The Largest Concerts Ever Organized

Concerts of popular musicians often attract large crowds.
Concerts of popular musicians often attract large crowds.

Jean-Michel Jarre, Moscow, 1997 - 3.5 Million People 

In 1997, the city of Moscow organized a concert in honor of its 850th anniversary. The organizers chose Moscow State University as the ideal venue due to its large capacity as a large crowd was anticipated. The star attraction of the event was veteran electronic genre musician, Jean-Michael Jarre, a French artist who had the reputation of headlining massive events with great success such as the “Concert for Tolerance” held two years prior in Paris where a record-breaking 1.2 million people attended. The event, “Oxygene in Moscow” was a spectacle which featured lasers, incessant fireworks, and a moment of silence in honor of Princess Diana who had recently died. The concert became the biggest concert of all time with an estimated 3.5 million people attending.

Paris La Defense, Paris

Paris La Defense was a concert held in the French capital in 1990 to honor the French National Holiday, Bastille Day. Officially known as "Paris La Defense – Une Ville En Concert", it was funded by the French Ministry of Culture as well as many local business leaders. The headliner for the event was the record-breaking Jean-Michael Jarre, a French superstar who had been featured in many large concerts around the world. A pyramid stage was set up in the La Defense district. The event attracted 2.5 million people making it the biggest concert ever to be held in Paris and is currently in the Guinness Book of Records as the third largest concert to be held anywhere in the world.

Paz Sin Fronteras II, Havana

Paz Sin Fronteras II was a concert held in the Cuban capital, Havana in 2009 and was the second of a series of concerts held to proclaim peace and unity in the Latin American region. "Paz Sin Fronteras" (translation: "Peace Without Borders") was held in the Plaza de la Revolucion and featured many famed pop music performers from all over the region and was headlined by Colombian artist, Juanes. The concert was the biggest of all time to be held in the region and attracted over 1.5 million people.

Proceeds And Revenue Of Large Concerts

Organizers spend millions of dollars to host a concert, but these events usually still prove to be commercially viable. The majority of the revenue raised from concerts comes from the sale of tickets to the millions of people attending. However, in recent years, proceeds have been originating from advertising revenue from brands which see the millions of people in attendance as potential customers and most of such events are free concerts or concerts held for humanitarian causes.

Which Are The Largest Concerts Ever Performed?

RankArtistAttendance (Millions) LocationYear
1Jean-Michel Jarre3.5Moscow1997
2Rod Stewart3.5Rio de Janairo 1994
3Jean-Michel Jarre2.5Paris1990
4AC/DC, Pantera, Metallic, The Black Crowes, E.S.T.1.6Moscow1991
5Paul van Dyk, Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren1.6Dortmund2008
6The Rolling Stones1.5Rio de Janeiro2006
7Various Artists (Paz Sin Fronteras II) 1.5Havana2009
8Live 8 Concert (Live 8) 1.5Philadelphia2005
9Tiësto, Paul van Dyk, Carl Coz, Armin Van Buuren1.4Duisburg2010
10Various Artists (Rendezvous Houston)1.3Houston1986

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