How Long Do Concerts Last on Average? Full Breakdown

If you're in a band or you're a musician planning a concert, you probably want to know the average concert length, so you can plan your performance accordingly, right?

Or maybe you are ready to attend your first concert and don't know what to expect…

Typically, a concert will last anywhere from two hours to four hours from start to finish, depending on how many songs you're performing and if you have any supporting acts.

Big name artists, can get away with performing for just 90 minutes all the way up to three or four hours because they typically have a few supporting acts.

Lesser-known artists, on the other hand, will typically have to perform for the entirety of the concert or may have a single supporting act opening the show.

How Long Do Concerts Last on Average Full Breakdown

Other Things That Will Affect Concert Length

  • Set-up and tear-down time: This can add an additional hour or two to the length of the concert, so keep that in mind when planning your setlist.
  • The Entry Saga: If you're an attendee, you won't have to worry too much about ste-up and tear down, but there will be a bit of a wait time as everybody gets into the venue.

    And no doubt you have seen social media images of those queues going down the road, round the corner, and uunder the bridge! (Try a Beyonce concert 😮‍💨)
  • Intermissions
  • Technical Issues: Even with a big budget show, these are common. Technical malfunctions with the audio-visual gear can throw a wrench in the works. Delays, interruptions, you name it. When that intermission is going on longer than they suggested it would, this could be why.

How Many Songs Are Typically Played at A Concert?

How Many Songs Are Typically Played at A Concert?

A typical concert usually consists of several bands playing a series of short sets. The show usually starts with one or two opening acts, followed by the main act.

The main act typically plays for about an hour, and then the show ends with a few closing acts. Sometimes, the audience will demand an encore from the main act, and the band will play one or two additional songs.

In total, a concert can last anywhere from a few hours to all night long. Consequently, there is no definitive answer to how many songs are played at a typical concert. It all depends on the number of bands performing and the length of their sets.

How Many Breaks Are Usually Taken During a Concert?

How Many Breaks Are Usually Taken During a Concert?

Intermissions/breaks can vary depending on the type of concert, the length of the concert, and the number of performers involved. In general, however, most concerts will have at least one or two breaks during the course of the performance.

The Different Types of Concerts:

The type of concert can also affect the number of breaks that are taken. For example, a classical music concert is typically much longer than a pop or rock concert. As a result, there may be more breaks in a classical music concert so that the performers can have a chance to rest.

On the other hand, pop and rock concerts tend to be shorter and have fewer breaks. This is because the focus is generally on non-stop entertainment. There may be a break between sets, but it is typically shorter than the break in a classical music concert.

The Different Lengths of Concerts:

Of course, the length of the concert can also influence how many breaks are taken. A shorter concert will obviously have fewer breaks than a longer one. There is less need for breaks when the performance is shorter because the performers do not get as tired.

However, even a long concert will usually have at least one break. This break gives the performers a chance to rest and also gives the audience a chance to use the restroom or get something to eat.

What Factors Can Affect the Length of A Concert?

  • The number of acts
  • The length of the acts
  • The length of the intermissions
  • The length of the opening and closing acts
  • The genre of music
  • Unforeseen circumstances

There are a number of factors that can affect the length of a concert. The most obvious one is the number of acts performing. If there are more acts, the concert will obviously be longer.

Another factor is the length of the sets for each act. If the sets are longer, the concert will be as well. Additionally, if there are intermissions between sets, that will add to the overall length of the concert. Finally, the opening and closing acts can also affect the total time.

If they are longer, it will add to the total length of the concert. Of course, things not going to plan can also impact the length of a concert. For example, if an act has technical difficulties, that can add time to the concert. 

What Is The Average Length Of A Concert By Genre?

You may specifically be wondering how long is a country concert, a rap concert, etc. Well, while the average length of a concert can vary by genre, you will find the genre is not a strong determinant on concert length.

  • Classical music concerts – often feature multiple pieces played back-to-back, with a brief intermission in between.
  • Pop music concerts – Pop music concerts tend to be shorter and more fast-paced, with shorter songs and little down time between performers.
  • Hip hop and rap concerts – Hip hop and rap concerts often follow a similar format to pop concerts, but they may also feature freestyle rap battles or other interactive elements.
  • Country music concerts – Country music concerts usually fall somewhere in the middle, with longer sets from individual performers but plenty of time for audience interaction in between.
  • Jazz concerts – Jazz concerts tend to be more improvisational, so their length can vary depending on the mood of the performer.
  • Rock concerts – Rock concerts tend to be the longest of all, as they often feature multiple bands playing extended sets.

What Is the Average Length of An Opening Act?

What Is the Average Length of An Opening Act?

The average length of an opening act is 30 minutes. However, this can vary depending on the type of concert, genre, and overall planned length of the concert. 

What Is The Average Length Of A Headlining Act?

What Is The Average Length Of A Headlining Act?

According to Billboard, the average length of a headlining act is 90 minutes. This figure has remained relatively constant over the past few years. While there is no hard and fast rule, most headliners tend to play for about an hour and a half.

This allows them to give the audience a well-rounded set that includes a mix of fan favorites and new material. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some acts may choose to play for a shorter or longer period of time depending on the venue, the crowd, or the setlist. Ultimately, the length of a headlining set is up to the artist.

What Is The Average Length Of A Closing Act?

What Is The Average Length Of A Closing Act?

Around 30 minutes.

When the curtain falls and the final applause dies down, the closing act has begun. This is the time when audience members make their way to the exits, chat about the show, and decide whether or not to recommend it to their friends.

The average length of a closing act is 30 minutes, but this can vary depending on the production. Some shows may have a longer closing act if there is a lot of set changes or special effects that need to be reset.

Others may have a shorter closing act if the performers take their bows and exit quickly. No matter the length, the closing act provides an important opportunity for audiences to process what they have seen and start to formulate their opinion of the show.

What Are Some Of The Longest Concerts On Record?

The Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour

The Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour kicked off in North America on August 31, 1989, to hype their Steel Wheels album.

It hit Japan in February 1990 and then switched gears to Europe from May to August, rebranding as the Urban Jungle Tour.

Wrapping up on August 25, 1990, after a whopping 115 shows, this tour set a new record for the band, doubling their usual gig count from the '60s and '70s.

Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same

The Song Remains the Same is a '76 concert film of Led Zeppelin, shot in summer '73 at Madison Square Garden and Shepperton Studios. The actual concert length isn't clear, but the '76 soundtrack runs 99:45 minutes, and the 2007 reissue clocks in at 131:55 minutes.

Pink Floyd's The Wall

U2's Lovetown Tour

The Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well Tour

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

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