The Rolling Stones keep chugging along as the most efficient moneymakers in the concert business, topping a list of the biggest earners on tour in 1999.
Although musical acts took in a record $1.5 billion in ticket revenue this year, that was more because of rapidly escalating ticket prices than a strong demand to see concerts, the industry trade magazine Pollstar said.
The Rolling Stones earned $64.7 million this year, edging Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band on their reunion tour, which pulled in $61.4 million.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and their wealthy band mates also led Pollstar's list in 1989, 1994 and 1997. It's a good bet the Stones were also on top for several more years, but Pollstar has been compiling concert receipts only since 1988.
Thirteen acts actually sold more concert tickets this year, but the Stones made the most money because they charged an average of $109.62 per ticket, Pollstar said.
The average ticket price for one of the top 50 tours this year was $43.63, a staggering 30 percent increase over the $33.59 average a year earlier, Pollstar said. And that doesn't include service charges routinely levied by ticketing agencies.
The teen pop band 'N Sync--third on the list of money-earners--sold nearly 1.8 million concert tickets, easily the most in 1999. 'N Sync's average ticket was a relative bargain at $28.62.
Two country tours made Pollstar's top 10 list: Shania Twain and George Strait's festival, which included Tim McGraw and the Dixie Chicks.
Pop Concerts' Top Earners
The top money-earners on the popular music concert circuit during 1999, according to Pollstar magazine:
The Rolling Stones--$64.7 million.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band--$61.4 million.
'N Sync--$51.5 million.
Dave Matthews Band--$48.5 million.
Shania Twain--$40.8 million.
Backstreet Boys--$37.1 million.
Elton John--$32.5 million.
George Strait's Country Music Festival--$32.4 million.
Bette Midler--$31.7 million.