Fans of country singer Eric Church, you’ve been warned: Buy tickets on the “secondary market,” and you may well be left out in the cold. In January. In Minnesota.
Church, who recently made Rolling Stone’s list of “must see” acts, announced Wednesday that he is taking a long list of steps in his continuing effort to undercut scalpers ahead of his Target Center concert on Jan. 20. Tickets, priced from $27 to $89 before fees, go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at www.axs.com or by phone at 1-888-929-7849.
Church’s promoters said in announcing the “Holdin’ My Own Tour” that they are determined to create “the best source for face-value tickets” in a way that could set the standard for the industry as a whole.
“Orders may be canceled at any time and without warning,” the tour announcement declared. “Church cautions fans to stay away from the secondary market because it’s likely that tickets found there will be invalid by the time the show happens.”
John Peets, Church’s manager, said, “In this era where growing inequality seems to be the norm, we wanted to do everything within our power to put the advantage back in the hands of true fans, rather than those that take advantage of the system, and by extension our people.”
In Minnesota, where ticket scalping was legalized in 2007, the laws and enforcement around them are weaker than in many states, and there is no government oversight on how concert tickets are distributed in venues owned or funded by taxpayers.
Here are some of the steps being taken in the hopes of thwarting scalping for Church’s tour:
A “larger allotment” of fan club tickets than in the past are being set aside for the lone presale arrangement before opening up purchases by the general public. During the fan presale, Church’s promoters say, they will be watching for “scalpers that are found to be gaming the system and posing as real fans. [They] won’t receive the ‘buy’ link at all.”
For the first time for a Church tour, his promoters say they have “commissioned a proprietary technology that scrubs ticket purchases” and automatically flags orders made by scalpers.
This hi-tech counterpunch is targeting “bot” ticket-buying software and other computer gadgetry that circumvent ticketers’ security systems to buy bundles of the best seats.
In one more tactic, ticket delivery will be delayed until days before the show, narrowing the time scalpers have to conduct their business.
There is a limit of six tickets per order. Larger orders will be canceled without notice.
Church’s concerts have set numerous large-venue attendance records in recent years in Chicago, Nashville and at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.