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Concert Business Was Really Dead in '91, Pollstar Says : * Pop music: Grateful Dead placed No. 1, and three country acts made the Top 10, but gross ticket revenues fell at least 25% from 1990, according to a trade publication.

December 26, 1991|STEVE HOCHMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Bongiovanni said there are lessons to be learned from some of the year's few successes. They came not so much from the Dead--whose year-in, year-out ability to sell concert tickets regardless of the band's recording success is an anomaly--or the country acts, who make their money through playing a lot of dates. Instead, a strategy for success came from several youth-oriented acts that anticipated the economic downturn and took steps to lower ticket prices.

"Warrant priced their concerts at $11 or $12 a ticket for a three-act bill, and that's a bargain," he said. "They may have grossed the same as Iron Maiden, but they played before twice as many people."

For a band like Warrant, Bongiovanni said, more people at concerts means more T-shirt and other product sales at the shows, more fan loyalty and, ultimately, higher record sales.

"The bottom line is that if Warrant grossed as much as Iron Maiden but played in front of twice the people, Warrant did better," he said.

'91 Top North American Concert Tours

NO.ARTIST CITIES SHOWS GROSS 1. Grateful Dead 27 76 $34.7 million 2. ZZ Top 85 106 24.7 million 3. The Judds 116 126 22.7 million 4. Rod Stewart 47 59 21.9 million 5. Paul Simon 72 76 21.2 million 6. Guns N' Roses 30 43 20.4 million 7. Bell Biv Devoe, Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat 66 72 17.6 million 8. Michael Bolton 70 103 17.3 million 9. Garth Brooks 94 111 17.0 million 10. Clint Black 92 100 15.2 million

TOTAL GROSS: $212.7 million Source: Pollstar magazine

Top North American Concert Tours of '90

1. New Kids $74.1 million 2. Billy Joel 43.0 million 3. Paul McCartney 37.9 million 4. Grateful Dead 29.0 million 5. Janet Jackson 28.1 million 6. Aerosmith 27.4 million 7. Hammer 26.3 million 8. Motley Cruue 24.7 million 9. Phil Collins 23.8 million 10. Eric Clapton 20.7 million

TOTAL GROSS: $335 million

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