Reports surfaced yesterday that Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On The Run tour tickets weren’t selling as expected– which may be true. However, once you break down the math — the tour is far from flopping.
Sources close to the Live Nation-produced tour tell Billboard that, as of June 17, the tour has racked up about $86 million in ticket sales and is on a pace to gross close to $100 million from just 19 shows. The source says attendance is on a pace to top 850,000 tickets sold, and a Live Nation rep confirmed to Billboard last night that the tour is indeed nearing that threshold. That’s a whopping nightly take of $5.2 million, and an average attendance of nearly 45,000 per show — well more than two sold-out arena shows would generate in any given market. Numerous shows are sold out, and Live Nation cites “unprecedented” VIP and platinum ticket sales.
Two days later, Live Nation offered this statement to Billboard: “The On The Run Tour opens next Wednesday in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium to over 48,000 fans, then rolls to Cincinnati to a sellout crowd of more than 37,000 fans, and on July 1st more than 50,000 fans will pack Boston’s Gillette Stadium. With sellout nights across North America, these first three shows are indicative of the strong demand. Overall, the tour has sold well over 750,000 tickets, grossing more than $90 million, and has unprecedented VIP and Platinum ticket sales.”
Those types of numbers would make On The Run one of the most successful tours of the year, with quite possibly the highest per-show average in terms of gross and attendance of any tour on the road this year. That is not unexpected; while both Beyonce and Jay-Z toured extensively in 2013, their audiences do not completely overlap, and their profile as music’s “power couple” gives the pairing the type of “event” status coveted in the live music industry.
As to primary sales, if these numbers revealed do play out, it would appear that On The Run could still come up short of an across-the-board sellout, as some of the venues on the route have capacities of as much as 60,000, depending on configurations and production kills. While a significant amount of tickets are currently available on the primary market a week before the tour begins, that is not out of line with market tendencies trending toward fans purchasing closer to the show, and walk-up will likely be strong as promoters promote, anticipation builds, and on-the-fence buyers figure out tickets are available. And, if early reviews are positive and the show lives up to its “must see” potential, that also shows up at the box office.
Did you get your tickets?
In other Beyoncé news, HBO announced that Bey is coming back to the network for a series of concert specials.
— HBO (@HBO) June 19, 2014
That should certainly help with ticket sales.