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Mariah Carey’s 2023 Holiday Tour Scored Her Best Concert Attendance in 25 Years

Mr. Nimbus | 01/19/2024

Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas One and All! tour grossed $29.6 million and sold 214,000 tickets according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. On a per-show basis, the tour’s 15 dates sold more tickets than any Carey tour in 25 years, dating back to the Butterfly World Tour in 1998.

Carey released Merry Christmas in 1994, featuring the iconic and evergreen smash single, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” That would be enough to cement her status as the Queen of Christmas, but Carey has put in the work each year and assumed her throne on stage as well. For every year since 2014 (except for the 2020-21 COVID years), she has toured and/or held mini residencies honoring her holiday material.

For four years, Carey played a stint at New York’s Beacon Theatre, building from 16,200 tickets in 2014, to 20,700 in 2015, and to 23,400 in 2016. She cut down to just three shows at the Beacon in 2017, before rebuilding at Madison Square Garden in 2019, 2022 and 2023. Her two shows there in December sold a combined 28,700 tickets and grossed $4.5 million, both of which are bigger than ever.

Not only has Carey increased her efficiency in New York, she’s built out across the country and into Europe. What began as a NYC-only event in 2014, expanded to Europe in 2017 and 2018, plus more North American cities in 2019. After last year’s post-pandemic return focused on just New York and Toronto, the 2023 tour boasts Carey’s biggest holiday routing yet, never playing to fewer than 12,500 fans across the U.S. and Canada. Holiday classics or not, it’s her first such major arena tour since 2006.

Considering “All I Want for Christmas Is You” re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 based on the tracking week of Nov. 10-16, and stayed at No. 2 through the first week of 2024, it’s possible she could expand beyond the Nov. 17-Dec. 17 window of this year’s run.

The Merry Christmas One and All! tour averaged $2 million and 14,200 tickets per show. Those revenue figures are Carey’s biggest ever, dating back more than 30 years since she crashed the Billboard charts.

But while a bustling concert economy and decades of inflation can explain some of her recent success, Carey’s reach – the sheer number of tickets she sold – is also sky high. That 14,200 average is the best per-show attendance for any of her tours since 1998, when she was supporting the previous year’s Butterfly.

Leading up to that 1998 tour, Carey amassed four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 and 12 No. 1 songs on the Hot 100. Since then, there have been another two No. 1 albums and seven No. 1 songs, including 14 weeks on top, spread across the last five holiday seasons, for “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” In 2019, one month before that track reached the summit, Carey ranked No. 4 on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Artists chart, leading among women and Black artists.

Still, Carey has never toured with the same intensity as many of the acts that surrounded her on that list, such as Elton John, Madonna or Taylor Swift. Her first three concert tours, in the midst of her ‘90s chart-topping spree, each lasted for no more than 11 shows, almost one eighth of Swift’s calendar for 2024.

It’s encouraging that Carey has arguably been busier than ever on the road in the last decade, including her annual holiday series, two Las Vegas residencies and three international tours. Far removed from releasing her last chart-topper, her 2023 upswing in concert attendance, not to mention the all-time-high grosses, tells a positive story about Carey’s legacy as the Queen of Christmas, using her unique niche (and 19 No. 1 hits – a record among soloists – expanding their presence in the holiday show setlist) to fill arenas.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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