OFFSTAGE: Eric Church Says Scalpers Anger Him

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

What’s Eric Church worth these days? Well, if you ask a ticket scalper, right around $280. That’s the average price for a great seat at one of Church’s upcoming concerts if you go through a scalper. But Church doesn’t think that’s fair.

“Scalpers piss me off,” he told Billboard. Especially the sneaky ones who pose as fans, join his Church Choir club, buy the eight tickets they’re allotted and resell them at very marked-up prices.

Here’s how Church and his team found out certain “fans” were the bad guys: They’d look at a show in a place like Pikeville, Ky. and see that 25 orders came from Connecticut, Las Vegas, New York or Milwaukee. Pretty obvious that that’s not right. So Church has a new policy in place. If you resell tickets, it’s grounds to cancel your membership. That’s all in an effort to keep ticket resellers from doing their reselling, because for Church, you cannot make it about the money.

“The revenue thing, it’s never been about that for me. If you make it about that at any point in your career, if you come in and go ’we need the money now, mark the ticket prices up,’ you have one shot at that and then it’s over,” Church said. “For me it’s always been about more and more people, not more and more money.”