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Music Tours Take in Record $2.1B in 2002

Classic acts such as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Cher lured more people to concerts in 2002 and helped the industry make a record $2.1 billion in ticket sales, according to figures released Friday.

This was the fourth straight year concert receipts reached record levels in America. There were $1.75 billion in sales in 2001, according to trade publication Pollstar, which tracks the concert industry.

In 2001, ticket costs rose and sales declined, Pollstar said. Last year, increased ticket sales helped push concert receipts higher.

“We had some very big marquee names out on tour this year,” said Pollstar’s Gary Bongiovanni. “Paul McCartney has not worked in a long time, and the Rolling Stones only come out every couple of years.”

McCartney had the top-grossing tour, raking in $103 million. Fans paid an average of $130 per ticket to see the former Beatle, who hadn’t toured the United States in about a decade.

The Rolling Stones tour placed second, coming in at $88 million, with an average ticket price of $119. Pollstar said it was the first time the Stones hadn’t hit the No. 1 spot with their U.S. tour.

Cher’s tour – which the singer said would be her last – was in third place, at $74 million, followed by the Billy Joel & Elton John concerts, which grossed $65 million, and the Dave Matthews Band, at $60 million.

Other acts in the top 10 were Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Aerosmith, Creed, Neil Diamond and The Eagles.

Creed and the Dave Matthews Band were the only acts in the top 10 that aren’t veteran acts – and that represents one of the industry’s problems, Bongiovanni said.

“The acts that are at the top have got to be reaching the end of their touring life,” he said. “Where the next generation of headlining acts is going to come from is anybody’s guess.”

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