1998 Year In Review: Top Tours

By John Athayde

This was sent to us by our good friend Heather. Note the high status of DMB in the listings.

Elton John, Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews Among 1998 Top Touring Acts

For the first time in his illustrious career, Elton John has catapulted to the No. 1 grossing act of the year, pulling in $40.7 million from 54 reported shows and drawing 893,820 fans, according to concert statistics compiled by Performance magazine, a concert touring trade.

The remaining top 10 grossing acts are: Yanni ($40.6 million, 101 shows), Eric Clapton ($34.4 million, 43 shows), Garth Brooks ($33.9 million, 98 shows), Janet Jackson ($32.3 million, 60 shows), George Strait's Country Music Festival ($32.9 million, 18 shows), Dave Matthews Band ($31.3 million, 61 shows), Celine Dion ($29.5 million, 29 shows), Shania Twain ($29.2 million, 67 shows), and Aerosmith (28.1 million, 69 shows).

It should be noted that both Dion and Aerosmith have more dates to be played out before the year ends. Of this year's top 10, several moved up the charts from last year. In 1997, Garth Brooks placed No. 6, Dave Matthews Band No. 22, Celine Dion No. 33, and Aerosmith No. 12. The Rolling Stones, last year's No. 1 grossing act with $89.5 million, finished in 11th place this year with $28.1 million from 18 shows. Performance's figures only reflect North American shows. The Stones also did some heavy-duty international touring in 1998: Japan, South America, and Europe March 12 through Sept. 19, for a total of 50 shows.


Only two acts in 1998 drew more than 1 million people to their shows: Garth Brooks (1.672 million) and Dave Matthews Band (1.084 million). 1998's top grossing festivals were: George Strait's Country Music Festival ($32.9 million, 18 shows), and the only all-stadium festival tour; Lilith Fair ($24.3 million, 47 shows); OzzFest ($11.5 million, 18 shows); and H.O.R.D.E. ($6 million, 34 shows).

- Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner