March 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Hardest Working People in Show Business: Willie Nelson, Lady Gaga, More


This chart reveals the 20 hardest-touring acts in the country (click to expand).

Songkick, a web app that integrates with iTunes, and Pandora to let you know when the bands you like play live near your location so that you have a fighting chance of remembering to buy tickets in time, has oodles of live show data.

Luckily for those curious about which touring bands logged the most miles and played the most tour dates in 2010, the company has unveiled a top 20 list containing exactly that information (list below).

Overall, show tickets are not selling as briskly as they could be, according to Songkick, which previously found that independent bands tend to tour harder than the ones on major labels. In addition, the company claims bands that take advantage of social technologies are faring better, by keeping potentially interested show-goers in the loop.

“The concert business is increasingly two stories,” said Songkick co-founder and CEO Ian Hogarth. “While tours are soft [as in not making lots of money] 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.”

Hogarth would say that, because Songkick’s main function is to keep fans up to date on their favorite bands’ touring plans via email and Facebook. But it stands to reason that better connections and more information would translate to increased ticket sales for bands that make the most of them.

Here are the top 20 bands from Songkick’s study, which the company plans to announce on Thursday, at which point we will add a link:

  • Mayday Parade—194 tour dates; 71,000 miles
  • Caribou—185 tour dates; 139,000 miles
  • Surfer Blood—183 tour dates; 111,000 miles
  • Two Door Cinema Club—168 tour dates; 130,000 miles
  • Skillet—166 tour dates; 72,000 miles
  • Willie Nelson—161 tour dates; 56,000 miles
  • Lady Gaga—159 tour dates; 89,000 miles
  • Vampire Weekend—159 tour dates; 150,000 miles
  • Beach House—157 tour dates; 89,000 miles
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club—155 tour dates; 82,000 miles
  • Never Shout Never—154 tour dates; 56,000 miles
  • Every Avenue—153 tour dates; 73,000 miles
  • Breathe Carolina—147 tour dates; 68,000 miles
  • 30 Seconds to Mars—142 tour dates; 124,000 miles
  • We the Kings—134 tour dates; 82,000 miles
  • Hey Monday—133 tour dates, 51,000 miles
  • B.o.B.—127 tour dates; 128,000 miles
  • Alesana—124 tour dates; 57,000 miles
  • Parkway Drive—120 tour dates; 87,000 miles
  • Megadeth—117 tour dates; 88,000 miles

Considering the age of most of the acts on here, we’re a bit surprised to see Willie Nelson hanging in there at number six — one slot ahead of the youthful Lady Gaga, who was absolutely massive in 2010. Perhaps we shouldn’t be.

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(Chart courtesy of Songkick)