by Hugh McIntyre, Forbes Magazine
From the moment U2 announced they were going on tour to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of their album The Joshua Tree, it was sure to be a massive success, but few could have predicted just how incredible the response would have been from fans.
According to Live Nation, the company behind the worldwide tour, over 1.1 million tickets were sold in just a single day, easily making this outing one of the most popular and fastest-selling in history.
The tour begins in the North America in mid-May and snakes through the United States with select dates in Canada as well, and thus far, almost every single one of those dates has seen every ticket snatched up immediately. The band's run in Europe sold out on the first day, with people in cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and of course their hometown of Dublin all rushing to grab passes. Due to incredibly high demand, the likes of which have almost never been seen in the touring industry, new shows have already been announced in Los Angeles, East Rutherford, NJ and in Chicago throughout this coming summer.
With general admission floor tickets selling for just $70 (according to Live Nation, though that's not to say that many people ended up paying that amount for their passes), this tour is going to be one for the record books. The stadiums that U2 has chosen to play vary in terms of how many people they can fit, with estimated capacities ranging from 50,000 to upwards of 100,000.
Quick, back of the napkin math shows that even the smaller sets on the "The Joshua Tree Tour" could net between $3 million and $4 million, with the grosses only climbing from there. When that number is multiplied by the 30-something dates scheduled, it's clear that this endeavor has the power to bring in well over $100 million. When 2017 is through, it's likely that U2 will come out on top as the biggest, most successful tour of the year, as fans will not want to miss this once in a lifetime anniversary trek.
The simply-titled "The Joshua Tree Tour" recognizes what could be called the band's breakout album, which catapulted them from a rock group with some hit singles and relatively successful records to true global superstars. The Joshua Tree is actually U2's fifth album, but it was their first to hit No. 1 in most countries, including in the United States, as well as in their home country of Ireland. The record spun off a number of smash hits, including "With Or Without You," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," and "Where The Streets Have No Name." The Joshua Tree went on to be nominated for five Grammys, winning them the highly coveted Album of the Year prize, and in the 30 years since it was released the title has sold around 25 million copies.