Op-Ed: Eric Church Cancels Tickets – By Bob Lefsetz


"Eric Church's Manager Explains How He Cancelled 25,000 Tickets Held By Scalpers": bit.ly/2md8dRR

This is not about letting 25,000 fans in.

This is about letting fans and potential fans know that Eric Church is on their side, and we haven't had that spirit here since the MTV era, not in someone who can sell out arenas.

The acts are all about the money. They say they're about the music, give lip service to their fans (and God!), but the truth is they're eager to climb out of the trough of the nobody and into the land of the billionaire, go to charity balls and live the high life. When did music become about the economics as opposed to the tunes, when did it become about fame as opposed to the music, when did it become about subterfuge as opposed to honesty?

And the truth is not only can you not get a good ticket to a show at face value, by time the public on-sale happens fewer than a thousand tickets can be available. After the fan club and credit card pre-sales, the holdbacks, anybody who goes on a regular basis knows you don't wake up and click on Ticketmaster on Saturday morning in your underwear, that if you're complaining about not getting a ticket then you're an amateur.

To tell you the truth, dedicated concertgoers prefer StubHub. Because they can wait until the last minute, when they know they're free, and get a good ticket. People are willing to pay beaucoup bucks for that, as indicated by Church's $260 platinum tickets being sold for much more on resale sites. The problem isn't money, but ACCESS, AVAILABILITY, people just want to be inside, the cost is secondary.

But the game is rigged. All insiders know this. It's about extracting the most dollars as opposed to transparency. The acts hate the labels for false accountings? They should look at themselves regarding concert ticket sales. All the kickbacks, the credit card dollars…

Is this the future, Church's solution?

Each and every story about this mentions the cost involved, the labor. Nobody else is willing to put in the effort. And there you've got your modern music business right there. The acts don't want to spend a dime. That's why the major labels still exist, they're willing to open their wallets, managers are not. If it's hard, and it doesn't go straight to the bottom line, today's acts are out.

But Church is playing a long game. One wherein he knows it's about good will as opposed to upfront bucks. You want a career, right? You want to be able to do this forever, right? So why are you whoring yourself out to the corporations as opposed to your fans?

It's not that hard to break the paradigm. Hell, Church released his last album without pre-fanfare, the endless hype we all abhor, and shipped it initially to his fan club members. Forget what's in the grooves, this bonds listeners to you.

We all want people to believe in.

We used to believe in musicians.

But now they're seen as part of the endless rigged system.

When they used to be a voice for truth, justice and the American Way.