Concert Earnings Defy Recession

Big-name acts, up-and-comers see modest rise in attendance
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2009 3:51 PM CDT
Nathan Followill, rear, and Caleb Followill, right, of the band Kings of Leon perform during rehearsals for the 2009 MTV Movie Awards in Universal City, Calif. on Saturday May 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Chris Polk)
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(Newser) – Concert tours remained surprisingly strong this year despite the weak economy, with slightly more people heading out to see their favorite acts than in 2008. Gross revenue held steady at $1 billion for the period from May 1 to Sept. 1, matching earnings a year earlier. Big-name acts like Kenny Chesney, the Dave Matthews Band, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, and Coldplay all enjoyed strong tours.

Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, and Kings of Leon all played to their biggest crowds yet this year, USA Today reports. Attendance overall for the season was up 3% from last year, with 19.2 million people seeing 4,200 shows. "We didn't have a great year, but we also didn't have the disaster that the economy might have foreshadowed," says the editor of Pollstar. "People are willing to open their wallets for artists on their must-see lists."