Music News & Reviews

Justin Timberlake’s Rupp concert sets one-night record. But he’s about to be beat by a Beatle.

Justin Timberlake plays to fans during the Man of the Woods tour Wednesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Justin Timberlake plays to fans during the Man of the Woods tour Wednesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Justin Timberlake’s Wednesday night concert at Rupp Arena grossed $2 million, making it the highest-grossing one-night concert in Rupp Arena history.

Timberlake’s show bested the previous record set by the Eagles, which grossed $1.8 million in June 2015.

“But that total will soon be eclipsed by Paul McCartney,” said Carl Hall, who oversees Rupp Arena for the Lexington Center Corporation. The totals for the Timberlake show were announced Thursday during a Lexington Center Corp. board meeting.

McCartney’s June 2019 concert at Rupp Arena — with ticket prices starting at $133 and going way up, like well into four figures at Ticketmaster — is expected to gross more than $2.4 million, Hall said. The former Beatle has not played at Rupp Arena since 1990.

Lexington Center Corp. entered into an agreement with the Oak View Group in 2017 bring more concerts and special events to Rupp Arena. The Oak View Group is a consortium of more than 27 venues. The group also has a partnership with Live Nation, the largest concert and live entertainment venue in the nation. The Timberlake and McCartney shows were booked through Oak View Group.

Music-McCartney Grand Central.JPG
FILE - In this July 26, 2017 file photo, Paul McCartney performs on the One on One Tour at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill. Commuters with tickets to ride out of New York’s Grand Central Station heard a special serenade on Friday evening, Sept. 7, 2018, with McCartney taking over a corner of the majestic hub for a concert. It was a stunt to promote a new album called “Egypt Station.” (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File) Rob Grabowski Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

Hall said Oak View has been able to bring more events and more diverse concerts that span multiple genres — rock, rap, country and family-friendly shows.

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“That brings different people to different shows,” Hall said. “Bookings are definitely up.”

But the highest-grossing act ever to play Rupp Arena is Garth Brooks, whose four-show concert series in 2014 generated $4.2 million.