U2: 360

U2 360: The Mattnificent Tour, U2009-U2011

U2 360° Journal > Billboard

Best Bets: U2 360° Tour

U2's 360° is history in the making. Here's an article from Billboard that I'm including in the 360° for posterity.

by Ray Waddell
January 27, 2011

In early April, while the group is performing somewhere in Latin America, U2's 360 tour is projected to become the highest-grossing tour off all time.

The previous record-high gross of $558 million, set by the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang tour of 2005-07, won't just be broken but, to quote the Stones, shattered. When U2 concludes its two-year, 110-show trek in North America in July, the 360 tour is projected to top $700 million in total gross and 7 million in attendance. The feat is even more remarkable when one considers that the band will break the record on a tour that spanned trying economic times around the globe.

U2 won't claim the all-time highest-gross mantle because it has the highest ticket prices -- the tour tops out at $250 and prices go as low as $30, well short of what acts the Stones and Barbra Streisand have charged. Rather, the record-breaking numbers are made possible by the band's enduring popularity and the tour's groundbreaking 360-degree staging, which expanded stadium capacities by double-digit percentages.

The success of the tour is also a milestone achievement for 360 producer Arthur Fogel, Live Nation chairman of global music and CEO of global touring. Fogel has played a key role in seven of the top 10 tours of all time, including treks by U2, Madonna, the Police and the Stones.

The 360 tour's record-high gross will stand for a long time, given the ambitious scale of the production, the band's willingness to invest in its show and its ability to stay on the road for such an extended period. Few acts can play stadium tours. And even if an artist attempts to emulate the staging that has enabled 360-size capacities -- a massively expensive endeavor that few would dare take on -- filling those seats would be a tall order, particularly over 100 shows in markets around the world. In all likelihood, U2 can only be topped by U2.

# # #

Much like ZOO-TV and Popmart, U2 have gone out on a limb and taken a risk. Even in the face of a volatile global economic environment with unstable markets, rampant unemployment, and growing pockets of political instability, their risk-taking has once again paid off.

Rumor has it the Stones are planning one last tour that very well might be in stadiums. Given their penchant for high ticket prices and the demand for tickets to see them one last time, it's possible they could retake the crown.

But, as Bono has often said while on the 360° Tour, U2 are just getting started.

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