Five years after he first announced it, Elton John‘s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour finally comes to an end Saturday, July 8, in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s officially the highest-grossing tour of all time, taking in more than $900 million so far. By comparison, no previous tour had even hit $800 million. So, why has Elton’s tour reached this milestone? Chalk it up to a combination of length, location, setlist and, of course, the whole “farewell” thing.
“He announced in 2018 that it would run for three years, and that’s pretty much what it’s done, if you take COVID out of that,” explains Eric Frankenberg, Billboard‘s senior chart and data analyst for touring and global music. “So yeah, being able to tour for that long…really showcasing this incredible catalog that he has, that’s a big part of it.”
The other part, says Frankenberg, is the fact that Elton’s literally toured the world, selling out both arenas and stadiums in North America, Europe and Australia.
“It’s been a full world tour. I would say that and the length has really pushed it over the edge,” he notes.
Branding it as fans’ last chance to see Elton has also helped attract more than six millions fans to the tour as well, Frankenberg says.
“I really don’t know if he’s going to come back,” he points out. “…But they’ve definitely put a lot of stock into this being his farewell tour. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this is actually it.”
As incredible as his $900 million gross is, Elton’s record likely won’t stand for long. Frankenberg says Taylor Swift‘s Eras Tour is “a big contender for this record … next year when she comes back for Australia and Europe.”
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