The Biggest Single Artist Concerts in History

In our last blog, we looked at the biggest concerts in history. In this blog, we’re going to look at the biggest concerts for a single artist, with some surprising names on there.

Vasco Rossi – Enzo Ferrari Park, Modena – 2017

Attended by 220000 The Italian singer’s show is the biggest single-artist concert in history. With 30 albums which have sold 35 million copies, he is one of the most successful Italian musicians of all time and judging by the attendance at this concert still as popular now as he ever was.


Paul McCartney – Maracanã Stadium, Rio De Janiero – 1990

The former Beatle famously gave up touring in 1966 but hit eth road again with Wings in the 1970s. After Wings, he didn’t tour during the 1980s until he started touring in late 1989 for his solo shows. The first tour’s biggest show was in the Maracanã Stadium where 184000 packed in.


Tina Turner – Maracanã Stadium, Rio De Janiero – 1988

The soul singer’s Break Every Rule Tour was billed as her last at the time and attracted over 4 million people worldwide, making it the biggest tour by attendance for a female artist to this day. The biggest show was at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio De Janiero, where 180000 fans looked on. It is still the biggest concert ever by a female artist.


Frank Sinatra – Maracanã Stadium, Rio De Janiero – 1980

Regarded by many as the greatest singer of the 20th Century, Sinatra had been performing for forty years and had just released his first studio album in six years, Trilogy: Past Present Future, when he played the Maracanã in 1980 in front of 175000 fans. At the time it was the highest attended and biggest grossing concert in history.


Luciano Ligabue – Aeropuerto di Reggio Emilia – Reggio Emilia – 2005

Ligabue’s career started with his Ligabue album, released in May 1990. The singer-songwriter went on to become one of the biggest Italian rock stars. In 2005 he hosted a massive concert in Reggio Emilia to celebrate 15 years of releasing music. The concert was attended by 165264 people. Problems with the sound meant that many people left and Ligabue apologised afterwards. Despite the technical problems, it’s still one of the biggest concerts in history.


Bruce Springsteen – Radrennbahn Weissensee, Berlin – 1988

Before the Berlin Wall came down very few western acts travelled to East Germany and when Bruce Springsteen ventured there to play the cycling track at Radrennbahn Weissensee it was seen as a pivotal moment. Attended by 160000 people, the show created a new feeling and sentiment of change in the city according to historian Thomas Wilke.


U2 – Aeropuerto di Reggio Emilia – Reggio Emilia – 1997

U2’s Pop album was a relative success in its first few weeks before dropping out the charts completely. While not as well regarded as their mid-80s peak, the album still managed to attract fans for its tour. The biggest of the shows was in Italy, where 150000 attended. The tour is famous for its giant lemon and McDonald’s arch. In terms of production, it was one of the most ambitious tours U2 had had at that stage.

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