Sturgill Simpson recently released a message via Instagram pitting himself against ticket scalpers. He announced the workings of “an experimental ticketing system” that he hopes can prevent scalping fraud.
The breakthrough artist expressed sincere anger at the thought of anyone paying more for a ticket than the “affordable” price he proposes. “No amount of trophy’s in the world will ever change that,” the post reads. Over 300 comments followed Simpson’s post praising him for his stance. He also suggested that fans stop purchasing tickets from scalpers and to make some noise about the situation.
Simpson was nominated for his first Grammy in 2015 for Best Americana Album for Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. He also won a Grammy this year for Best Country Album and was nominated for their most prestigious honor, “Album Of The Year,” for A Sailor’s Guide To Earth. However, this isn’t the first time Simpson has picked a fight with industry giants. Just last summer he released an essay length rant on Facebook against the Academy of Country Music over their exploitation of Merle Haggard’s passing.
Simpson isn’t alone in his fight. Earlier this month, Eric Church cancelled more than 25,000 tickets for his latest tour in frustration of scalping prices. Church then released them back into the pool for fans to purchase legitimately. It isn’t an easy thing to catch in the digital age. Brokers can buy thousands of tickets within minutes of the time tickets go on sale. They can use fake names, fake credit cards and dial up robots and then sell the illegally purchased tickets for a huge mark-up.
If music artists taking on ticketing giants sounds familiar to you, it is. In the 90’s, Pearl Jam took on the corporate colossus Ticketmaster for using their dominant position to monopolize venues and gouge concertgoers with service fees. It’s hard to say rather Simpson and Church will be in for the same kind of fight at the end of the day. Other artists may or may not join forces, but we can be glad that these country giants remember their real fans.