Study Reveals Hardest Working Music Acts

Willie Nelson, B.o.B, Lady Gaga, and Surfer Blood Among Top Artists Connecting with Fans on Tour

Songkick study find the hardest working bands of 2010 (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Songkick (, the live music and technology company that connects music fans with their favorite artists on tour, released a study of 2010’s top twenty touring artists ( The study was based on Songkick’s analysis of the total number of tour dates artists had in 2010.

The Songkick study ( found a surprisingly diverse set of artists occupying the top twenty touring artists list, including both hip-hop act B.o.B and pop megastar Lady Gaga, established stars such as Willie Nelson and Megadeth, and rising indie artists like Beach House and Surfer Blood. The strong demand for these artists’ shows stands in stark contrast to the generally gloomy news about the decline in the top 50 big acts’ tour revenue, as reported by Pollstar.

“The concert business is increasingly two stories,” said Ian Hogarth, Songkick CEO and co-founder. “While tours are soft for a lot of established acts, there is real growth happening, especially for artists that are using social media to connect with fans and keep them up to date on when and where to catch their shows.

“It’s on tour where artists make the connection with fans, and where fans enjoy the live music experience. Which is why both artists and fans are relying on Songkick to help bring them together.”

Based on Songkick’s concert information aggregated from hundreds of sources, pop-punk band Mayday Parade toured more than any other artist in 2010, playing 194 concerts in the last year. American indie rock band Vampire Weekend travelled the farthest of the top 20, with 150,000 miles, averaging more than 944 miles per show.

The top 20 hardest-working touring artists ranked by number of tour dates in 2010 are:
1. Mayday Parade—194 tour dates; 71,000 miles travelled
2. Caribou—185 tour dates; 139,000 miles travelled
3. Surfer Blood—183 tour dates; 111,000 miles travelled
4. Two Door Cinema Club—168 tour dates; 130,000 miles travelled
5. Skillet—166 tour dates; 72,000 miles travelled
6. Willie Nelson—161 tour dates; 56,000 miles travelled
7. Lady Gaga—159 tour dates; 89,000 miles travelled
8. Vampire Weekend—159 tour dates; 150,000 miles travelled
9. Beach House—157 tour dates; 89,000 miles travelled
10. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club—155 tour dates; 82,000 miles travelled
11. Never Shout Never—154 tour dates; 56,000 miles travelled
12. Every Avenue—153 tour dates; 73,000 miles travelled
13. Breathe Carolina—147 tour dates; 68,000 miles travelled
14. 30 Seconds to Mars—142 tour dates; 124,000 miles travelled
15. We the Kings—134 tour dates; 82,000 miles travelled
16. Hey Monday—133 tour dates, 51,000 miles travelled

B.o.B—127 tour dates; 128,000 miles travelled

18. Alesana—124 tour dates; 57,000 miles travelled
19. Parkway Drive—120 tour dates; 87,000 miles travelled
20. Megadeth—117 tour dates; 88,000 miles travelled

The full list and charts of Top 20 touring acts of 2010 can be found here:

Artists increasingly use social media tools to promote their music and grow their fan base far and wide, which, in turn, creates tour demand in more locations. As a group, these top 20 bands tweeted 87% more in 2010 than in 2009, as measured by total number of tweets each year.

Kev Baird of Two Door Cinema Club, the fourth-ranked artist in Songkick’s survey says, “We rely on social media pretty heavily. It’s an incredible tool we use to keep a personal touch. We ran a competition in Jakarta, Indonesia on Twitter. To win, you had to tweet about us. Everyone’s followers found out about the show and ticket sales went through the roof.”

“It’s almost axiomatic: emerging artists and indie acts have to hit the road to get discovered and to build a fan base,” said Mike McGuire, research vice president, Media Industry Advisory Services, Gartner, Inc. “In this environment, social media generally and in particular services that connect fans with touring artists are must-haves in the toolbox used to build and maintain a fan base.”

Cassadee Pope of sixteenth-ranked artist Hey Monday says, “Being on the road can be tough, so [we] rely on Twitter to keep in touch with our fans. I make sure to tweet at least once a day.”

About Songkick

Songkick, the home for live music on the web, is now the second largest live music destination after LiveNation. Recognized by Billboard Magazine as one of the Top 10 Digital Music Startups of 2010 and voted Best Innovation in BT’s 2010 Digital Music Awards, Songkick makes it easy for fans to track concerts for their favorite artists so they never miss them live. Songkick aggregates artist, concert, festival, venue, and ticket information from across 60 countries, so fans can receive personalized alerts for upcoming shows in their town and find the cheapest tickets. Fans can use Songkick to share concerts on other social networks, and add photos, setlists, and reviews after the show. Songkick's live music information is distributed across a network of partners including YouTube, Vevo, and The Hype Machine through their API.

Songkick is backed by Index Ventures and Y Combinator, as well as angels from the technology and music industries. Please visit for more info.

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Media Contact for Songkick
Ryan Crowder, 415-321-1895

Release Summary

Songkick (, the live music and technology company that connects music fans with their favorite artists on tour, released a study of 2010’s top twenty touring artists.


Media Contact for Songkick
Ryan Crowder, 415-321-1895