The Desert Trip festival – featuring the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who – sold out all its 70,000 three-day tickets for each of the festival’s two weekends in under three hours, Billboard reports.
Although the festival’s organisers – Goldenvoice and AEG z – have not made an official announcement about how quickly all tickets for the event have sold, Billboard reports that its sources say both Desert Trip weekends – 9-11 October and 16-18 October – sold out in less than three hours.
Billboard estimates the gross revenues from ticket sales at $150m (£104m). Last year’s highest grossing festival was Coachella – run by the same people who are putting on Desert Trip, on the same site near Palm Springs, California – which made $84.26m over two weekends, according to Forbes. Desert Trip would be, comfortably, the highest-grossing event in music history.
As well as ticket sales, the organisers will be making money from ancillary activities such as selling licenses for catering and luxury camping. Desert Trip promises “over 30 culinary masterminds” providing food, as well as assorted catering packages starting at $129 per person per day.
Desert Trip, with its likely appeal to a prosperous audience of baby boomers, has charged premium prices. The 35,000 reserved seats for each weekend sold for between $699 and $1,599, while general admission was $399. The last tickets to sell out were the $199 day passes.
However, the cost of booking the six acts who are appearing would have been colossal. One source familiar with the logistics of booking huge acts, and who had worked with some of those appearing at Desert Trip, suggested to the Guardian that Desert Trip might well be paying between $6m and $9m to each of the six acts.