(CelebrityAccess News Service) – A record 13,437 worldwide concerts were reported in 2003 to Billboard Boxscore, which tracks touring activity, representing an increase of 25% from the previous year. In North America alone, the concert industry reported a record $2.2 billion in gross box-office revenue for the year.
Veteran artists took center stage, scoring the top three tours for the year through Nov. 18. The Rolling Stones topped the chart by grossing $299.5 million in box-office receipts for the year. The Stones played to more than 3.4 million fans worldwide. Next on the Billboard Boxscore list were Bruce Springsteen ($181.7 million) and Cher ($76.3 million).
Other top tours included Fleetwood Mac ($69.2 million), Eagles ($67.5 million), Dixie Chicks ($62.2 million), Dave Matthews Band ($52.6 million), Aerosmith &Kiss ($50 million), Metallica's Summer Sanitarium ($48.5 million) and Billy Joel &Elton John ($45.8 million).
Country acts fared particularly well with five acts shining brightly among the top 25. After the Dixie Chicks, the top country tours were Toby Keith ($41.2 million), Kenny Chesney ($39.7 million), Tim McGraw ($33 million) and Shania Twain ($25.3 million). Other successful country tours included Alabama ($20 million), Brooks &Dunn ($18.8 million), George Strait ($14.8 million) and Alan Jackson ($11.5 million).
"The fact that so many veteran acts again did so well is a testament to the power of touring in building a long career," says Ray Waddell, senior writer, Touring, for Billboard. "You can't download a concert, illegally or otherwise. You're either there or you're not." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen