HAZZA ROAR: Harry Styles performs onstage during the opening of his ‘Love On Tour’ at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 4, 2021 in Las Vegas. (Anthony Pham/Getty Images)
What Harry Styles’ “Love On Tour” has just accomplished is breathtaking in a myriad of ways that should give everyone in this industry, and every living music fan, renewed confidence in a spectacular 2022. His arena tour of 42 dates over three months sold the most tickets in 2021, which is no small feat in these most difficult years.
First of all, the “Love On Tour” was awesome. The joyous, wildly inclusive and non-judgmental atmosphere created by Styles’ prodigious talents in combination with his dazzled and self-reliant flamboyant fans was transformative, the same way his phenomenal show transformed cavernous arenas into what looked like a club. technicolor night. .
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“His fans are just amazing,” says Jeffrey Azoff, whose Full Stop Management team manages Styles. “Honestly, they became a part of the show in so many ways. They created an environment where everyone in the room felt free and safe.
Styles, just 27 years old, is a supernaturally talented artist, who has long since transcended the confines of his early days in One Direction “Hazza”, releasing two critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums with the chart “Live On Tour” of 2018 ranked 27th in the year Pollstar. End of the table of the 100 best world tours.
The “Love On Tour” took it to another level. His last album, Thin line, which was released in December 2019, just before the pandemic hit, is a chart topping and one of the most innovative pop/rock albums of the past decade, filled with future classics like the title track, “Watermelon Sugar”, “Golden “, “Adore You” and “Falling”, among others. For good reason, Thin line was recently included in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” update. And fans, who had been loving the tickets for two years, finally got to see those songs performed live and were handsomely rewarded as Styles and his six-piece band took the new tunes to dizzying heights.
Styles’ ecstatic performances, in which he is in perpetual motion, running for miles and miles around the arenas while singing into his rich, wide baritone and dancing like crazy – never breaking a sweat – are something to behold. And it’s all done in sleek, often feathery outfits that few could wear, thanks in large part to stylist Harry Lambert.
Harry Styles during “Harryween” at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for HS)
That Styles and his team had the guts to put together a 42-date arena tour over three months during this difficult year while selling nearly 720,000 tickets – the most of any artist in 2021 – means that the ” Love On Tour” played an average arena every other night. It involved traveling hundreds of miles between shows and foregoing sleep in the toughest business environment in the history of the concert industry.
Beyond the global pandemic, there have been labor shortages, supply chain lockdowns, inflation and higher spending, fear of the market and different regulations, c That’s why many have chosen to push the tours back to 2022.
“We wanted to show that touring was possible again, and I think Harry proved that,” says Azoff. “We all felt that if there was a way to do this safely, not only for our whole team, but also for everyone involved, it would be worth it. My biggest hope was that it would be a step in the right direction for us all to return to normality around the world, and for the music industry in particular.
Azoff stresses the importance of making sure everyone was safe on the tour. He says: “We had a great group and team, and we asked a lot of them. I am very grateful that they took up the challenge.
Harry Styles performing at the ‘Love On Tour’ Opening Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 4, 2021 in Las Vegas.
The grueling pace of “Love On Tour” meant, for example, having to travel from St. Louis to Philadelphia, Raleigh to Pittsburgh, or Boston to Atlanta in just two days with a full production.
“No one in the ‘Love On Tour’ bubble has ever come into contact with someone who wasn’t fully vaccinated
, tested, and wearing a mask. It was very difficult,” says Azoff.
The creative circle setup, which is part of why Styles circled for a solid two hours, was crafted by Styles with consultation from its creative director Molly Hawkins and set designer Baz Halpin.
In addition to its innovative and refined design, it has made it possible to maximize attendance. The total number of tickets exceeded the average for most buildings. State Farm Arena in Atlanta, for example, averages 9,186 tickets per show, according to Pollstar’s database, but “Love On Tour” averages 15,573 over two consecutive nights; at DC’s Capital One Arena, which averages 10,260 seats, “Love On Tour” had 18,903 tickets. His overall average, according to Pollstar data, was 17,120 per show.
All of this helps explain why tour ticket sales of 719,060 tickets for 42 arena shows (three of which were not part of Pollstar’s chart year) were the highest on the ending world tour chart. year 2021, which bodes incredibly well for 2022.
If Styles were to continue this clip for a full year, his ticket sales would hit 2.87 million, more than anyone on the 2019 pre-pandemic Global Top 100 and behind only Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, who had runs. stadium crowds, on The 2018 Chart. It also did so at a lower ticket price than four of the other top 10 tours of 2021, but had the second highest grossing of the year behind the Rolling Stones.
Azoff, first and foremost, repeatedly credits Styles for the tour’s success: “Harry makes everyone who works with him seem much smarter than they actually are, especially me.” He also shouts out to the band, whom he calls “legends”, his Full Stop colleagues Tommy Bruce and Tom Skoglund, who drove all the way to keep the trains running on time, and the tour’s production manager. , Skiing, among others.
When asked about his favorite ‘Love On Tour’ moment, Azoff said: “The second Harry and the band took to the stage at UBS Arena knowing that we just completed 42 shows without missing a single one, it was my favorite moment of the whole tour.”
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