As at mid-year and in Q3, and on the back of a raft of near-instant sell-outs for the 12th leg of his unstoppable ÷ tour, Ed Sheeran was by far the biggest tour of the year, jumping from the eighth spot in 2017 to claim No 1 in 2018. With a gross of $432.4m from 94 shows, the Sheeran tour is the highest gross ever recorded for an artist in a single year, according to the top 100 worldwide tours chart.
According to Pollstar, the ÷ tour is the first to top $400m, and one of only two to gross more than $300m, in a single year – after U2 in 2017.
Taylor Swift, whose Reputation stadium tour recently became the highest-grossing in US history, is second, taking $345.1m from fewer dates, but with a higher average ticket price and higher gross per show.
Rounding out the top ten, with tour grosses in US$, are:
Jay-Z and Beyoncé (On the Run II tour, 254.1m)
Pink (Beautiful Trauma world tour, 169.2m)
Bruno Mars (24K Magic world tour, 167.6m)
Eagles (An Evening with the Eagles, 166m)
Justin Timberlake (Man of the Woods tour, 151m)
Roger Waters (US + Them tour, 131.3m)
U2 (Experience + Innocence tour, 126.2m)
The Rolling Stones (No Filter tour, 116.6m)