Monday, July 1, 2013

Kid Rock Battles The Scalpers

Nothing could be worse than going to any big stadium shows and seeing the scalpers selling the fake shirts and over priced tickets to the shows. We aren't against anyone trying to make an honest buck, but this isn't honest in the least when it comes to the fans. Is it fair that venues over charge either? Nope, not at all, but that is a whole other story.

Years ago I used to have deal with these bums on a regular basis as I was working at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. What would aggravate me the most was hustling the true fans who really wanted the tickets and shutting out those who couldn't afford their prices. The other big aspect is that the ticket hustlers were in general flat out arrogant assholes. Really stoked to see someone on the level of Kid Rock taking a solid stand to these folks. Read more on the post below or listen to it over on

Kid Rock takes on the scalpers, from NPR
"Kid Rock is tired of scalpers taking tickets away from his biggest fans. One way to stop that: Raise ticket prices. If Kid Rock charged more for his tickets, scalpers wouldn't be able to sell them at such a big markup. But Kid Rock doesn't want to raise prices.

"I don't want to break you by coming to see me, " he says. "I want to make as much money as I can, but I don't need to drive around in a tinted down Rolls-Royce or Maybach and hide from people because I felt like I ripped them off."

Kid Rock wants his tickets to be affordable, and he's lowered his prices. On his latest tour, you can get a ticket for $20 (plus $9.25 in fees). It sounds great — but he knows a fan-friendly ticket price is appealing to scalpers too.

"My tickets are cheap. That's right. That's why the secondary market would work," he says.

So Kid Rock's got a couple tricks up his sleeve to keep tickets out of the hands of scalpers:

1) More shows. For scalpers to make money, there needs to be more demand than supply. Kid Rock's upping the supply by doing more shows. He is doing alone.

2) Beat the scalpers at their own game. Scalpers want the best seats in the house. Kid Rock's raised the prices on these, and he and the folks at Ticketmaster are constantly adjusting prices based on what they see happening in the secondary market.

3) Go paperless. To sit in these really good seats, the pricey , you have to you bought them with at the venue.

4) Don't sell the first two rows. Kid Rock and his team are reserving the first two rows for die-hard fans only. No matter how much money you've got, you can't buy your way into them.

"They are not for sale, " Kid Rock says. "I'm tired of seeing the old rich guy in the front row with the hot girlfriend. And the hot girlfriend, you know, with her boobs hanging out,with her beer in the air, just screaming the whole time. The old rich guy is standing there like he could[n't] care less. It's a very common theme at Kid Rock concerts."

Being able to keep tickets cheap isn't just a good deal for the fans. It's a good deal for Kid Rock, too. On his current tour, he gets a cut of all the beer and merchandise sold inside the venue. Cheaper ticket prices mean fans will have more money to spend on this other stuff.

"If you give people a fair price, I think they'll feel better about spending their money," Kid Rock says. "They might spend just as much because they don't feel like someone is trying to get one over on them."

So is it working? Jared Smith of Ticketmaster North America says there's an unusual way to tell. In this case, a show that isn't totally sold out is actually a good sign.

"If you underprice all your inventory at the time the tickets go on sale, there is a huge incentive for other people, who are buying with the intention to resell, to gobble up as many as they can as quickly as they can, " says Smith. "If you get closer to market-based pricing, it slows down that incentive... I think the fact there are still a few tickets out there in some premium places is indicative ... that we are closer to market-based pricing.""