The Average Age of a Top-Touring Artist: 46

Is it any wonder that younger fans are leaving the building?

The latest figures show a mass exodus of 12-to-24 concertgoers, thanks partly to recessionary effects.   But even in good times, $100+ seats are tough to stomach, and the biggest grosses often belong to older artists.

How old?  We did a canvas of the top-grossing performers of 2009, using Pollstar data, and researched the age of every front-line performer.  So, the Jonas Brothers – ranked 9th with a gross of $96.6 million that year – came in at ages 18, 21, and 23, while Simon & Garfunkel – 50th at $25.8 million – clocked 69 years each.

And the average age? 46… and getting older!  And just for kicks, the average ticket price on the top 50-grossing shows?  $76.44.

Indeed, the largest-grossing acts are typically closer to a Garfunkel than a Jonas.  The list of over-performers included U2 (the top-grossing band that year, late 40s/early 50s), Metallica (late 40s), Cher (64), No Doubt (now in their 40s), Bob Dylan (69), and Kiss (hitting 60s).  On the other end, some youth was coming from tours like American Idol 2009 and Miley Cyrus (18).