…how much might such a tour be worth?
A full-blown Led Zeppelin reunion tour really is the Holy Grail of concert promotion. Consider that more than 20 million people applied to buy the 16,000 available tickets for the 2007 reunion show in London. At an average face value of £125 (call it $200 CAD before inflation), that was a potential pool of $4 billion.
FOUR. BILLION. DOLLARS.
Okay, so it would take hundreds of concerts for Led Zep to play for 20 million people, so that number is unrealistic. Or is it?
Total gross would depend on ticket prices, the number of shows and the attendance at each show. Would Zep want to play arenas where they’d max out at 18,000 or so per gig? What about stadia? You could get 70,000 or more into sufficiently large places. And how many gigs would they consent to play?
U2 managed to pull in $736 million through 110 shows with the 360 Tour. The second-biggest tour, the Rolling Stones’ Bigger Bang tour of 2005-06 ran for 147 shows and grossed about $558 million.
Then again, I’m not even sure Zep would be motivated by money. After all, they have plenty. It’s the promoters and the touring industry as a whole that’s drooling over the prospects.
With the way the global touring business works today (and a Zep tour would have to be global), the band would be offered a guarantee per show. From there, it would be up to the promoter(s) to cover that cost and the cost of production before they saw a profit.
The Stones received a $6 million fee for each of their recent shows in London and New York. What would be an appropriate fee for Zeppelin? Seven million? Ten?
All this theoretical, of course–but don’t think for a second that accountants aren’t crunching the numbers right now. Meanwhile, feel free to speculate wildly and irresponsibly.