Toronto Named The World's Most Popular World Tour Destination
A travel company looked at over 700 gigs to find out which cities are the most essential stops for the music’s biggest musical tours, and Toronto came out on top.
It’s no secret that in the last fifteen years, Toronto has launched some of the music industry’s biggest stars. But perhaps more surprisingly, it’s also become an essential destination where artists — Canadian and otherwise — can come back. A new analysis from Giacomo Piva of travel company Radical Storage finds that Toronto is the most popular stop for world tours.
The article looks at 707 concert stops from 21 of the world’s biggest touring artists since 2015, as judged by Spotify streaming stats. It finds that 85.1 percent of world tours have come through Canada's biggest city, more than any other city in the world. London follows at a close second with 83 percent, and Chicago is third at 80.9 percent.
Toronto isn’t the only Canadian stop doing well on the world tour circuit: Montreal is at number eight on the list, tied with New York City, both of which had 55.3 percent of tours come through. Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena is a popular world tour stop, while Montreal’s Bell Centre is the venue of choice for major touring artists. Both can hold roughly 20,000 guests, and will host upcoming concerts from Mariah Carey, Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan.
Toronto also has another higher-capacity venue that caters to the superstars eyeing Canadian dates: the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, which has a capacity of 50,000. The stadium hosted the only Canadian stops on Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour this summer and will also serve as home to Taylor Swift’s six-date residency there next November as part of her record-breaking Eras Tour. It's also hosting notable upcoming concerts from legacy bands Blink-182 and Green Day.
Montreal has a 50,000-capacity venue in Olympic Stadium, where its former baseball team, the Montreal Expos, used to play. Olympic Stadium is in need of updates and repairs — though that didn’t prevent it from hosting two nights of Metallica this summer. Vancouver doesn’t appear in the analysis, but the west coast city also boasts its fair share of arena tours, including recently announced Taylor Swift dates at BC Place next year.
According to the Canadian Association for the Performing Arts, live performance contributed 3.3 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2022, and accounted for 72,000 jobs.
Some less lucky cities include Athens, Bogota, and Istanbul, all of which were snubbed by 97.90% of the world tours included in the analysis. South America seemed to be the least visited continent, with four cities among the list of the most-ignored cities.
There are a range of factors at play when an artist decides which cities to play including fan base and ticket sales, but also feasibility and security: does a particular destination have the resources and capacity to put on a safe and successful show? Does the artist have a team that can work with local promoters to make sure everything runs smoothly? A fan’s death during a heat wave at a Taylor Swift show in Rio de Janeiro recently highlighted the issues of safety and responsibility when it comes to live music, as did the deaths of 10 people after a crowd crush at Travis Scott’s 2021 Astroworld concert in Houston.
Piva’s research is just one analysis of the global touring landscape, but it provides some insight into where artists are focusing their attention, and indicates the significance of Canada’s live music infrastructure on the global stage. At the very least, it should put to rest any worries fans have that their favourite artists aren’t coming to Canada — this data suggests that Canadian dates are always on the horizon.
Check out the full report here.