U2’s Joshua Tree Tour has wrapped up for the year with predictably mind-boggling numbers: US$316 million in revenue from 2.7 million tickets sold across 50 performances.
Sure, there’s nothing unreal about U2 punching past the quarter billion dollar box office mark. Since 2000, the Irish rock legends have finished the touring year as the box office No. 1 on four separate occasions. And their 360 tour in 2011 set the all-time standard by grossing more than $700 million. But this is different. On the Joshua Tree Tour, Bono and Co. found themselves in the extraordinary position of presenting a 30-year-old album in stadiums and festivals across four separate legs, whilst promoting the release of their next album, Songs Of Experience.
Who does that?
U2’s final run of the year was a five-city bolt through Latin America, which came to a halt at the Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo, Brazil, pulling in $32 million and now standing alone as the highest-grossing gig of 2017 by a solo headliner, according to Billboard. More than a quarter million tickets were sold for those final five dates.
— U2 (@U2) October 4, 2017
And where does Australia fit in with the Joshua Tree anniversary tour? Well, it clearly won’t happen in its 30th anniversary year, though longtime production director Jake Berry did recently hint that Australia was in the frame. “I think that there’s always been talk about doing more Joshua Tree dates, whether it’s a reality or not I don’t know,” Berry told Billboard in September. “The Joshua Tree wasn’t just big in Europe and America, it was big in Australia. It was big in South America.”
It’s unlikely any tour this year will eclipse the money generated by the Joshua Tree trek.
U2 won’t dwell on the recent past (or on counting all that money). Their awaited, 14th studio album Songs Of Experience will arrive Dec. 1, and a bunch of new North America tour dates have firmed up for 2018.