SELL-out shows by One Direction and Beyonce helped generate a 6pc increase in box office receipts of almost €32m at the O2 in Dublin last year.
New figures released by music industry trade journal 'Pollstar' show that 673,577 music fans paid through the doors of the O2 last year, making it the ninth most popular arena venue in the world. The visitor numbers last year represent an 8.5pc increase on the previous year.
Despite this, the O2 dropped five places from its number four position achieved in 2012 in the 'Pollstar' rankings of best attended arena in the world. Numbers attending the best-attended arena in the world, the O2 in London, last year increased by 35pc to 2.12 million.
The US-based 'Pollstar' figures put the O2 in Dublin comfortably ahead of the likes of New York's Madison Square Garden and London's Wembley Arena.
Box-office receipts of $43.7m (€32m) generated at the O2 in Dublin last year follow box office receipts of $41m in 2012.
The detailed 'Pollstar' figures show that the highest-grossing series of gigs were staged by crooner Michael Buble whose five July shows earned $5m (€3.87m).
The figures show that the Beyonce's two sell-out shows, seen by 25,536 generated $2.75m (€2m) or €1m per night. Billy Joel hasn't had a hit for a number of years, but the figures show that his one night at the O2 in November made $1.5m (€1m) at the box office. Seventy-nine year singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen wasn't too far behind, with the figures showing that his two September shows generated $1.98m (€1.5m).
Fleetwood Mac also spent a couple of very lucrative nights in the capital, with the reformed group generating $2m (€1.5m) at the O2 box-office from their two sold-out September gigs.
One Direction's four shows last March, seen by 35,241 fans, generated $1.846m (€1.4m).
Irish band The Script generated $1.98m (€1.46m) at the box office for three shows. Meanwhile, Boyzone generated $348,940 (€255,251) in box office receipts. The returns show that Beyonce was a far bigger draw that her husband, Jay Z who generated $763,153 (€564,960) at the O2 box office in October.
The gross receipts for all concerts are shared between the promoter, artist and venue operator -- they do not include revenues from merchandise or food and alcohol. The most recent filed accounts for the O2 show that it recorded pre-tax profits of €5.83m in 2012.