Kid Rock, Rolling Stones on scalping, summer tours
FILE - This Nov. 14, 2012 file photo shows Grammy-award winning artist Kid Rock posing for a portrait in New York. Kid Rock's “$20 Best Night Never Tour” kicks off June 28 in Bristow, Va., and opening acts include ZZ Top, Uncle Kracker and Kool and the Gang. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP, file)
NEW YORK (AP) — Kid Rock is a scalper.
The 42-year-old Grammy winner, who is launching a summer tour where most tickets are priced at $20, said he's holding about 1,000 tickets from each show and reselling them on ticketsnow.com — owned by Ticketmaster — to make up for the cheaper regular price he's offering.
"I'm in the scalping business, but you know what? We told everyone. A lot of artists have been doing this for years behind fans' backs, taking all these backdoor deals," he said. "We look at StubHub and other places and see what they're selling them for and we just undercut them."
Kid Rock's "$20 Best Night Ever Tour" kicks off June 28 in Bristow, Va., and the Detroit native, who released his debut album in 1990, said he likely scalped secretly on past tours.
"I'm sure we have," he said. "I can't say for sure, but I'm not going to say that we haven't. I wouldn't be surprised if we did."
Kid Rock's discount ticket pricing is leading a change in the tour industry where scalpers' well-established role as a second source for tickets continues to grow. Along with Kid Rock, key acts like The Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z have tours this summer, and a number of those tickets are being sold for a much higher price on StubHub and other websites. It's legal, but many artists don't much like it.
FILE - This May 18, 2013 file photo shows Mick Jagger, center, and Keith Richards, of the Rolling Stones performing on the "50 & Counting" tour at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Rolling Stones memorabilia will be displayed in a new exhibit, "Rolling Stones 50 Years of Satisfaction," at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The exhibit opens on Friday, May 24. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, file)
"If I see a scalper, I'll scalp him," the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards said, laughing.
He said he would like to play free shows to balance the high cost for tickets; The Rolling Stones' "50 & Counting Tour" has a range of ticket prices, and Pollstar reported that the average price of a ticket among the tour's seven shows was $355.14.
"I'd do some free shows. I'd work my butt off and I don't care how much. But these are set up above my head, man," Richards said in a recent interview. "You're kind of locked in a thing here whether you like it or not. I wish it was five bucks a ticket."
The Rolling Stones did play a secret show at the Echoplex club in Los Angeles last month, where fans got in by winning a lottery and had to be ID'd and given photo bracelets to eliminate the chance of scalping the tickets, which were just $20.
But Mick Jagger said there isn't much the artists can do about scalping and secondary sources for tickets.