Maths Hacks: Music Edition

Do you have a kid that ‘hates maths’ but loves music? Here’s one for the Swifty in your house! Let’s inspire some mathematical thinking with a little help from THOSE WHO ROCK!

Imagine you are a mega platinum, multi stadium, double A-list, super cool rock star. You need to plan a world tour to meet your fans, maximise your income and minimise costs. Where would you even start? Well, let’s have a go!

Planning the tour

You want your world tour to comprise 146 dates at 51 different venues worldwide. Can you use averages to work out roughly how many concerts you will need to play at each venue?

Can you research your route around the world? You’re looking for concert venues that can accommodate no fewer than 70,000 people at a time. Where will you go and how will you get there? Thinking about your carbon footprint is an important part of any rock star’s job. Will you take the private jet or settle for the back of your mate’s van?

At the venue

OK, you’ve made it to the first gig. What about your set list? Let’s say that the average length of one of your epic tracks is 4 mins. You want to sing 44 songs per performance in order to cover your entire back-catalogue (the bangers anyway). What’s the minimum amount of time you need to allow for each concert?

But that’s without support acts, costume changes or breaks. You’ll need to drink some water if you want to hit all those high notes. If the concert begins promptly at 6.30pm each night and ends at 11pm, what’s your running order going to look like? How much time can you give to support acts and wee breaks, and how many 1-minute costume changes can you squeeze in?

Selling the merch

Each of your shows has an average audience of 72,459 people. In order to maximise your income you’re going to have to sell a lot of merch! If a tour t-shirt sells for £20, and you can sell one to 1 per cent of audience members – how much money can you make per concert?

You are a compassionate rock star who wants to do their bit and give back. You’ve decided to give £1.50 from each T-shirt sold to an important local cause. Based on the numbers above, how much are you giving your chosen local charity?

Have you enjoyed using music to give maths a different spin entirely? Then why not check out this month’s Money Maths edition of AQUILA magazine? Click here to subscribe today!

Words: Freya Hardy