Thras legends Metallica might be the “biggest all-time touring band,” according to a new Pollstar report, which shows that the band has sold over sold 22.1 million tickets and have grossed $1.4 billion on tour since 1982. This places them ahead of other prolific touring acts such as Guns N Roses, and AC/DC.
While the band are behind U2 in ticket sales, the report considered other facts such as the band performing across 48 countries and all seven continents, including Antarctica. Since the release of The Black Album in 1991, the band have also sold over $125 million alone worth of merchandise sales for concert and tour memorabilia.
Their current WorldWired Tour has grossed $430 million on sales of 4.1 million tickets alone so far, which saw the band play across markets they have not performed in decades. Band members such as Lars Ulrich, commented that this has to do with the band constantly pushing themselves to perform better
“I keep thinking and forcing myself to think all our best years are still ahead of us,” Ulrich told Pollstar. “It’s always, ‘What’s your favorite record?’ It’s the next one, the one we haven’t recorded yet.”
He added further: “It’s always about the possibilities, always about what can be, what’s coming. That, to me, is what this is all about and I think that attitude is a big part of the why Metallica still connects to so many people around the world.”
Despite this, the band’s practices have had their fair share of controversy. Earlier this year secretly recorded phone calls between the band and LiveNation showed that the ticket seller allegedly making plans to put tickets for the bands WorldWired Tour directly on ticket resale sites such as StubHub. This would maximize profits for the band, as concertgoers would have to pay higher prices for tickets on a reseller’s website, and although the practice has questionable ethics, it is legal.
A representative of LiveNation explained:
“Live Nation now tells Billboard that the company has facilitated the quiet transfer of concert tickets directly into the hands of resellers through the years, though only at the request of the artists involved — who control where the tickets are initially sold.”
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado