The Motion Sick: Biggest Earning Tours of 2008

I came across this list of the top earning tours of 2008. I noticed something interesting. All of these artists either have been around for ever and ever or (usually and) they have target audiences comprised of older folks (the only ones who can afford expensive concerts?). One might be inclined to assume that this makes sense as these are the people with the types of longstanding careers that are necessary to amass this quantity of fans. I wish I had lists of the top-grossing tours of days past, but I can say that my experience conflicts with this. When I was in high school, it was very common for me to go to places like Nassau Colliseum or Madison Square Garden to see a wider range of bands. I suspect there are now fewer concerts at venues in this category.

What happens when all of these people are gone? Will anyone step up to fill stadiums? Very few newer bands can fill 10,000+ venues. I can’t think of any bands newer than about 10 years who can do that (maybe The Killers?). I wonder what this will mean for larger music venues. I personally hate going to festival-style shows. My attention span is too short and it amounts to me seeing bands I like in an environment I dislike. So, I typically stick to the smaller venues anyway. I will also admit that any show I went to in high school, even the most expensive Pink Floyd show was under $50 (Floyd was $40. Lollapalooza 2 was under $25. I saw Nirvana for $15, Nine Inch Nails for $15, The Ramones were $12, etc.). These shows all hovered around the years of 1990-1994. According to an inflation calculator I just found (that I have no way of knowing whether it is trustworthy – ), $50 in 1992 would cost $73.03 in 2007. I point this out because concert tickets have increased in price at a far greater rate than inflation. Perhaps this has something to do with it?

1. Madonna ($105 million)
2. Celine Dion ($94 million)
3. The Eagles ($73.4 million)
4. Kenny Chesney ($72.2 million)
5. Bon Jovi ($70.4 million)
6. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band ($69.3 million)
7. Neil Diamond ($59.8 million)
8. Rascal Flatts ($55.8 million)
9. The Police ($48 million)
10. Tina Turner ($47.7 million)

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