Eric Church cancels 25,000 tickets bought by scalpers
NASHVILLE — Country star Eric Church has been battling ticket scalpers for years as his popularity grew and he began selling out arenas. But he’s taken his biggest step yet by cancelling more than 25,000 tickets to his spring tour that were purchased by scalpers and putting them back on sale for fans to purchase.
The singer told The Associated Press he’s going to do everything he can do to stop what he calls a criminal organization that’s making millions. “They buy thousands of tickets across the U.S., not just mine, and they end up making a fortune,” Church said in an interview. “All of this is fraud.”
The tickets were released on Tuesday for the remaining stops of the 60-city tour. Previously purchased tickets for his tour stops in Canada, which start Feb. 28 in Ontario, have already been released. Church plays the Air Canada Centre in Toronto March 2.
Church has used this same method to cancel tickets purchased by scalpers for a few individual shows previously, but never on this scale and few artists are as meticulous as Church is when it comes to verifying who is purchasing tickets for his shows.
In a report last year, investigators in New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office cited a single broker that bought 1,012 tickets within one minute to a U2 concert at Madison Square Garden when they went on sale on Dec. 8, 2014, despite the vendor’s claim of a four-ticket limit. By day’s end, that broker and one other had 15,000 tickets to U2’s North American shows.
The report said third-party brokers resell tickets on sites like StubHub and TicketsNow at average margins of 49 per cent above face value and sometimes more than 10 times the price.
Over the years Church has tried a variety of methods to crack down on reselling tickets for money. He’s used paperless ticketing, where buyers have to show a credit card at the door of the venue. He’s also tried increasing the price of the tickets to make them less appealing to resellers and has increased screening of purchases through his fan club, which has access to the best seats before the general public, according to Fielding Logan, one of Church’s managers at Q Prime South.
Church admits that a lot of these methods are arduous for the average fan, but he said he doesn’t want his most loyal fans to pay inflated prices to see him perform.
Eric Church is cracking down on scalped tickets for his 60-city tour, which includes Toronto.