ASHVILLE, Tennessee— The AP says 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 “Springsteen” 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. “They use fake credit cards, fake IDs. All of this is fraud.”
The tickets will be released on Tuesday at noon local time 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 and more tickets for his shows in Washington and Oregon will go on sale on Feb. 27.
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.
“After witnessing the three-hour, two-set marathon show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center merely weeks ago, Rolling Stone professed, “Eric Church sets the bar.” The exchange in energy with the audience and passion that fuels the man behind the CMA’s Album of the Year is an earned one after years of putting his fans first. Whether it is the dozens in attendance at his first performance in Bethel, New York or the 15,842 in attendance for last month’s breezy night in Brooklyn, it is that unrivaled dedication to surpassing their expectations that is driving another mission: ensuring fans’ hard-earned money is spent fairly on face-value tickets at each and every stop on his 60-plus city Holdin’ My Own Tour.
Throughout the Holdin’ My Own Tour, Eric and his team have systematically identified, cancelled and released tickets back to the public that were identified as scalper tickets. Already on the tour, Eric’s management team used a proprietary program to release thousands of tickets back to the public and fans in markets like Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver and Boston. On Feb. 21 at noon local time, the team will release to the official ticketing website all tickets identified as scalper-purchased for the remaining markets back to the public. In addition, tickets for Canadian dates were released Thursday, Feb. 9, and tickets for the Tacoma, Portland and Cincinnati shows will release Monday, Feb. 27 at noon local time.
When Church surprise-released 2015’s Mr. Misunderstood, he did so by direct mailing more than 80,000 fans the music first. After taking 2016 off, outside of a few festival appearances, the demand for Church’s tour was palpable with scalpers recognizing the opportunity to take advantage of his fans. In return, Church cautions: “You come at us, we’re going to go after you in return. You come after our fans? Well, let’s just say we see you, we know how you are, and we’re coming for you with 10x the vengeance, ” the Church website said.