Whispers have been swirling for months, but on October 15th The Rolling Stones finally confirmed the news fans had been longing to hear: they would celebrate their 50th anniversary with a series of huge gigs on both sides of the Atlantic.
Concertgoers won't have to wait long to see their rock 'n' roll heroes doing what they do best, with concerts at London's O2 Arena pencilled in for as soon as November 25th and 29th, along with a pair of shows in Newark, New Jersey in the US shortly afterwards.
The announcement followed months of speculation in a year that's seen the groundbreaking group celebrate a half-century in the music industry. After heading to Paris to rehearse earlier this year, the band were invited to play the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony but declined, according to guitarist Keith Richards, due to not being "stage ready".
However, with a new Greatest Hits compilation, GRRR!, set to hit shelves in November and Rolling Stones tickets on sale for the London O2 Arena concerts, the industry veterans are very much ready to return to the live stage.
If the Rolling Stones' latest run of gigs are anything like the last, they'll be as lucrative as they are spectacular. The ‘Bigger Bang’ tour, which went around the world between 2005 and 2007, went on to become the second-highest grossing tour of all time, racking up $558 million (£346 million) in ticket sales, second only to U2's ‘360’ tour.
The jaunt saw the four-piece play 147 shows in cities around the globe. Notably, the tour included a gig on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, breaking records for the most attended concert of all time with an estimated two million packing into the outdoor seafront venue. The band also played at the prestigious Super Bowl Halftime Show during the same year, performing hit songs 'Start Me Up' and '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' during the American sporting spectacular.
After completing their four-gig run this year, the group are already making noises about an extended tour in 2013, with a slot at Glastonbury mooted as a suitable way to bring the curtain down on their storied career. Richards has told the BBC that headlining Michael Eavis' event would be an "interesting proposition", adding that the band weren't about to "wind up with four shows". Now all eligible for a free bus pass in the UK, how long can they carry on? It's a question fans and journalists have been asking for decades – meaning no one can ever be sure if the next time they’re seen in concert could be their last.
Fans looking to buy tickets for the Rolling Stones' London O2 Arena gig can check the latest availability on StubHub UK, part of the world's biggest fan-to-fan ticket marketplace. It's where fans buy and sell tickets to see their favourite artists, sports events and theatre shows with the backing of StubHub UK’s FanProtect Guarantee, offering 100% assurance that the transaction is safe and secure. Don't miss out on these historic rock 'n' roll shows – check the latest ticket listings and availability on StubHub UK today.