Elton John now holds the record for the top-grossing tour of all time

If it feels like Elton John has been on his farewell tour forever, you’re not wrong. The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour began in September 2018 and is still going. Yeah, there was a long pause for COVID, but the fact remains that this has been one contiguous roadtrip.

According to people who track the box office grosses for tours, Elton has grossed US$817.9 million through 278 shows. That’s the first time anyone has cross the US$800 million mark and puts him ahead of Ed Sheeran (the Divide tour, US$776.4 million over 258 shows) and U2 (360 Tour, US$736.4 million over just 110 shows).

Yes, inflation certainly figures into things. Sheeran and U2 also sold more tickets (8.9 million and 7.3 million respectively, compared to Elton’s 5.3 million). So did the Rolling Stones (Voodoo Tour, 1994-95), Coldplay (A Head Full of Dreams, 2016-17), and Guns N’ Roses (Not in This Lifetime tour, 2016-19).

Still, the amount of money Elton has made over the years is staggering. If we just go back to 1986–that’s the most reliable figure I could find–his tours have grossed US$1.863 billion over 1,573 shows attended by 19.9 million tickets.

Farewell Yellow Brick Road has a while to run. At this point, the last gig is schedule for July 2024. Can it crack a billion in grosses? We’ll see.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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