MCD Productions last year clocked up an estimated $159.29 million (€144.31m) in ticket sales from 2.3 million music fans who attended MCD-promoted concerts here.

That is according to new figures from trade industry journal Pollstar, which show that MCD Productions is ranked 10th across the globe in the table of the world's Top 100 Promoters.

Music giant, Live Nation has the top spot with 46 million attending concerts generated $3.8bn in ticket sales.

Commenting on the figures, MCD CEO Denis Desmond said: "We’re very happy to be in the top 10 globally and that our events attracted 2.3 million people - especially when you consider the population of Ireland.

MCD’s ticket sales were boosted here last year by sell-out shows by Westlife at Croke Park, Hozier selling out the 3Arena over two nights, Metallica at Slane and the sell-out Electric Picnic. 

"We have a great team of people working at MCD and the figures show that people here love going to concerts," said Mr Desmond. "And nothing is better than a good live show."

The Pollstar figures show that the average cost-per-ticket for MCD events last year was $69.22 (€62.71).

"If you look at the average price of tickets, tickets here are no more expensive that anywhere else even though the costs for artists performing here are higher than the likes of mainland Europe," Mr Desmond said.

Mr Desmond stated that the higher costs arise from the logistics of shipping equipment here, where a one night gig takes three days operationally, and a two date performance takes four days from a logistical point-of-view.

Mr Desmond stated that artists take the hit in increased costs with the extra day because they love playing to Irish audiences.

Mr Desmond stated that cost of staging shows continues to increase and highlighted the difference in insurance costs between staging a concert in Dublin and one in Belfast.

Mr Desmond stated that the insurance costs for an arena gig here are €7,000 compared to €500 in Belfast, while insurance costs for a stadium gig here costs €50,000 to insure compared to €5,000 in Northern Ireland.

Mr Desmond stated that MCD's annual insurance costs work out a €1 per concert goer, or a €2.3m cost for a year like last year.

He said that MCD audience numbers will not be as high in 2020, due in part to reduced stadium availability because of the Euro 2020 matches taking place at the Aviva and elsewhere in the UK

He said that will lead to artists performing multiple arena nights instead of stadium gigs. 

"Any year over two million attendances is a good year," Mr Desmond said. "2021 will be back to business as usual."