Figures released by trade industry journal Pollstar, show the number of fans attending MCD gigs declined by 14% from 1.49m in 2014 to 1.28m last year.
The business recorded the drop in numbers attending gigs in spite of sell-out shows including AC/DC at the Aviva, The Script at Croke Park, Avicii at Marlay Park, and Electric Picnic.
The Pollstar figures show a number of MCD-promoted gigs were placed in the Top 100 International Gross Box Office events of 2015 and raked in the cash for Mr Desmond’s firm.
Figures show that the Foo Fighters gig at Slane last year and the Script’s Croke Park concert grossed $4.9m (€4.34m) each.
“The number of tickets sold in any year depends on the number of artists touring and that varies from year to year,” Mr Desmond said.
Given the size of Ireland’s population, Mr Desmond added he was happy with the 1.28m fans that attended concerts during the year.
Internationally, Live Nation dominates the concert business with a whopping 29.2m tickets sold last year. Mr Desmond said MCD ticket sales this year will be similar and may increase to 1.3m. “The final figure really depends on the number of gigs at the 3Arena in November and December of this year and those dates will be confirmed — or not — in the next four to six weeks.”
“Ticket sales are good and we are always happy when promoting Irish talent like Kodaline who will sell out Marlay Park with 37,000 tickets,” Mr Desmond said.
The managing director said he expects the Kodaline gig to sell out before the end of the month. MCD is also promoting Beyoncé’s Croke Park gig and he dismissed a report that ticket sales have been slow to date.
Electric Picnic and Longitude are very much his son, Zach’s projects, he added.
“Zach is doing a great job. Electric Picnic has sold out in record time and Longitude’s capacity has gone from 30,000 four years ago to 90,000 today. There is huge value in ticket prices and the fear factor from the public over the economy is gone.”