How To Use Pollstar For Artist Research

Event Promoters take an enormous amount of risk. You spend a lot of time tracking how events sell in your market over time. Sometimes, it is very helpful to have data from other promoters and markets.

Pollstar is a trade publication for the concert industry. Originally founded in 1981, it has become a great resource for promoters to gather information about tour histories. Many promoters, agencies, and venues report ticket sales figures for their events to Pollstar. Subscribers can view averages & purchase tour histories and box office reports to make more informed decisions when crafting an offer for an artist.

Tips For Using Pollstar For Artist Research

There Is No Crystal Ball

No one can tell you for certain how many tickets you are going to sell. There are dozens of factors to consider when crafting an offer, so use Pollstar as another datapoint. At the end of the day it comes down to how popular an artist is in your market, your ability promote the concert, and the state of your market / competition during that time period.

Look For The # Of Headline Shows & Box Office Reports

Pollstar gives you two important figures: Average Tickets Sold & Average Gross Box Office Receipts. These numbers are calculated by averaging the reported shows over the past 36 months. Before assigning any weight to these numbers take note of the number of Headline Shows & number of Box Office reports used to calculate those numbers. Sometimes an artist will have 1 reported show from their hometown. Those averages would be virtually useless.

Calculate The Average Ticket Price

Divide the Average Gross by the Average Tickets Sold to calculate the average ticket price. If the artist has shows on sale go take a look at those for a better picture of what’s going on. The last thing you want to do is underprice your show.

When was the most recent date in your market

Do a quick search for your market on both the upcoming dates & past dates tabs. If you don’t know when/where the last play in the market was you should definitely investigate that & try to find out how it did. More importantly, make sure the artist isn’t already scheduled to play nearby.

Don’t Trust Anything

Reported numbers are not always accurate & will almost always be a little more optimistic than reality. In fact, As a general rule of thumb you should assume that your show will NEVER Gross more than the average Gross on Pollstar.

In summary, Pollstar is a great resource for our industry as long as you use it wisely. You should never base your offer solely on the numbers you find here. Do some digging with your local radio stations, Facebook Ads, Spotify, and YouTube.

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