As reported in The Licesning Letter, in his first year as an opening act for George Strait in 1998, country singer Kenny Chesney racked up merchandise sales averaging 15 cents per concertgoer. In his third year on the tour, with a hit country single behind him, sales jumped to $1 a head.
Chesney the headliner now averages $8 to $12 per capita, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Fans in Dallas bought 8,200 T-shirts, 1,200 hats and sundry gear for a total of $379,885. About 20% of that revenue went to the house. The rest went directly into Mr. Chesney’s coffers.
Whereas many artists farm out merchandising rights to third parties.” Chesney “thanks God every day” that he never gave up
those rights. The Rolling Stones pulled in an average $40 per head for the first three concerts on their 50th-anniversary current tour.