Country musician Eric Church has been intensifying his fight against ticket scalpers as he’s grown in popularity over the years, but now he’s taken his biggest anti-scalper measure yet: Church has cancelled 25,000 scalped tickets to shows on his spring tour and made them available once more for his fans to purchase.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the country singer said he would do everything he could to take back the tickets for his fans, and stop what he calls a “criminal organization” from profiting off his fanbase. “[Scalpers] buy thousands of tickets across the U.S., not just mine, and they end up making a fortune,” Church said. “They use fake credit cards, fake IDs. All of this is fraud.”
The tickets for the remaining shows were re-released today (Feb. 21) at noon. Previously, Church has cancelled tickets to let fans avoid the huge markups from ticket resellers, but never before to this scale, across multiple shows. In the past, Church has experimented with such varied anti-resale tactics as paperless ticketing and the screening of ticket purchases through his fan club.
“We’re getting better at identifying who the scalpers are,” Church said. “Every artist can do this, but some of them don’t. Some of them don’t feel the way I feel or are as passionate.” Church does admit that his methods might make seeing his show a bit harder for the average fan, but his dedication to thwarting ticket resellers stems from his desire to not have his most loyal supporters punished with inflated prices. Church doesn’t currently put much faith in the ability of legislation to curb scalping: “They are not really backing it up with prosecuting these people,” he said. “I don’t believe they will anytime soon”.
Until legislators get their act together though, Church has his audience’s back: “Our fans know that as long as we tour, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure they pay face value for the ticket.”