Highest-grossing music tour
Who
Ed Sheeran
What
776,200,000 US dollar(s)
Where
Not Applicable ()
When

Ed Sheeran’s (UK) ÷ [“Divide”] Tour is the most profitable music tour of all time after notching up a gross of $776.2 million (£631.3 million) from the 255 shows staged across six continents between 16 March 2017 and 26 August 2019, according to Billboard Boxscore. U2’s 360° Tour ($736.4 million – or £450 million – from 110 shows between June 2009 and July 2011) had been the most profitable trek until 2 August 2019, when Sheeran played Messegelände Hanover in Germany, a gig which took the ÷ Tour to an overall gross of $736.7 million (£666.2 million) with a handful of dates remaining.


The 14-leg ÷ Tour, in support of his third studio album ÷ (2017), was already the highest-grossing music tour by a solo artist, having beaten Roger Waters’ The Wall Live ($458,673,798 – or £286,104,000 – in 2010–13), and the highest-grossing music tour in a single year – $429.4 million (£336.6 million) from 99 concerts in 2018, according to Billboard Boxscore. The Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang Tour (2006) held the previous record with $425.1 million (then £216.9 million).

In Europe alone, the ÷ Tour attracted more than 4.8 million people and grossed $419.7 million (£341.4 million) from 112 shows. The numbers for the other five continents were: North America ($178.8 million, or £145.4 million, from 88 shows); Australia ($82.6 million, or £67.2 million, from 18 shows); Asia ($55.6 million, or £45.2 million, from 19 shows); South America ($27.4 million, or £22.3 million, from 14 shows); and Africa ($12.1 million, or £9.8 million, from four shows). All conversions correct to 26 August 2019.

Sheeran set the single-tour attendance record in May 2019, which was also previously held by U2’s 360° Tour (7,272,046 tickets sold). According to Billboard Boxscore, a reported 8,882,182 million fans witnessed the ÷ Tour, even though the average attendance per show (34,496) was almost half that of U2’s average of 66,110 attendees due to Sheeran playing smaller venues than the Irish rock giants.

The singer-songwriter took to Instagram (@teddysphotos) to celebrate the success of the tour, writing: “9 million people, 893 days, 46 countries, 175 cities, 260 [sic] shows, 268 touring crew, 193265 miles travelled, 2 broken arms, 3 marriages, 4 babies. What a wild ride this Divide tour has been… The Divide tour - 2017-2019. Officially the biggest tour of all time, so weird to say that, and we survived it!”

The ÷ Tour survived the cancellation of several dates in Asia after Sheeran fractured his right wrist and left elbow in a cycling accident in his home county of Suffolk, a show at the Scottrade Center (now the Enterprise Center) in St Louis, USA, amid violent protests in the city, and an April 2019 date at Hong Kong Disneyland due to a lightning storm!

The tour’s set list included ÷ favourites “Castle on the Hill”, “Perfect” and “Shape of You”, plus a selection of tracks from previous albums such as “Sing”, “The A Team” and “Thinking Out Loud”.