Blink-182 Tour Will Cash In on Pop-Punk Nostalgia: Here’s How Much It Could Earn

Pop-punk’s not dead – but it is setting up its retirement plan. And funding it.

Fans of pop-punk music’s most successful era, the early to mid 2000s when bands like Blink-182, Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy ruled the charts in ways few guitar-based bands consider possible now, are now old enough to enjoy nostalgia — as well as pay for it. And from the surprise Blink-182 reunion arena tour, for which presales began Wednesday (Oct. 12) in more than 70 markets worldwide, to Tuesday’s announcement of the second When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas, pop-punk is having a moment that could be very lucrative.

Including the Blink-182 tour, the October 2023 When We Were Young festival and several other projects that will be announced in the coming months, pop-punk could generate as much as $250 million for Live Nation next year, Billboard estimates. The teenagers of the 2000s are now in their 30s, with more disposable income to spend on concerts. It’s perfect timing for band Blink-182, which founding member Tom DeLonge has rejoined after a seven-year absence, alongside Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. The tour — which starts March 11 in Tijuana, Mexico, at the Imperial GMP festival at Morales Park — will hit four continents over the course of 2023 and early 2024.

There’s reason for optimism. Earlier this year, My Chemical Romance‘s first major tour in over a decade brought in about $60 million, earning over $1 million per show with an average ticket price of around $75, thanks largely to millennial fans who had more money to spend than when they first listened to the band. (Notably, My Chemical Romance’s last big tour was in 2011 with none other than Blink-182.) Expect Blink-182 to even better — around $150 million, Billboard estimates. The band has grown in popularity since reaching the height of its chart success in the mid-2000s, headlining festivals and major radio shows like the iHeartRadio ALTer Ego event in 2021 prior to DeLonge rejoining the band.

After Blink-182’s first show in Tijuana, the reunited band will head south to play a stadium show in Lima, Peru, then several other festivals and shows in South America, including three Lollapaloozas. The band will then return stateside for a 32-date arena tour, which launches at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on May 4, and wraps July 16 in Nashville. The band will go to Europe in September, then to Australia and New Zealand in February 2024.

Ticket prices from the initial presale Wednesday show that fans should expect to pay far more than the $5 it cost to see Blink-182 perform at San Diego’s famed Soma rock club in the 1990s. Demand is expected to be high, with ticket prices hitting upwards of $600 for pit seats, while seats close to the stage were over $200 a ticket. Additional tickets will be released in the coming days. As with every big onsale for a band that hasn’t toured in some time, expect some backlash over prices, especially when it comes to high-end tickets and resale sites.

U.S. fans will also get a chance to see the band perform at the 2023 edition of the When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas, a new punk, emo and alternative festival platform reminiscent of the Vans Warped Tour, which ran from 1995 to 2019.

The inaugural edition of When We Were Young festival – headlined by My Chemical Romance and Paramore – will take place on Oct 22 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. The one-day event, repeated on Oct. 23 and then again on Oct. 29, has sold a total of about 185,000 tickets, making it one of the most successful new projects in the history of Live Nation.

Along with Blink-182, the 2023 edition of the festival will feature Green Day, the Offspring, Good Charlotte, 30 Seconds to Mars and more.

Tickets for the one-day When We Were Young 2023 festival will cost nearly twice as much as the price in 2022 — $225 from $119. If the 2023 festival sells out and is expanded to three days, like it was this year, it could gross around $50 million.

Dave Brooks