It’s now 21 years since “Riverdance” debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, in 1994. Now celebrating it’s success with the “Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour” we decided to take a look at the figures behind the worldwide Irish dance success.

- There have been 11,000 performances of “Riverdance”

- It has been seen by over 25 million people in over 465 venues worldwide

- Its played in 46 countries across six continents

- The show has travelled 700,000 miles (or to the moon and back and back again!)

- Its played to a global television audience of 3 billion people

- The Grammy Award-winning CD has sold over 3 million copies

- The DVD has sold over 10 million

There have been...

- 1,500 Irish dancers

- 14,000 dance shoes used

- 12,000 costumes worn

- 200,000 gallons of water consumed

- 60,000 gallons of gatorade consumed

- 1,650,000 show programmes sold

- 1,500 flight cases used

- 12,000 stage lighting bulbs used

- 40,000 boxes of tissues used

- 16,250 guitar, bass and fiddle strings replaced

- 284,000 t-shirts sold

- 39 marriages between company members

- 20,000 cumulative years of study in step-dancing by Irish dancers

- 45,000 rolls of self-grip tape used by company physiotherapists

- 15,000 hours of rehearsals on tour

- 5,500,000 pounds of dry ice used on stage

- 60,000 pounds of chocolate consumed (for energy!) by the cast

Some background:

The interval show at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest featured Irish dance champions Jean Butler and Michael Flatley as the leads, along with accompaniment by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Celtic choral group Anúna. The score was composed by Limerick native Bill Whelan and the show was produced by John McColgan and Moya Doherty. Following its huge success it was expanded it into a stage show, which opened in Dublin, on Feb 9 1995.

When the show transferred to London in June of that year, the reaction was unprecedented, with the original 10 performances being increased to 151 in subsequent months. There followed a hugely successful tour starting in New York in March 1996, where eight sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall heralded the start of 16 years of non-stop touring by “Riverdance” companies throughout North America. Since its inception “Riverdance” has packed theatres throughout North America, Oceania, Asia, Europe, South Africa and most recently South America.

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