Rich Howells

Wilkes-Barre’s Breaking Benjamin cracks Top 200 bestselling North American tours in 2016 with Disturbed

Wilkes-Barre’s Breaking Benjamin cracks Top 200 bestselling North American tours in 2016 with Disturbed
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Pollstar, a leading concert industry publication, released its year-end report on 2016 concert ticket sales last week, which had some good news for some of the biggest venues in Northeastern Pennsylvania – the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township ranked at No. 141 in the Top 200 arenas in worldwide ticket sales, the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre came in at No. 109 in the Top 200 theaters in the world, and The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton hit No. 46 in the Top 100 amphitheater venues worldwide.

The latter had some help from Wilkes-Barre’s own Breaking Benjamin, who co-headlined a sold-out show with Disturbed at Montage Mountain on July 29, selling 16,000 tickets to hometown fans. As it turns out, the local rock band was just as popular around the country.

The Disturbed/Breaking Benjamin tour made it to No. 142 in Pollstar’s list of the Top 200 North American tours in 2016, which is based on ticket sales across the continent. At an average price of $33.56, they sold an average of 10,614 tickets per show, grossing an average $356,165 for a total of $8.2 million – talk about bringing in the Benjamins!

This shows just how far Breaking Benjamin has come since singer/guitarist Benjamin Burnley founded the group as a cover band back in 1998. Releasing their debut original album, “Saturate,” in 2002 through Hollywood Records, they have gone through several lineup changes and a hiatus since, but the band currently has three platinum and two gold records, including their latest gold-selling album, “Dark Before Dawn.” In 2015, it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and spawned two No. 1 hits, “Failure” and “Angels Fall,” becoming one of the biggest rock albums of the year.

As they work on their next album, Breaking Benjamin is touring nationally in early 2017 and will debut a new music video for “Never Again” on Jan. 13.

The Top 10 in the Top 200 list of highest grossing North American tours includes Beyoncé, Guns N’ Roses, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Garth Brooks, Adele, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Drake, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney.

It seems Breaking Benjamin is part of an overall upward trend in the live music industry, according to Pollstar:

The Top 100 Tours of North America grossed a record $3.34 billion, which was up 7 percent over last year’s $3.12 billion. The top 100 acts sold a record 43.63 million tickets. That is over 1.5 million more tickets, or 4 percent higher than the previous year.

The average ticket price also hit record levels at $76.55, which is up 3 percent or $2.30 over 2015. The Top 100 Worldwide Tours generated $4.88 billion in sales, which was up about 4 percent over the previous year, but a bit short of the record $5 billion set in 2013.

The total tickets sold was 60.49 million, up from last year’s 59.78 million, but still below the record 63.34 million sold in 2013. The Worldwide and North American Tour charts include estimates for any unreported concert dates.

The Pollstar database includes a record $9 billion in detailed 2016 concert grosses. In most cases, projections are only a small part of the total data set. Only 16 percent of the Top 100 worldwide tour dates required estimates.

In North America, only 8 percent of the dates played needed estimates. Pollstar estimates that North American ticket sales hit a record $7.3 billion in 2016. The concert industry has shown tremendous income growth, especially if one considers that, 20 years ago, our estimate for North American ticket sales was barely over $1 billion.

Read NEPA Scene’s review of Breaking Benjamin’s sold-out concert in Scranton last year here.