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Concert receipts increase with ticket prices

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody, The Associated Press
Thursday July 18, 2002

NEW YORK — Concert grosses for the first half of the year were up 17 percent, but so were ticket prices — the average cost of a ticket for top tours was about $51, compared to $47 last year, according to an industry report. 

Attendance at concerts was down for a second straight year, according to the survey released Friday by Pollstar, a weekly trade publication. 

The survey of the top 50 tours, including those by Paul McCartney, ’N Sync, the Dave Matthews Band and Creed, showed that from January to June, the top tours recorded about $538 million in sales, compared to last year’s $508 million. 

The record for that period was in 2000, when $579 million worth of tickets were sold. 

But the survey also showed that the top 50 concerts combined sold about 10.6 million tickets, down 300,000, or 3 percent, from last year. In 2000, 12.9 million tickets were sold in the first half of the year. 

“When you’ve lost essentially 2 million ticket buyers in the space of a couple of years, you have to wonder where those people went and what it will take to bring them back,” Gary Bongiovanni of Pollstar said Monday. 

The top-grossing tour was Paul McCartney’s, which grossed about $53 million. That was followed by Billy Joel and Elton John; the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion tour; ’N Sync; and the Dave Matthews Band.