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It was a topsy-turvy year for the live music business – literally.
Stage collapses marred the summer concert season, causing physical injury to ticket buyers along with trauma to the promoters and artists whose names were on the bill. Look no further than the tragic events at the Indiana State Fair, where Sugarland were due to headline an August show, for a harsh lesson on Safety 101.
PHOTOS: Top 25 Tours of 2011 — Year in Review
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have U2’s 360° tour, a visual spectacle and engineering feat that broke records as the highest-grossing and most widely-attended tour of all time. In 2011 alone, it grossed nearly $300 million, taking the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s list of the Top 25 Tours of 2011.
As for the other 24, they comprise a healthy mix of genres and generations, from country stars Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney to classic rockers Bon Jovi and Roger Waters — and of course, a few pop divas like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears.
Artists are ranked by total gross earnings, according to Billboard Boxscore, from Nov. 1, 2010, to Nov. 8, 2011. See the gallery here.
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