Top 15 Highest Grossing Tours

By Louie Wieseman

With the winter of 2014 winding down, the summer tours are approaching fast! Bands will begin their summer outdoor tours much to the excitement of fans across the country. The two major outdoor venues in Indiana, Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville and the White River Lawn in Indianapolis, will see some action as early as mid-May beginning with the Country Megaticket at Klipsch. This tour will feature many popular country artists such as Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, and many more. Why are summer tours such a big deal? Touring is the main form of income for many artists, especially for smaller bands starting up. Some of the largest tours of all time earned hundreds of millions of dollars.

15. Pink Floyd: Division Bell
In 15th, the Pink Floyd Division Bell Tour in 1994, grossed over $250 million. This tour was to promote their album The Division Bell. It was also the last tour Pink Floyd did before they broke up in the late 90s.

14. The Eagles: Long Road Out of Eden

14th place goes to the Eagles for their Long Road Out of Eden Tour that spanned from 2008 to 2011. This tour, spanning across 7 different legs, or group of shows followed by small breaks, garnered over $251 million in 155 shows.

13. The Rolling Stones: Brides to Babylon
The Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon Tour took the 13th spot with $274 million earned with 108 shows in 1997 and 1998. What was unique about this tour was that ticket holders could vote on songs they wanted the Stones to play at their concert.

12. Celine Dion: Taking Chances
Celine Dion earned the 12th spot and 3rd highest spot by a female artist with her Taking Chances Tour in 2008 and 2009. Spanning across 132 shows, Dion earned $279 million.

11. MDNA Tour ft. Madonna
In 11th place, the MDNA Tour featuring none other than Madonna spanned 88 shows. The tour earned over $300 million and earned her the spot as the 2nd highest grossest female artist for a tour.

10. The Rolling Stones: Licks
10th place goes to the Rolling Stones with their Licks Tour. The 2002 tour honored their 40 years together. It earned a sum of $311 million.

9. The Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge
Once again, we have the Rolling Stones. They earned the 9th spot with their Voodoo Lounge Tour in 1994 and 1995. Earning $320 million, they earned the highest grossing tour at the time.

8. Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball
A tour that ended only last year, Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball World Tour earned the 8th highest grossing world tour with a whopping $355 million.

7. The Police: Reunion Tour
The Police’s Reunion Tour, which started in 2007, earned the 7th place spot with a sum of $358 million. They announced the tour shortly After reuniting at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards. The world tour that became a huge success.

6. U2: Vertigo
6th place goes to U2 for their Vertigo Tour. How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, U2’s eleventh album, was the main album associated with the tour, with it being named after the album’s single, “Vertigo.” It earned $389 million and at the time when it ended in 2006 was the highest grossing tour of all time.

5. Madonna: Sticky & Sweet
Madonna takes the 5th spot with her Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008. Promoting her eleventh album, Hard Candy, Madonna went on an 85 show tour. Though this is the least amount of shows across any tour on the list, it earned just over $407 million.

4. ACDC: Black Ice
After a seven year hiatus, AC/DC came back in 2008 to earn the 4th place spot with their Black Ice World Tour. It earned $441 million across 167 shows.

3. Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s front man earned 3rd performed on Dark Side of the Moon Tour. The Wall, Pink Floyd’s 1979 album, experienced a revival after Roger Waters’ tour. Spanning from 2010 to 2013 and 219 shows, it earned $458 million.

2. The Rolling Stones: A Bigger Bang
The Rolling Stones earn the 2nd spot with their A Bigger Bang Tour that spanned from 2005 to 2007. Promoting their album A Bigger Bang, the Stones embarked on a 144 show tour and earned an amazing $558 million.

1. U2: 360°
1st place on the top grossing tours of all-time list goes to U2. The U2 360° Tour featured the band on a circular stage with a large claw-like supporting rig topping the stage. This allowed many fans to see the band from every angle, hence the 360°. It earned a whopping $736 million across 110 shows from 2009 to 2011.