The show — spawned from a seven minute-long interval performance at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest — celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014 and has been seen by more than 23m people in two decades.
New figures provided by trade industry journal Pollstar show Riverdance clocked up ticket sales of $20.6m in 2016 as a result of 207 performances in 45 cities around the world. The figures show the touring production sold just under 350,000 tickets with the average gross from each city totalling $458,199.
The average number of tickets sold for each performance last year was 7,715 with the average ticket price standing at $59.39.
The $20.6m generated by Riverdance is a long way off the biggest act on the planet last year, Bruce Springsteen — who topped the chart with $268m in ticket sales from the 2.4m music fans who paid to see him. That attendance number included the 160,000 fans who saw him perform over two nights at Croke Park last May.
Coldplay sparked a ticket frenzy late last year for its only Irish gig this year at Croke Park in July and the band already enjoyed a bumper 2016 with ticket sales of $256m.
Guns N’ Roses are playing Slane later this year and underlining their continuing appeal, the band clocked $188.4m in ticket sales around the world last year.
Adele and Justin Bieber enjoyed sell-out gigs at the Three Arena in Dublin last year and worldwide Adele clocked up ticket sales of $167m with Justin Bieber enjoying ticket sales of $163.3m.
The figures also show that Garth Brooks has left the 2014 Croke Park debacle firmly behind him with ticket sales worldwide of $97m last year after he played to 1.4m music fans.
Meanwhile, 2017 looks set to be another busy year for Riverdance with one of its travelling companies starting a six-night stint at the Shanghai Grand Theatre last night and the production will continue on its China tour into early February.
That coincides with its US production performing a five-night stint at Fort Myers in Florida. Those dates are part of an exhaustive tour of the US that culminates in three nights in New York in June.
The production is also slated for a long run at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin from June to September.
Riverdance has provided a bonanza for its creative forces; John McColgan and Moya Doherty sharing directors’ pay, including pension contributions, of €75m between 2000 and 2012.