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How Trump and Obama's inaugurations compare in terms of performers, attendance and cost

Who went and how much did all the festivities cost?

sworn in 09 Barack Obama, joined by his wife Michelle, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States in 2009 Source: Jae C Hong AP/Press Association Images

THERE HAS BEEN much talk in recent weeks about Donald Trump’s team reportedly struggling to get A-list names to attend the new US President’s inauguration and celebratory ball.

A number of big names publicly rejected apparent offers to perform, while other people, including a Bruce Springsteen tribute act – the B-Street Band, dropped out of performing at events to mark the start of Trump’s presidency.

Tom Barrack, chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, previously said yesterday’s inauguration in Washington DC would have “poetic cadence,” rather than be a “circus-like” coronation.

trump and ob Obama and Trump at the inauguration yesterday Source: Patrick Semansky AP/Press Association Images

So, how do Trump and Obama’s big days compare?

To quote the Washington Post, inaugurations are “really, really expensive”.

The newspaper recently crunched the numbers and estimates that yesterday’s inauguration and related events will cost in the region of $175 million to $200 million (around €164 million to €187.5 million). About $70 million (around €65.5 million) will come from private donations, with taxpayers footing the rest of the bill.

thumbs up Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as Michelle Obama and Melania Trump talk at the White House yesterday Source: Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

For Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, his committee raised a then record of $53 million (about €49.7 million) in private donations – about a third of the overall cost.

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How do Trump’s festivities compare to Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 – in terms of performances and attendance?

Obama’s inauguration as 44th President of the United States

  • Date: 20 January 2009
  • Age: 47
  • Party: Democratic
  • Attendance: Estimates vary from 1.1 million to 1.8 million people, with tens of millions more watching on TV or online
  • Former US presidents in attendance: Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and George W Bush
  • Performers (at the inauguration ceremony, ball and related events): Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Beyoncé, U2, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J Blige, Sheryl Crow, will.i.am, Marc Anthony, among others
  • Cost: In the region of $150 million (about €140.6 million)

dance President Barack Obama dances with first lady Michelle Obama at the Midwestern Ball on the night of his inauguration in Washington in 2009 Source: Manuel Balce Ceneta AP/Press Association Images

aretha Aretha Franklin performing at Obama's inauguration in 2009 Source: Ron Edmonds AP/Press Association Images

mariah Singer Mariah Carey sings at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball in 2009 Source: Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP/Press Association Images

stevie Stevie Wonder and Sting after their performance at the Neighborhood Ball in Washington in 2009 Source: Alex Brandon AP/Press Association Images

Trump’s inauguration as 45th President of the United States

wash President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive to the Make America Great Again Welcome Concert at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington DC on Thursday Source: Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

  • Age: 70
  • Party: Republican
  • Attendance: Estimates range from 250,000 to 900,000 people, plus online and TV audience
  • Former US presidents in attendance: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton (along with his wife, former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton), George W Bush and Barack Obama (George HW Bush is in hospital)
  • Performers (at the inauguration ceremony, ball and related events): America’s Got Talent singer Jackie Evancho, 3 Doors Down, the Radio City Rockettes, The Piano Guys, Tony Orlando, Sam Moore,  Lee Greenwood, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, Michael Flatley, among others
  • Cost: In the region of $175 million to $200 million (around €164 million to €187.5 million)

bible Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States as Melania Trump looks on Source: Andrew Harnik AP/Press Association Images

ball Vice President-elect Mike Pence, left, and his wife Karen, applaud as President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive for a VIP reception and dinner with donors on Thursday night Source: Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

kelly President-elect Donald Trump kisses the hand of Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, during a VIP reception and dinner with donors on Thursday night Source: Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

bust clin Former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the inauguration yesterday Source: Matt Rourke PA Wire/PA Images

Read: Michael Flatley ‘set to perform’ at Trump inauguration

Read: Here’s how plans for Trump’s ‘softly sensual’ inauguration are going

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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