Now in the thick of the summer, the Spice Girls lead the charge into North American and European stadiums alongside Paul McCartney, BTS, The Rolling Stones, and Ed Sheeran.
More than 20 years on from the debut of “Wannabe” and the reign of Spice World, the Spice Girls returned to the stage with the top grossing tour of June. Across eight stadium shows in England and one in Scotland, Scary, Sporty, Baby, and Ginger grossed $54.6 million and sold 472,618 tickets, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore.
Whereas the group’s first reunion tour (2007-08) sprawled across Europe and North America with 45 reported arena shows, the recent trek simultaneously scaled up and sized down, playing 13 stadiums shows (four in May and nine in June), mostly confined to the United Kingdom.
On a per-night basis, the approach worked wonders, averaging $6 million and 53,000 tickets each show, compared to $1.6 million and 13,000 tickets in 2007-08. And even though they played far fewer shows, the stadium strategy worked on the whole: Spice World — 2019 Tour grossed $78.2 million and sold almost 700,000 tickets, versus the $70.1 million and 581,000 tickets from the original reunion tour. The scale of the 2019 tour means that the Spice Girls even out-performed the touring they did during their late-'90s girl-powered prime, when they averaged 17,513 tickets each night.
The Girls’ three-night stint at London’s Wembley Stadium (June 13-15) sits atop the month’s Top Boxscores chart with a thunderous $27.6 million gross and a ticket count beyond 200,000. This is the third engagement of the group’s career to top the weekly Boxscore chart, all three of which played in London. It follows a four-show stretch at Earl’s Court from Dec. 11-15, 1999 ($3.1 million; 81,309 tickets) and a massive run of 17 shows at the O2 Arena between Dec. 15, 2007 and Jan. 22, 2008 ($33.8 million; 256,647 tickets).
It’s one of three engagements that propels the famed stadium to be the top grossing venue of the month, with $47.7 million. In addition to the Spice Girls, BTS (June 1-2) and Billy Joel (June 22) visited, grossing $13.5 million and $6.6 million, respectively.
Alongside the Spice Girls, BTS and Joel highlight the transition into stadium season for the Northern hemisphere, impacting the Top Tours chart with great force while playing very few shows. BTS ranks No. 5 with $27.3 million from only four shows, while Joel is No. 13 with $9.1 million after playing just two concerts (besides Wembley Stadium, Joel played the 66th show of his ongoing monthly residency at Madison Square Garden). Elsewhere, The Rolling Stones hit No. 8, grossing $21.7 million from a two-night play at Chicago’s Soldier Field (No. 2 on Top Boxscores). In total, nine artists reported a monthly gross of $20 million or more, eclipsing the previous high of five from March 2019.
While Ed Sheeran’s all-consuming The Divide Tour may not have hit the high of the Spice Girls’ Wembley outing, he smothers the Top Boxscores chart with seven entries on the 30-position ranking. He is followed by the Spice Girls with five entries and Paul McCartney with four from the North American leg of the Freshen Up tour.
In arenas, Hugh Jackman and Ariana Grande both make multiple appearances on the Top Boxscores chart. Jackman brought his Greatest Showman-meets-Musical Jukebox mega-show to London’s O2 Arena for six shows, grossing $7.4 million. Grande’s high points during June were double-headers at each of New York’s biggest arenas, Madison Square Garden (No. 21; June 18-19; $5.5 million) and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (No. 25; June 14-15; $4.4 million).
And as is becoming routine, theaters in Las Vegas disrupt the boxscore charts, with extended runs from ongoing residencies. This month, Lady Gaga’s six Enigma shows reach No. 6 on the Top Boxscores ranking with grosses of over $9 million. Below the top 30 are Gaga’s two Jazz & Piano shows, where she grossed an additional $3.1 million. In total, Gaga is No. 10 on the Top Tours chart. Elsewhere, Celine Dion (No. 17 Top Boxscores; No. 18 Top Tours) played the final five dates of her residency at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, while Aerosmith (No. 22 Top Boxscores; No. 21 Top Tours) kicked off the second leg of Deuces are Wild at the Park Theater.
But the new Top Stadiums ranking isn’t the only product of the summer touring season. Amphitheaters like The Gorge in George, Wash. (No. 7, Venues 15,001+), Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (No. 10, Venues 15,001+) and Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre (No. 2, Venues 5,001-10,000) infiltrate their respective venue charts with outdoor shows by Dead & Company (Hollywood Bowl, June 3-4), Eric Church (The Gorge, June 28-29), and Billie Eilish (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, June 5).