Eric Church takes on the scalpers

It’s no secret that most artists have to tour to make a living, since albums aren’t selling like they used to. And even though touring can be hard on the artists, sometimes it’s even harder on the fans.

Try to get a good, close seat for a concert from whatever the official ticketing outlet happens to be. Not only will it be hard to find one, but chances are you’ll find those seats on second hand ticketing sites.

These websites allow tickets to be resold at whatever price the seller chooses, but sometimes the seller is a ticket scalper, who uses software to purchase large amounts of tickets, which are then resold at a higher price.

Though legislation was passed last year to ban these programs, it’s difficult to put a complete stop to the practice. Ticket scalping has been around since before the Internet, and those who make their money from it always find a way to do it.

Sometimes this leaves fans with no choice but to either pay the price or stay home. This is where country star Eric Church draws the line.

It was recently announced that Church had canceled over 25,000 tickets to various shows on his current “Holdin’ My Own Tour,” which had been sold on second hand sites. These tickets were then re-released through the authorized ticketing outlets at the original price, in hopes that nobody would have to pay the scalpers’ prices.

Many artists have complained about ticket scalping, but Church is the first one I can remember to actually do something about it. So now that he’s proven that there are ways to curb ticket scalping, will other artists follow his example or continue to let their fans be ripped off with higher prices?

It’s not often that the artist even makes money from the ticket sales. Usually they’re paid a guaranteed amount, and then the promoter tries to make that money back from the ticket sales. Because of this, I don’t think some artists truly care about how the tickets are sold, just as long as they make their money. While that’s understandable, I still don’t think it’s wise.

Many artists allow the best seats at their shows to be sold in special V.I.P. packages. These packages can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per seat, and though some people can afford it, Church said, in a recent interview with The Associated Press, “That’s not the people who have gotten me here.”

You can call it a publicity move or a money-hungry move if you want, but what it sounds like to me is an artist who hasn’t forgotten where he came from and wants to take care of his fans.For more information on Eric Church’s current tour, visit www.ericchurch.com.