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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Sir Paul coins it in US
Sir Paul McCartney plays in New York after 11 September
Sir Paul is as popular as ever in the US
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney's US tour was the most lucrative of the year so far taking $52.8m (33.9m) in ticket sales, according to a survey.

US trade magazine Pollstar put Sir Paul at the summit of its top 50, with Sir Elton John's joint tour with Billy Joel second.

Playing his first American tour in a decade, Sir Paul received good reviews and ovations for shows featuring a string of hits.


One has to wonder where the millions of ticket buyers we lost since 2000 have gone

Pollstar
The 27 dates in 20 cities had an average ticket price of $129.59 (83.27), Pollstar said.

There have already been reports that Sir Paul is planning another US tour later in the year.

The double bill of Billy Joel and Elton John took $44.4m (28.5m) from 23 shows in just eight cities with an average ticket price of $108.70 (69.87).

The singer-songwriters could have taken the top spot if Joel's health problems had not postponed 10 dates until the autumn.

Older acts

The survey results suggest that while new British acts are finding it difficult to make an impact in America, British veterans are doing as well as ever.

But despite great success by older acts, Pollstar said the numbers attending America's most expensive concerts had fallen.

The decline in attendance comes at the same time as the music industry fights internet "piracy" which it says is badly affecting record sales.

Sir Elton John (l) and partner David Furnish at a recent charity event
Sir Elton toured with Billy Joel
The Pollstar survey showed the top 50 acts sold a combined 10.6 million tickets in the first half of the year.

This was a fall of three percent from the equivalent period last year which saw sales of 10.9 million tickets and is down 18% from 2000 (12.9 million tickets).

The average ticket price for those top 50 tours rose 11.3% from last year to $50.81 (32.64), Pollstar said.

The rise was massively in excess of US "consumer" inflation which rose 3.6% in the year to May.

Priced out

A Pollstar spokesman said: "One has to wonder where the millions of ticket buyers we lost since 2000 have gone.

"Can we get them back or have they been priced out of the market for good?"

But the older rock acts are clearly not suffering, with the ticket sales for the top 50 acts reaching $538.2m (345.75m) during the first half of the year, up 17% from the same period last year, but down 7% from 2001.

Other veterans in the top 10 included Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Eagles, and Jimmy Buffett.

Pollstar is confident total ticket sales for 2002 will surpass 2001's record of $1.75bn (1.12m).

Among the bigger acts to tour later this year are the Rolling Stones, whose 1994 tour grossed a record $121.2m (77.9m).

See also:

05 Jul 02 | Entertainment
18 Jun 02 | Entertainment
18 Jun 02 | Entertainment
12 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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