Bob Dylan, now aged 81, began it all. In 1988, America’s iconic singer-songwriter embarked on what has become known — much to his irritation — as his Never Ending Tour, clocking an unbroken run of over 3,000 gigs before Covid caused a temporary halt. Now, he’s back on the road with the re-branded Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour due to go on at least until 2024.
Dylan has proven that he can command big audiences long after his chart-topping glory days. Like him, his fans have grown older and richer and will still pay to see and hear him. As digital technology drives down money to be made from recorded music, concerts have become the main source of ready cash, even for big stars.
Wrinkly rockers seem more anxious than anybody else to show the world that lockdowns are over. Paul McCartney and Diana Ross topped the bill at Glastonbury. Elton John has announced he’s not going to give up playing live. New tours are planned for what remains of Status Quo and Queen.