As robust and expansive as Pollstar’s 2018 mid-year touring data is. especially for international, which saw total grosses up 12% on the Mid-Year Top 100 Worldwide Tours Chart to an all-time high of $2.21 billion, one artist stands out among all others with a record-shattering gross and massive ticket sales yet they kept prices well below the mid-year average and still somehow managed to beat all comers by a country mile: 27-year old Edward Christopher Sheeran, MBE, from West Halifax, England, known far more widely and informally as just Ed.
Indeed, Ed Sheeran’s $213.9 million gross, according to Pollstar Boxoffice reports, is the largest ever recorded on the Mid-Year Worldwide Chart (which began in 2009). It’s a massive 40% increase over last year’s No. 1 ranked Guns N’ Roses trek, which totaled $151.5 million and 20% higher than the chart’s all-time topper, AC/DC who brought in $177.5 million in 2010.
To put it in perspective, Sheeran’s six-month tally is so massive it is nearly double the individual grosses from the rest of the mid-year’s Top 5 in Bruno Mars, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift and Pink which hover close to the $100 million mark.
For a guy performing with just a guitar and a mic, credit Sheeran and his team—manager Stuart Camp, CAA which handles Sheeran internationally led by music agent Jon Ollier (Paradigm/Marty Diamond has him in North America which kicks off in mid-August), as well as promoters that include Frontier’s Michael Gudinski in Australia, the U.K.’s Kilimanjaro and DHP Family along with AEG Presents in Glasgow. Together they managed to parlay his global recorded music dominance in a tour that owned Pollstar’s 2018 Mid-Year tally like no other.