Pollstar: Metallica Are the Biggest Touring Band of All Time


Look, we all know Metallica is big. They are, without dispute, the biggest metal band of all time. They are also one of the biggest bands of all time, period. Everyone knows who Metallica are, even if they can’t hum a single note of the band’s music. “Enter Sandman” was used during a recent White House ceremony, fer Chrissakes. Metallica aren’t a band anymore — they’re an institution.

So it’s not entirely surprising that, according to Pollstar, they’re the biggest touring act of all time, and potentially the biggest band in the world right now:

“The numbers speak for themselves: according to Pollstar Boxoffice, Metallica sold nearly 22.1 million total tickets and grossed some $1.4 billion since 1982, dwarfing huge rock bands of the era including AC/DC (14.3 million tickets) and Ozzy Osbourne (10 million, 13.2 if counting Ozzy plus Black Sabbath). The closest competitor on dollars grossed is Guns N’ Roses, with nearly $800 million grossed largely thanks to the band’s mammoth ‘Not In This Lifetime’ reunion tour. 

“Those 22.1 million tickets puts them in select company, including just behind the one and only U2… solidifying Metallica’s rightful place as one of the biggest bands in the world, and still growing. Over the past five years alone, the band’s headline touring business puts them in a class with not only U2, but The Rolling Stones as well as newcomers like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. However, when accounting for the reach of Metallica’s business – which includes breaking a slew of attendance records on their current tour clear to Moscow – while playing 48 countries and every single continent (including Antarctica) over the course of their career, fervent and rabid merch consumption totaling $125 million in North America since the ‘Black Album’ and into the high teens per-head on its latest touring, and the band’s road touring with no-gimmick reunion or farewell announcement necessary to drum up extra business – and Metallica may just be the biggest band in the world.”

So congrats to Metallica. Remember when they almost broke up before St. Anger? That sure does seem ludicrous in hindsight, huh?

Metallica will be on tour in Australia this fall and South America in early 2020; tickets are available here.

[via Loudwire]

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