Bon Jovi are named as the highest earning live act of 2010

Bon Jovi are named as the highest earning live act of 2010Bon Jovi's last album, The Circle, failed to reach silver, gold or platinum status in their US homeland, but the New Jersey rockers won't be worried – their tour to promote the disc has been announced as the highest earning tour of 2010.

According to Pollstar, the concert trade publication, The Circle tour grossed $201.1m (£130.7m) worldwide, including $108.2m (£70.3m) from US dates alone. The band played 12 nights at the O2 Arena in London in June, playing to 187,696 fans and grossing $18,178,036 (£11,812,806).

The list showed the continuing power of heavy rock in the live marketplace, with three of the top five grossing acts being hard rock or metal bands. In second place, for the second year running, were AC/DC, with gross ticket sales worth $177m (£115m), followed by U2 with $160.9m (£104.6m), Lady Gaga with $133.6m (£86.8m) and Metallica with $110.1m (£71.6).

However, Lady Gaga had to work harder for the money than her counterparts, playing 138 shows in 2010, against 80 for Bon Jovi, 40 for AC/DC and 32 for U2. The Top 10 was rounded out by Michael Bublé, the family show Walking With Dinosaurs, Paul McCartney, the Eagles and Roger Waters.

Waters, who has been touring a production of The Wall, the album he made with Pink Floyd in 1979, has only taken the show to North America so far. The $89.5 (£58.1m) his shows grossed made him the second highest earner on the North American circuit, behind Bon Jovi. In third place on the North American listings were a group with little live appeal outside the US, the Dave Matthews Band, who took $72.9m (£47.4m).

Despite the apparently huge sums, however, there were signs of a slowdown in ticket sales. The combined worldwide top 50 saw sales shrink by 12% from $3.34bn (£2.17bn) to $2.93bn (£1.9bn), and worldwide ticket sales were down from 45.3m in 2009 to 38.3m.

"Artists worked fewer shows in a tough business climate and those that overreached suffered the consequences," Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni said. "In general, the international concert business was stronger than in North America, where overbooked and overpriced shows at outdoor amphitheatre venues made it an especially difficult year."

Powered by article was written by Michael Hann, for on Wednesday 29th December 2010 11.58 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

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