Ed Sheeran completed a hattrick of attendance records last week when his – = ÷ x Tour (pronounced The Mathematics Tour) swung into the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest stadium in Australia.
The English pop superstar broke the national record for attendance at a ticketed concert on Thursday (March 2) with upwards of 105,000 tickets sold.
He was just warming up.
The imposing venue was the host for another record-breaking effort last Friday (March 3), when more than 109,500 Sheerios packed the house — setting a new mark for the second consecutive night.
The combined attendance across those two shows, at almost 215,000, will take some beating.
The MCG, or simply the G, as locals call it, is a sporting and concerts caldron which has hosted countless events since it was constructed on its current site in 1853.
The opening and closing ceremonies for the 1956 Olympic Games where held at the MCG, it’s the spiritual home of AFL, the world’s largest Test cricket ground, and it has provided the backdrop for concerts by the biggest names in music, from David Bowie to U2, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones, Madonna and many others.
With those two massive shows, Sheeran has a special footnote in the history of the MCG and Australia’s touring market — and not for the first time.
When the “Shape Of You” singer last toured Australia with Frontier Touring, in 2018, more than 1 million tickets were sold, a feat that wiped Dire Straits’ record for a single trek (950,000) that had stood for more than 30 years. Sheeran’s Divide tour that year also set a new mark of 18 stadium dates across Australia and New Zealand, beating AC/DC’s old record (14).
Sheeran has a deep friendship with Australia and the Gudinskis, the family behind Frontier Touring, the touring company which produced the current recent trek, the 2018 Divide run and others.
All five of his studio albums have led the ARIA Chart. He has a chance to hit the national survey for six when his next album, Subtract, drops May 5.
Sheeran’s hit “Shape Of You” is the leader on the ARIA Top 100 Singles chart of the 2010s.
The Brit’s 12-date The Mathematics Tour of Australasia continues tonight (March 7) at the Adelaide Oval and wraps up Sunday (March 12) at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
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