Metallica are now the “biggest all-time touring band”

A new study from Pollstar reveals the metal titans to be the kings of live music

Metallica have been crowned the “biggest all-time touring band” in a new study.

The band have been taking their WorldWired Tour around the globe this year, and played a pair of recent ‘S&M2’ gigs in San Francisco.

The new study, from Pollstar, makes a case for the band to be the most successful live band of all time, grossing $1.4 billion in ticket sales since 1982.


The figures put the metal heavyweights ahead of Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC and more.

Metallica in concert at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

The new study, called Tour & Destroy: The Case for Metallica as the World’s Biggest Touring Act, uses stats dating back to the beginning of Metallica, revealing that the band have sold 22.1 million tickets to their shows.

Also helping Metallica’s case in the study is the fact that they’ve performed in 48 countries and on all seven continents (including Antarctica), which few touring bands can match.

They also lead merch sales, selling $125 million in merchandise in North America since 1991.

Their current WorldWired Tour has currently grossed $430m on 4.1 million tickets.


Pollstar spoke to drummer Lars Ulrich for the study, and he explains what he thinks is behind Metallica’s continuing reign at the very top of live music.

“I keep thinking and forcing myself to think all our best years are still ahead of us,” he said. “It’s always, ‘What’s your favorite record?’ It’s the next one, the one we haven’t recorded yet.”

“It’s always about the possibilities, always about what can be, what’s coming. That, to me, is what this is all about and I think that attitude is a big part of the why Metallica still connects to so many people around the world.”

It was recently revealed that Metallica donated $1.5 million throughout their European tour.

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