Top 2 promoters pulled in over $250m at the box office

The promoters of Electric Picnic, MCD Productions last year clocked up box office revenues of $165 million (€155.6 million) after selling 2.454 million tickets for gigs across Ireland last year.

Figures released by trade industry journal, Pollstar show that MCD Productions performance had the firm ranked 11th overall in the world’s top 200 promoters for 2022.

In a bumper year for the industry here after Covid-19 shut down the live entertainment business for 2020 and most of 2021, Pollstar figures show that Aiken Promotions (Ireland) generated $87.98m at the box office after selling 1.15 million tickets.

The figures show that the country’s two top promoters generated a combined box office of $252.98m through selling 3.6 million tickets.

MD of MCD Productions, Denis Desmond today described the company’s 2.45 million tickets sold as “a great result”.

Mr Desmond said that it is “great to see demand is bigger than ever for live shows”.

The $165m box office performance at MCD Production from 2.45 million tickets sold compares to MCD’s pre-Covid 2019 box office revenues of $159.29m from 2.3 million tickets sold.

The largest player in live music, Live Nation, which part-owns MCD Productions, generated $4.6 billion in global box office receipts from 52.4 million tickets sold in 2022.

Mr Desmond said that 2023 “is shaping up to be just as busy as 2022 with a lot of sold out shows already including Harry Styles at Slane Castle, Depeche Mode, Arctic Monkeys and The Weekend”.

Mr Desmond said that Dermot Kennedy will play to 155,000 people this Summer over five shows with three taking place at Thomond Park in Limerick and two shows at Marlay Park in Dublin.

The main driver behind the Aiken Promotions performance was the five sell out Garth Brooks gigs at Croke Park in September.

The Pollstar figures rank the Garth Brooks concerts as the 4th highest top grossing series of gigs worldwide last year generating $28.65m at the box office after selling 401,000 tickets.

Only Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles and Bad Bunny featured ahead of Garth Brooks’s Croke Park gigs in box office rankings.

The Garth Brooks concerns along with Ed Sheeran’s Dublin gigs catapulted Croke Park to be ranked No 13 in the world’s Top 100 stadiums after the stadium generated $41.2m in box office receipts from 541,487 attendees.

The Pollstar rankings place Croke Park’s box office performance ahead of well known stadiums including Yankee Stadium in New York City, the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and Hampden Park in Glasgow.

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin generated $18.05m in box office receipts from selling 185,539 tickets while Malahide Castle generated $10.76m in box office revenues from 174,260 tickets sold.

The figures separately show that the two Ed Sheeran gigs at Croke Park – promoted by Aiken Promotions – made $12.76m at the box office after selling 140,487 tickets, while the performer’s two gigs at Thomond Park last year generated $5.19m after selling 61,780 tickets.

The Pollstar figures show that two MCD promoted Westlife gigs at the Aviva Stadium last year clocked up $6.79m at the box office after selling 87,367 tickets.

The sold out Harry Styles gig at the Aviva Stadium last June generated $5.09m after selling 50,422 tickets.

The Aiken promoted ‘All Together Now’ for Curraghmore House and Gardens in Waterford generated $4.75m at the box offices – names to perform at the event includes Groove Armada and Underworld.

Reporting by Gordon Deegan

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