By Gordon Deegan
Westlife clocked up estimated box office ticket sales of $29.9 million (€25.1 million) last year as part of the band’s comeback tour.
That is according to figures by trade industry journal, Pollstar which show that the band's two sell-out gigs at Croke Park in July generated $11.65 million (€9.8 million) at the box office.
The sell out shows at the GAA’s headquarters played to 148,470 fans over the two days and helped catapult Westlife into the world’s top 100 tours after years of inactivity for the group.
The combined two Croke Park performances were ranked in the top 20 international box office performances for last year according to Pollstar.
Across the globe last year, Westlife played to 381,984 music fans, ranking the group at 63rd in the top 100 tours globally last year.
Ed Sheeran claimed with the top spot with a box office of $211.7 million (€178.5 million).
The triumphant box office return for Westlife last year came seven years after the band disbanded in 2012.
The stellar performance by the band last year coincided with the current assets, made up of cash and money owed by debtors, of the entertainment firm owned by Westlife member, Nicky Byrne which increased sharply last year.
New accounts lodged by Nicky Byrne’s Studz Entertainment Ltd show that the value of the company’s cash and money owed increased more than six fold to from €79,104 to €505,475 in the 12 months to the end of October last.
The accounts have been lodged to the Companies Office for Studz Entertainment by Alan McEvoy’s Live Wire Business Management (LBM).
The Limerick-based firm also looks after the business affairs of Westlife and a host of other performers.
The Pollstar figures show that it was also a very lucrative year for Hozier last year.
The figures show that Hozier’s concerts generated $15.08 million (€12.7 million) at the box office when he played to 326,670 music fans across the world in 2019.
Hozier’s busy touring schedule took place following the March 2019 release of his second studio album, Wasteland Baby! which debuted at number one on both sides of the Atlantic.
Hozier’s box office performance had the singer-songwriter ranked 72 in the rankings of box office takings for international tours for 2019.
Artists receive a portion of box office takings where the split is made between artist, promoter and venue operator after all costs are paid out.
However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, artists’ income from live performance in 2020 has collapsed with many tentatively re-scheduling their planned 2020 concerts for next year.