Are you a music lover who enjoys attending live concerts? If so, you might be curious about which concerts have attracted the most people in history. In this article, we will reveal the top 10 biggest concerts of all time, based on the official attendance figures. We will also share some interesting facts and stories about each concert, and show you an eye-catching table that summarizes the data.
What Makes a Concert Big?
Before we dive into the list, let’s define what we mean by a big concert. There are different ways to measure the size of a concert, such as the number of tickets sold, the revenue generated, or the audience satisfaction. However, for the purpose of this article, we will use the most straightforward and objective criterion: the number of people who attended the concert.
This means that we will only include concerts that have a reliable and verifiable source for their attendance numbers. We will also exclude music festivals, charity events, and free concerts, as they often have multiple artists and other factors that affect the attendance. We will focus on single-artist concerts that required a ticket to enter.
10 Biggest Concerts of All Time
Now that we have clarified the criteria, let’s get to the main part of the article. Here are the top 10 biggest concerts of all time, ranked from the lowest to the highest attendance.
10. Madonna Live in Paris (1987) – 131,100 Attendees
The Queen of Pop made history in 1987 when she performed at the Parc de Sceaux in Paris, France, as part of her Who’s That Girl World Tour. The concert was attended by 131,100 people, making it the largest concert ever held in France at the time. It was also the first time that Madonna performed in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 people. The concert was filmed and released as a video titled Ciao, Italia! – Live from Italy.
9. U2 Live at the Reggio Emilia (1997) – 150,000 Attendees
The Irish rock band U2 is known for their spectacular live shows, and their concert at the Reggio Emilia in Italy in 1997 was no exception. The concert was part of their PopMart Tour, which featured a giant lemon, a 40-meter LED screen, and a mirrorball arch. The concert was attended by 150,000 people, making it the largest concert ever held in Italy. The concert was broadcast live on Italian television and radio, and was later released as a DVD titled PopMart: Live from Mexico City.
8. Roger Waters’ Concert at the Berlin Wall (1990) – 150,000 Attendees
The former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters staged a monumental concert at the Berlin Wall in 1990, to commemorate the fall of the wall and the end of the Cold War. The concert was a live performance of the Pink Floyd album The Wall, which was a concept album about isolation and oppression. The concert featured a 550-meter long and 25-meter high wall that was gradually built and then torn down during the show. The concert was attended by 150,000 people, and featured guest appearances by artists such as Scorpions, Cyndi Lauper, and Van Morrison. The concert was broadcast live on television and radio, and was later released as a live album and a film titled The Wall – Live in Berlin.
7. Bruce Springsteen Live at East Berlin, Weißensee (1988) – 165,000 (ticketed) and Estimated 500,000 Attendees
The Boss delivered one of the most memorable concerts of his career in 1988, when he performed at the Weißensee in East Berlin, which was then under communist rule. The concert was part of his Tunnel of Love Express Tour, which promoted his album Tunnel of Love. The concert was attended by 165,000 people who had tickets, and an estimated 500,000 people who watched from outside the venue. The concert was seen as a symbol of freedom and hope for the people of East Germany, and some historians believe that it contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall a year later. The concert was recorded and released as a live album titled Live in Berlin.
6. Paul McCartney Live at Maracanã Stadium (1990) – 184,000 Attendees
The Beatles legend Paul McCartney performed at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1990, as part of his Paul McCartney World Tour. The concert was attended by 184,000 people, making it the largest concert ever held in South America. It was also the first time that McCartney performed in Brazil, and the first time that he played some of the Beatles songs live since the band’s breakup. The concert was filmed and released as a video titled Get Back.
5. Vasco Rossi Modena Park (2017) – 220,000 Attendees
The Italian rock star Vasco Rossi celebrated his 40th anniversary of his musical career with a massive concert at the Parco Enzo Ferrari in Modena, Italy, in 2017. The concert was attended by 220,000 people, making it the largest ticketed concert of all time. The concert lasted for more than three hours, and featured 40 songs from Rossi’s repertoire. The concert was broadcast live on television and radio, and was later released as a live album and a film titled Vasco Modena Park.
4. Fatboy Slim Live at Big Beach Boutique II, Brighton Beach (2002) – 250,000 Attendees
The British DJ and producer Fatboy Slim, also known as Norman Cook, performed at the Brighton Beach in England in 2002, as part of his Big Beach Boutique series of free concerts. The concert was attended by 250,000 people, making it the largest beach party ever. The concert featured a giant inflatable octopus, fireworks, and lasers, and was described by Cook as “the best night of my life”. The concert was filmed and released as a DVD titled Big Beach Boutique II.
3. Monsters of Rock (1991) – 1.6 Million Attendees
The Monsters of Rock was a hard rock and heavy metal festival that took place in various countries from 1980 to 1996. The most famous and tragic edition of the festival was the one that took place in Moscow, Russia, in 1991, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The festival featured bands such as AC/DC, Metallica, Pantera, and Black Crowes, and was attended by 1.6 million people, making it the largest concert ever held in Europe. The festival was marred by violence and chaos, and resulted in the death of three fans and the injury of many others. The festival was filmed and released as a documentary titled For Those About to Rock: Monsters in Moscow.
2. Jean Michel Jarre at State University of Moscow (1997) – 3.5 Million Attendees
The French electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre performed at the State University of Moscow in Russia in 1997, to celebrate the 850th anniversary of the city. The concert was attended by 3.5 million people, making it the largest concert ever held in Asia. The concert featured a spectacular light and laser show, and was dedicated to the memory of Jarre’s former collaborator and cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, who died in a space mission in 1967. The concert was broadcast live on television and radio, and was later released as a live album and a film titled Oxygen in Moscow.
1. Rod Stewart at Copacabana Beach (1994) – 4.2 Million Attendees
The British rock singer Rod Stewart holds the record for the largest concert of all time, when he performed at the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on New Year’s Eve in 1994. The concert was attended by 4.2 million people, making it the largest concert ever held in the world. The concert was part of Stewart’s Vagabond Heart Tour, which promoted his album of the same name. The concert featured a mix of Stewart’s hits and covers of classic songs, and was broadcast live on television and radio. The concert was filmed and released as a video titled Rod Stewart Unplugged…and Seated.
As you can see, the top 10 biggest concerts of all time are a diverse and impressive list of musical events that have marked the history of music and culture. These concerts have not only entertained millions of people, but also inspired and influenced them in various ways. Whether you are a fan of rock, pop, electronic, or metal music, there is a concert on this list that will appeal to you. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
Most Asked Questions and Answers
Here are some of the most common questions and answers about the top 10 biggest concerts of all time.
- Q: How do you measure the attendance of a concert?
- A: The attendance of a concert is usually measured by the number of tickets sold or distributed, or by the official estimates of the organizers, the police, or the media. However, these numbers may vary depending on the source and the method of calculation, and may not always be accurate or reliable.
- Q: What is the difference between a concert and a festival?
- A: A concert is a musical event that features one or a few artists performing for a specific audience. A festival is a musical event that features multiple artists performing for a general audience, usually over several days and stages.