Summer concert season is officially here and with dozens of rap artists on tour, the genre is dominating the ticketing market with red-hot sales figures. We analyzed data from ten current touring artists to see how they compare in terms of overall sales and cost of tickets per show. Unsurprisingly, consistent favorites like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Jay-Z proved to be some of the top performers.
Jay-Z earned over $1 million in secondary sales from his 4:44 Tour last fall. However, it’s his second On The Run outing with wife Beyoncé that is bringing in the big bucks. The power couple’s joint tour is on track to quickly surpass $4 million in sales before its run of 30 North American stadium shows begins on July 25 (the pair launched their overseas leg June 6 in Wales). Given the mega-watt star power of the duo and longer tour itinerary, it’s a safe bet that Jay and Bey will surpass the $6.8 million sales they earned in 2014 on their first On The Run tour.
While Jay-Z wins the title of highest-grossing rapper on the summer tour circuit, other top names are dishing out impressive numbers. Post Malone follows HOV as the as the next best-selling performer. The “Psycho” hitmaker garnered nearly $1.5 million in sales for his ongoing North American tour, which is set to run through the end of June. Closing in on him is Kendrick Lamar with $1.28 million total sales. Lamar is headlining the Championship Tour presented by Top Dawg Entertainment, featuring other TDE artists like SZA and Schoolboy Q. Though he only announced his Aubrey and the Three Amigos Tour a few weeks ago, Drake is the next-highest-selling rapper as he rapidly approaches $1 million sales and counting.
On the lower end of the sales spectrum are tours from J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Logic, G-Eazy and Macklemore. Wiz Khalifa’s co-headlining trek with Rae Sremmurd is the slowest performer, but is expected to see growth as the July 21 opening tour date approaches.
The high (or low) sales figures are easily attributed to the demand for tickets and their pricetag. Music junkies hoping to catch more than one artist in concert will have better luck seeing Wiz Khalifa, G-Eazy and Macklemore – all of whom have average ticket prices under $75. Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s On the Run II tour once again tops the list with tickets costing an average of $183 per show, whereas Drake followed closely behind at $177 apiece. Childish Gambino, Post Malone and J. Cole all have moderately priced shows ranging from $130 to $155 per ticket. Kendrick Lamar stands alone in the middle with an average ticket price of just under $100.
While the average ticket prices for these hot tours may appear intimidating, fans can rest assured that entry into the concerts can be much more affordable. A base “get-in” cost for Drake’s July 28 show in Denver will run far lower than the $177 average at just $103 for Ticket Club members. A late-September gig at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center has tickets priced as low as $57 for the Aubrey and the Three Amigos Tour. Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s stadium shows offer get-in prices for almost $100 less than the average and Childish Gambino fans can pay as low as $82 to see his October 5 show in Phoenix.
No matter how these numbers fluctuate as tours come and go, it’s certain that rap and hip-hop has cemented its status as one of the biggest genres to take over the summer concert season.
*ticket sales and pricing data accurate as of June 14