve also shown a penchant to spend when it comes time to see their favorite artists. According to the study, Classic Rock was deemed the most expensive music genre to see live, with concertgoers paying on average $119.14 per ticket sold between the years of 2017-2021. Rock artists place fourth overall behind the Pop and Latin genres with an average ticket going for $85.94 over the same period of time. Meanwhile, alt-rock acts kept it relatively cheap by comparison with at average ticket going for $63.54 over the same period.
One of the reasons Classic Rock tickets were so high is that Bruce Springsteen‘s Springsteen on Broadway run helped raise the average. Overall, the most expensive tickets during the 2017-2021 run were the show’s 2017 ($496.16), 2018 ($508.93) and 2019 ($506.39) ticket price averages. Those ended up being the three highest average ticket prices incurred throughout all genres during the study period. Only two other artists had an average ticket price that tallied more than $300. In 2020, pop star Lady Gaga‘s fans shelled out an average of $337.43 for her 2020 tour, besting Bruno Mars‘ 2021 tally of $330.73.
While Classic Rock tickets were viewed as the most expensive, the Pop genre narrowly bested Classic Rock for Average Ticket Sales Per Tour by Genre. Pop tours amassed $38,600,010 during the 2017-2021 survey period, while Classic Rock took in $35,564,485. And trailing close behind was the Rock genre with $33,702,372. Once again, Alt-Rock acts took in considerably less making $13,894,485 over that time.
So who was racking up in their respective genres? As you might guess from ticket price stats, Bruce Springsteen’s average ticket price for a single tour was $508.93 in the Classic Rock genre. Metallica led the Rock genre with an average of $229.31 for a ticket, while The Strokes were Alt-Rock’s top ticket during the period with an average of $126.70.
Despite the high prices, fans seems to still be willing to pay them. Pop tops all genres for total ticket sales making a reported $5.29 billion. But both Classic Rock and Rock still fared will with $3.55 billion made for Classic Rock and $2.43 billion made for Rock. And despite the lower ticket prices for Alt-Rock acts, they finished fifth in Total Ticket Sales right behind Country, making $1.14 billion.
Check out more of the data compiled right here.