Boxoffice Insider: Christian Music Tours Find Success Behind the Wheel

Erika Goldring / Getty ImagesCasting crownsCasting Crowns, pictured performing at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on November 6, 2019.

Christian music concert producer Awakening Events submitted recent box office totals from a list of shows as part of the promoter’s “Drive-In Theater Tour Series” playing in regional US markets this summer.

Rock band Casting Crowns lead one of the featured tours, while another trek features veteran artists Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman and Mac Powell, former frontman of Third Day. TobyMac, also headlining the series, appeared in a previous issue of Pollstar with the first box office stats reported during his current tour.

The first of the Casting Crowns dates was an opening night on July 15 in Fayetteville, Ark. At 112 Drive-In. The theater greeted the group with a sold-out crowd topping 1,500 for an evening performance. Tickets were sold per vehicle with a general admission fee of $ 80 allowing up to six people per car. A $ 175 Gold parking ticket gave attendees the best spaces closest to the stage and drive-in screen and also allowed six attendees. In total, tickets were sold for 280 vehicles at the Fayetteville event.

After the tour opened, the band also performed at Admiral Twin Drive-In in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 16, Sandell Drive-In in Clarendon, TX on July 18, and Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, July 20. The combined membership of the four shows topped 5,300 for a gross of $ 170,010 for four cities. The “Drive-In Theater Tour Series” with Casting Crowns is booked for a total of 28 performances this summer and will run through September 10.

Casting Crowns toured extensively in 2019 in support of their November 2018 album Only Jesus and were slated to kick off a 2020 stage with Matthew West as support starting in March. Only a few dates were finalized before the industry shut down, but in its first year on the road, the “Only Jesus Tour” racked up over $ 9.4 million out of 234,536 tickets sold at 62 performances. from February to October.

Also last year, the group teamed up with Hillsong Worship and Elevation Worship on a US arena tour in November that grossed $ 8.7 million on 196,728 tickets for 17 sold-out concerts.

Awakening Events’ Drive-In Theater Tour Series featuring Christian music heavyweights Smith, Chapman and Powell debuted on July 16 at the Stardust Drive-In Theater in Watertown, Tenn., The first of 10 dates. scheduled until the end of July. For the opening show, tickets priced from $ 59 to $ 175 were sold for 253 vehicles at the theater, one of six in Tennessee scheduled for the trek. Attendance at the show topped 1,200 for a box office of $ 39,795.

The second night of the race took the headliners to Athens, Tenn., For a performance on July 17 at the Swingin ‘Midway Drive-In with an attendance of 1,200 as well. The third performance took place on July 19 with over 1,300 fans in attendance at the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater in Henderson, North Carolina.

Smith was booked this spring with his “35 Years of Friends Tour,” but the dates were eventually postponed. The first stop on his tour in October and November included 22 shows in American theaters and churches. Chapman was scheduled to continue his “SCC Solo Tour” in 2020 after performing 43 shows in early 2019 as part of a continued multi-year effort on the road celebrating his 30-year career. Powell’s new, post-Third Day group called Mac Powell & the Family Reunion performed a series of 2019 headlining shows produced by Awakening Events from March through May.


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