The Rolling Stones topped Pollstar’s annual worldwide tour-earning list for 2021, grossing an average of $9.6 million per show.

Despite playing just 12 concerts in the accounting period, the British veterans made a total of $115.5 million, selling 516,624 tickets at an average price of $223.56 – only Bruno Mars ($330), Lady Gaga ($295) and Eagles ($229) charged more.

Pop star Harry Styles had the second-biggest grossing tour, far behind the Stones at $86.7 million across 39 shows. The Hella Mega Tour featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer came next, followed by Eagles and Dead & Company. Six of the Top 10 tours were by rock artists.

“We’re calling it the Great Return, because return we did, in droves,” Pollstar noted. “Last year was the Year That Wasn’t, with touring on a global lockdown … and artists and artist development left to less-than-fulfilling drive-in shows, streaming and social media. Fans largely did without the live thing, and we didn’t like it. Though certainly not without its challenges, 2021 was much different and, as Pollstar data reflects, much better.” The summarized rock list can be seen below.

The report added that "every chart in last year’s year-end issue marked a precipitous drop in shows, revenues, ticket sales and all other touring metrics. This year, however, is a markedly different story, especially Q4, which augers exceedingly well for 2022.”

The Stones recently became the first band to gross an average of $10 million per show across their full run of recent concerts, which covered a slightly different accounting period than Pollstar’s annual tour figures.

Rock Top 10 in Pollstar’s End-of-Year Earnings List
1 (1 in complete list) – Rolling Stones: $115.5m over 12 shows; average ticket $223.56
2 (3) – Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer: $67.3m over 20 shows; average ticket $102.09
3 (4) – Eagles: $59.2m over 23 shows; average ticket $229.66
4 (5) – Dead and Company: $50.2m over 31 shows; average ticket $85.36
5 (7) – Guns N’ Roses: $47.3m over 23 shows; average ticket $134.75
6 (8) – Dave Matthews Band: $46.0m over 41 shows; average ticket $78.78
7 (21) – Genesis: $23.7m over 14 shows; average ticket $176.76
8 (29) – Billy Joel: $17.4m over 4 shows; average ticket $130.30
9 (30) – Kiss: $16.9m over 22 shows; average ticket $83.85
10 (36) – Eric Clapton: $14.5m over 8 shows; average ticket $169.25

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