These Stats Say Metallica Are World’s Biggest Touring Band Ever
Metallica's popularity is undeniable, and you already knew that. But did you know there's stats to support the argument that they're the single biggest touring band in the world, not just in rock and metal, but ever? That's what concert industry trade publication Pollstar is claiming.
The report reveals that since 1982, Metallica have sold 22.1 million tickets, grossing $1.4 billion along the way. This number is considerably higher than other household rock and metal artists such as AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne, who have sold 14.3 million tickets and 10 million tickets, respectively. Ozzy's number soars to 13.2 million tickets if you lump Black Sabbath's total in there too.
Monetarily, Metallica's earning figures towers over the impressive nearly $800 million brought in by Guns N' Roses.
'Tallica are just behind U2, who have sold more tickets than the metal band. However, with U2 forming in 1976 and Metallica starting in 1981, Pollstar still argues in favor of the thrashers, who over the last five years have done enough concert business to be mentioned in the same breath as The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift and Ed Shereen.
Drummer Lars Ulrich told Pollstar, "I keep thinking and forcing myself to think all our best years are still ahead of us. We may even turn professional and do this full time one day. That’s the MO. It’s always, ‘What’s your favorite record?’ It’s the next one, the one we haven’t recorded yet. 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."
The report also realizes that Metallica haven't relied on nostalgic tours, gimmicks or farewells that tend to drive fans to shows in today's concert climate and are, instead, still growing as they continue their "WorldWired" tour supporting their 2016 record, Hardwired... To Self-Destruct.
Q Prime Management head Cliff Bernstein, who has been with Metallica since 1984, commented, “How did that happen? The natural order of things is you have your peak, it’s hard to match it, you decline, somebody else comes and takes the crown away and that���s just the way it’s been in music forever."
Taking stock of the band's stadium-level popularity since releasing 'The Black Album,' he continued, "How interesting is it that Metallica, taking that 1991 as a starting point even though that was their fifth album, here we are 28 years later and the band is huge. Nobody has eclipsed Metallica."
Bernstein noted that Metallica could "tour off the first five albums forever," but wondered aloud if this would lead to a decline in fan interest and that the band may not be as "engaged" if they didn't have new material to keep them looking forward.
"These guys are highly creatively motivated," affirmed Bernstein who promised there will be more Metallica music in the future. "Hardwired will not be their last album by any means. Albums may come at great intervals, but they’re always thinking about new material."
Dennis Arfa, an agent at Artist Group International, feels Metallica can rightfully lay claim being the "biggest band in the world." He explained, "Not only are they a stadium attraction, but they sell out in secondary and tertiary markets where you wouldn’t see many artists playing at all. The fact they can do the type of business they do all over the world – the two biggest apparel pieces in the world are a Yankees hat and a Metallica T-shirt. This isn’t a 10-year phenomenon, this is a stadium band since the mid-’90s and they have continued to win on the biggest levels, with $6 million-plus grosses."
Read the full report at Pollstar and catch Metallica live yourself at one of their upcoming concerts. For tickets, head here.
Every Metallica Song Ranked