According to Billboard, Elton John, the well-known British singer’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,” has earned over $800 million, making it the highest-earning concert tour in history.
Elton John announced his impending retirement from touring in January 2018, but only after a lengthy, global farewell tour. In September of that year, he began the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which has now broken numerous records, albeit still ongoing.
Elton John’s ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour’ is officially the highest-grossing concert tour of all time with over $800 million grossed, Billboard reports. pic.twitter.com/oAnbuYTfIg— Pop Base (@PopBase) January 30, 2023
The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour has earned $817.9 million across 278 gigs, more than any other Boxscore tour, according to Billboard Boxscore data. It becomes the first tour in the Billboard archives to surpass the $800 million mark, reaching The Divide Tour by Ed Sheeran ($776.4 million).
AEG Presents and a few carefully chosen local partners in a few different international countries promoted the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.
At the tail end of his 258-show run in 2019, Sheeran broke the previous record, unseating The 360 Tour by U2 ($736.4 million). Both of those tours traveled extensively, performing on six and five continents, respectively, and spent most of their time indoors, if not entirely.
In contrast, John played arenas in Europe, North America, and Oceania from 2018 to 20 and the first quarter of 2022 before moving on to stadiums on each continent for the tour’s last year.
That improvement was profitable. Over 116 gigs, John’s first three North American legs brought in a total of $268.2 million. In just 33 performances, his stadium stint from July to November 2022 generated $222.1 million, or 83% of his arena grosses.
Similarly, despite performing 12 fewer gigs, Elton John’s stadium leg in Europe generated $69.2 million compared to $49.9 million for his arena leg. Finally, his average per-show revenue in Australia and New Zealand increased recently, from $2.5 million in arenas in 2019–20 to $5.1 million in stadiums.
The Oceania portion of the January 23 tour brought in $40.9 million overall, and 242,000 tickets got sold.
The Farewell tour’s overall earnings surged past $800 million when combined with updated North American grosses to reflect previously undisclosed platinum lifts, with 51 European performances scheduled to play through July 8.
While the first two years of the tour got spent in arenas, they undoubtedly established the groundwork for John to climb the all-time rankings; yet, it required three whole legs in North America and Europe to reach the top 40, at $217.8 million after 108 performances.
The tour’s total increased to $292.3 million after his return to the United States and Canada in the fall of 2019, and it climbed to No. 20.
The next Oceania leg, which ran from November 2019 to March 2020 (and was fortunately timed to expire just before the global lockdown started), increased the gross to $385.4 million, propelling it to position 13 in the rankings.
John’s post-COVID North American arena run brought in an additional $100 million, moving him up to No. 6 on the all-time list with $485.7 million.
He reached No. 4 because of the European stadium tour, moved up to No. 2 with North American performances, and then won the record for all-time with a brief run in Oceania from January 8 to 24.