21 April 1990, Paul McCartney sets a new record

On 21 April 1990, Paul McCartney set a new world record for the largest concert audience for a solo artist. A total of 184,000 people attended the final show of his tour at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio.

Rio Maracana Stadium 1990 paul mccartney Sound Identity blog
Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro – 21 April 1990 Credit image paulmccartney.com

In September 1989, after a decade of inactivity, Paul McCartney launched his “The Paul McCartney World Tour” which consisted of 104 dates and a line-up that included his wife Linda, Robbie McIntosh, Hamish Stuart, Paul “Wix” Wickens and Chris Whitten. The following year, he published the triple album Tripping the Live Fantastic, which contained selected performances from the tour, a large part of which were taken from the Beatles repertory.

Again in 1990, the American magazine Amusement Business revealed it was the highest grossing show of the year thanks to the 3.5 million plus dollars he earned for his performances. And it was at the Rio concert on 21 April that he performed before the largest paying audience in history.

Now, when it comes to concerts, size is by no means synonymous with quality. In fact large spaces can often be to the detriment of the sound quality or other factors that affect the performance. Nevertheless, these are events that make history, remembered for the unique experience the public enjoyed.

At least that’s probably what all the people lucky enough to attend the free Rod Stewart concert on 31 December 1994 thought. Thanks to this performance, in front of over four million spectators on Copacabana beach, Stewart set a Guinness World Record by becoming the artist with the largest rock concert attendance in history.

Cover image credit thebeatlesphotovault.tumblr

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