Elton John’s Farewell Tour Is Now Third Biggest in History With $661M Gross … and Growing
Way back in 2018, Elton John launched the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, billed as his final, three-year-long global trek. The announcement of his final shows has paid dividends, generating more than half a billion dollars while he plays to more than four million fans. So far, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour has grossed $661.3 million and sold 4.5 million tickets across 257 shows around the world through Oct. 9.
John has been banking millions since the tour began, but stepped on the gas after returning from a two-year COVID-19 delay. After playing 39 North American arena dates in the spring, he flew to Europe for a 19-date stadium run, and then came back stateside for more than 30 domestic stadium shows. Of those, 20 have played so far, adding $133.4 million and 830,000 tickets to the tour’s sum.
From one North American leg to another, attendance jumped by 192% to 41,513 per show, and nightly revenue increased by 160% to $6.7 million.
The 39 stadium shows that have played so far in Europe and North America have earned $202.6 million and sold 1.3 million tickets, making up 31% and 30%, respectively, of the tour’s total figures, despite accounting for just 15% of its shows.
In getting to this point, John’s goodbye run is the third tour in Boxscore history to pass the $600 million threshold, following U2’s 360 Tour, which grossed $736.4 million in 2009-11, and Ed Sheeran’s reigning champ, The Divide Tour, which earned $776.4 million from 2017 to 2019.
Sheeran’s all-time champ is an interesting comparison point, with 258 shows throughout its two-and-a-half-year run – just one more than John’s tour has played so far. In contrast to Sheeran and U2, as well as other $500 million tours by Guns ‘N Roses, The Rolling Stones and Coldplay, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour has spent most of its time in arenas. While these classic rock greats made their sums quickly in 50,000-plus-capacity stadiums, John has been a road horse in 15,000-cap arenas, able to push high ticket prices in a relatively intimate setting.
The current North American leg continues with 13 more shows before its Nov. 20 close at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium. John continues with a 10-stadium run in Australia and New Zealand in January, plus a return to European arenas with more than 40 shows in the spring. The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour is scheduled to close at Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena on July 8, 2023, and with just $115 million between him and the all-time record, John soldiers on at breakneck speed.
Across his career, John has grossed $1.7 billion and sold 19.1 million tickets, becoming the highest grossing solo act in Billboard Boxscore’s three-decade-plus history.