What Are the Top-Grossing Single Summer Concerts of All Time? (Careful Before You Guess…)

To clarify, I mean a single gig with a single headliner. No festivals. And the show had to happen in the summer (the Northern Hemisphere summer, just to be clear). Our metric is the box office take for that one show.

Any idea?

If you said U2, you’d be wrong. Their biggest single night take was $8,927,150 when the 360 Tour appeared at Jones Beach MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., on July 20, 2011. Adjusted for inflation, that gross is equivalent to $9,315,408 today.

Okay then, how about Paul McCartney’s show that closed Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 14, 2014? After all, that was also the site of the Beatles’ last-ever show in 1965.  Nope. While Macca drew a huge crowd, the gross was only$7,023,107.

A bigger draw was country star George Strait who played AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, last June 7 when the box office was$18,194,374.

And the biggest single summer concert ever? The Three Tenors at Giants Stadium on July 20, 1996. On that date, the box office was $13,404,350. Adjust that to today’s dollar and the figure becomes an astounding $20,172,223.

The full top ten list at Billboard.

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.

One thought on “What Are the Top-Grossing Single Summer Concerts of All Time? (Careful Before You Guess…)

  • May 22, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I’m a canadian expat living in (on?) Long Island NY. I’m fairly certain Jones Beach and MetLife stadium are 2 different places. Metlife is in East rutherford, NJ, whereas Jones Beach is here on Long Island.


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