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The Tayoncé effect: Live Nation says concert attendance was up 20% in 2023

A split image of Beyoncé smiling in a white blouse and white sunglasses, and Taylor Swift smiling in a bejeweled bodysuit
Singers Beyoncé and Taylor Swift both launched blockbuster concert tours in 2023.
(Kevin Mazur / WireImage for Parkwood, left; George Walker IV / Associated Press)
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Live Nation Entertainment revealed Friday that concert attendance jumped by 20% in 2023 — the year global pop sensations Beyoncé and Taylor Swift launched their blockbuster greatest-hits tours.

The Beverly Hills-based ticket vendor and concert promoter also noted in its latest earnings report that ticket sales were up 30%, with more than 620 million tickets sold by Ticketmaster bringing in nearly $36 billion. In 2023 alone, more than 145 million people attended upwards of 50,000 live events, the company reported.

All of this has led to the live music behemoth increasing its revenue by 36% in 2023 to $22.7 billion, and growing its operating income by 46% to $1.07 billion.

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Senators from both sides of the aisle questioned Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s alleged monopoly, part of the fallout from November’s Taylor Swift on-sale fiasco.

Jan. 24, 2023

“The live music industry reached new heights in 2023, and demand for live music continues to build,” Michael Rapino, chief executive of Live Nation, said Friday in a statement.

“Our digital world empowers artists to develop global followings, while inspiring fans to crave in-person experiences more than ever. At the same time, the industry is delivering a wider variety of concerts which draws in new audiences, and developing more venues to support a larger show pipeline,” the statement continued.

Much of that success is thanks to two of music’s biggest stars, Beyoncé and Swift. The former’s Renaissance tour racked up more than $575 million in ticket sales, while the latter’s ongoing Eras tour is estimated to have amassed more than $700 million.

Fans, politicians and even artists were complaining about Ticketmaster long before Taylor Swift filled stadiums. But experts say the anger may be misplaced.

Jan. 23, 2023

Both artists further capitalized on their tours’ popularity by releasing concert movies via AMC Theatres; they have grossed a combined total of $305.7 million worldwide.

In early 2023, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Ticketmaster, Live Nation and the United States ticketing market after colossal demand for Swift’s Eras tour resulted in a Ticketmaster meltdown — spurring a class action lawsuit filed by disgruntled Swifties against Ticketmaster.

The hearing scrutinized alleged anticompetitive practices by Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which control an estimated 80% of the ticketing market. The Department of Justice also has launched an investigation into the ticket vendors’ practices.

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The concert film will hit the Walt Disney Co. streaming service in March after grossing more than $260 million at the global box office.

Feb. 7, 2024

“Ticketmaster comes under a lot of criticism,” Joe Berchtold, president and chief financial officer of Live Nation Entertainment, said during the Senate hearing in January 2023.

“But I can say with great confidence that technologically Ticketmaster is a much better ticketing system today than it was in 2010. Its performance in large on-sales is the best in the industry, it has the best marketing capabilities of any ticketing system, and it is far and away the leader in preventing fraud and getting tickets into the hands of real fans.”

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