It seems like just yesterday that Garth Brooks gave us possibly the oddest press conference of all time. Part stream of consciousness where he declared his love for all of his fans, part not-much-real-information about upcoming plans, Brooks declared that he was back! Having entered semi-retirement to raise his children (a worthy excuse!) in 2000, Brooks had only appeared a few times in the intervening years, mostly for benefit concerts, but also once in 2008 for a string of concerts in Kansas City, MO. Brooks also took up weekend residency shows in a stretch at the Wynn Las Vegas that lasted from 2009 to 2014.
Now it was July 2014, and Garth Brooks was back, and with an online presence! That’s right – going into retirement at a time when few people in any industry had websites, the Garth Brooks brand severely lacked an online presence until 2014. I have to admit, even as someone who began using the Internet shortly after it become commercially viable in the mid-1990s, it was a little strange to hear someone so excited at finally being online. The strangest part of the presser was that no tour dates were even announced that day. It wasn’t until four days later that we had the first dates – Rosemont, IL that September. Here’s an excerpt from the event:
A Success Comes to Life
Despite the initial strangeness of it all, the Garth Brooks World Tour has most certainly been a success. It has not only been the top-selling concert tour at TicketNetwork.com of the last 18 months*, it is also the fifth highest-selling event out of all types of events in the same time period, beaten out only by shows such as Disney on Ice: Frozen, Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey Circus, and Monster Jam:
- Disney on Ice: Frozen
- Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus
- Monster Jam
- Radio City Christmas Spectacular
- Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood
- The Book of Mormon
- The Harlem Globetrotters
- New York Yankees
- Los Angeles Dodgers
An initial look shows us that the Rosemont, IL, set of shows sold the best here at TN.com, with 10% of all ticket sales for the tour, compared to 6% for runner-up Atlanta. However, it is difficult to compare sales between cities since Brooks had a different number of shows per city. For example, Rosemont had eleven shows while Atlanta had seven, which usually means that a city with higher number of shows will have more tickets sold, just because more seats are available per city. There are some exceptions to this rule. Minneapolis saw fewer sales than Atlanta, despite the former having more shows.
What is a little easier to compare is the day of week that has done the best throughout the tour, and to what I’m sure is nobody’s surprise Saturday is that day. Over 48% of tickets sold on TicketNetwork.com for the Garth Brooks tour have been for Saturday shows. This makes a lot of sense as relatively few people work on Saturday, but the difference between it and other days is huge. For example, Friday shows only account for 28% of tickets sold, and Sunday 12%. It quickly goes down from there, with Monday shows accounting for below 1%.
|Day||% of Tickets Sold|
At 18 months, and with no sign of stopping, the Garth Brooks World Tour (which has, ironically, so far only been in North America) is well on its way to breaking records. Depending on how you want to define “tour” – whether a tour can effectively never end until the artist/band retires or dies, like with Bob Dylan and The Ramones, or whether it should have a defined end of some sort – Brooks may be on course to break his own record, the 354 shows he played during his previous tour from 1996 – 1998. To date, Brooks has played 215 shows.
It’s quite possible that Brooks will be able to beat his own record. Unlike many tours, Brooks’ shows happen in groupings – one city at a time, and usually with some rest in between. The constant travelling back and forth for long periods of time is hard to do. The way Brooks does his tour limits travel and the fatigue associated with it. Cher carried out a 325 show extravaganza during her “retirement tour” from 2002 – 2005, but that’s just not typical and she hasn’t repeated a tour of quite that extent just yet since returning from retirement.
Comparing the Garth Brooks Tour to Other Things
Eighteen months is quite a long time in the touring world. As pointed out above, Cher did three years from 2002 – 2005 and Bob Dylan is two years shy of 30 years on his “Never Ending Tour,” but I think it’s safe to say that Brooks’ tour goes to a special level that many artists just don’t meet. So what else takes 18 months, besides his tour? Here are six:
- The gestation time of elephants
- Development time for two human non-twin babies
- Some certification programs
- Key development point for toddlers
- Recovery from divorce
- The grace period for interest on some credit cards
And that’s just 18 months. Think about what can happen in two years, or three years? Will we someday be comparing Garth’s tour to things that happen in four years? Maybe. We’ll just have to see. Interested in catching a Garth Brooks concert? Then find tickets to an upcoming show!
*Ticket sales data is as of 3/7/2016 10:30 a.m. EST. Trademarked names are the property of their respective owners. TicketNetwork does not claim any right or ownership to any trademark contained in this article. These names are strictly used for descriptive purposes and do not imply an endorsement or partnership.