On Oct. 19, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, country music superstars Rascal Flatts were given a huge ticket—we’re talking the size of a canoe. The gigantic ducat was a gift from Live Nation Country Touring to commemorate the band selling more than seven million concert tickets in their career.
The trio reached the milestone rather quickly. Rascal Flatts only started headlining back in 2004 with their “Here’s To You Tour.”
While they can sell out arenas like Madison Square Garden and Staples Center, the band plays a lot of smaller venues too. For example, the previously mentioned Bridgestone Arena welcomed 13,000 fans to a Rascal Flatts concert.
Basically, the band from Columbus, Ohio reached seven million concert tickets bit by bit.
To put that number in perspective, seven million people live in Bangkok, Thailand.
If Rascal’s “seven million tickets” were turned into dollars, it’d be the 2012 salary of St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
If you laid seven million concert tickets end-to-end they’d stretch from Nashville, Tennessee to Jacksonville, Florida.
To sell seven million concert tickets, an artist needs to play for an average of 25,000 fans for 280 shows. To sell seven million concert tickets in eight years, an artist has to play in front of those 25,000 fans every nine days.
Of course, Musciology-101 pulled 25,000 out of a hat. That number is probably far less than the average show attendance for Rascal Flatts.
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In 2006, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill embarked on their insanely successful Soul2Soul II Tour. When it was all said and done, McGraw and Hill’s outing was the highest-grossing country music tour of all-time. Even so, they average just over 14,000 fans in 117 shows.
More than likely, Rascal Flatts concerts average about 10,000 supporters.
During the upcoming winter leg of their Farmers Insurance Presents Changed Tour (which begins Jan. 10 in Green Bay), the band is playing at several venues with capacities below the estimated 10,000.
For example, on Jan. 25, The Flatts rolls into Missoula, Montana for a show at the 7,200-seat Adams Event Center.
On Feb. 23, the band rocks the cozy Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Kentucky. That venue can accommodate 7,000 people for music concerts.
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To sell seven million tickets, 7,000 at a time and in a span of eight years, Rascal Flatts would need to play 1,000 shows (just move the decimal). To sell seven million tickets in eight years, the band would have to perform every three days. That would put Rascal Flatts on a perpetual tour of the United States.
In 2012, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw embarked on a 22-city, 23-show tour of the United States. Their trek, which mostly visited football stadiums, sold more than one million tickets. Their two shows at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA accounted for 111,209 of those tickets.
Then again, Kenny Chesney could sell 50,000 tickets to a concert on the moon. Nine out of his last ten tours have moved more than one million tickets.
The highest-grossing concert tour of all-time is U2’s 360° Tour. Lasting more than two years, the Irish rockers played 110 shows and sold more than 7.2 million tickets.
We should consider that U2 is a rock band with a much broader appeal and they had a huge head start on Rascal Flatts in building a fan base. U2 released their first album in 1980 while Rascal Flatts released their first album in 2000.
The only other bands to sell more than 5 million tickets in a single tour are the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.
Rascal Flatts has become one of country music’s top selling acts because they’re one of music’s best live acts. Whether they’re performing an up-tempo toe-tapper or a heart-wrenching ballad, Rascal Flatts owns whatever stage that’s currently under their cowboy boots.
The band also believes in giving fans a tremendous night of music. Throughout their career, Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney have tapped some of country music’s best artists to perform supporting duties: Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Sara Evans, just to name a few.
In 2013, RF will be supported by The Band Perry.
Bottom line, it’s doubtful that it will take another eight years for Rascal Flatts to sell another seven million tickets.