Tuesday, Sept. 19 (UPDATE) — Citing high demand for tickets, Oliver Anthony has moved his Sept. 29 concert at the Knoxville Convention Center to Smokies Stadium on Sept. 28.
Why, you may ask? It depends on who you ask. The venue and the artist have conflicting viewpoints. Oliver Anthony has blown up on social media in just a matter of weeks with his song, “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
He was slated to perform at the Cotton Eyed Joe on Wednesday, Sept. 27 but will now perform at Knoxville Convention Center on Friday, Sept. 29 after a dispute over ticket pricing.
“Don’t buy Cotton Eyed Joe tickets for $99 a piece,” Oliver Anthony said in an Instagram video posted on Sept. 11.
Anthony also said on social media that besides the two shows he has already booked recently, his ticket prices for all upcoming shows will be $25 each.
The owner of the Cotton Eyed Joe said when the artist’s manager signed a contract, ticket prices were never discussed. He said he was offended by Oliver Anthony’s post, especially because no one came to him directly to express any concerns.
“We negotiated a price, and nothing was ever said about how much to sell the tickets for. Nothing was ever said about charging for meet and greets,” Cotton Eye Joe owner Chuck Ward said. “We talked about the price. I sent him a contract. Everything was cut in stone, black and white and when we put the tickets on sale, we were at 500 tickets that we had sold in about four hours.”
Ward said Anthony’s manager negotiated the contracts for a $120,000 payout to the artist which included Cotton Eyed Joe paying for production, security, overstaffing, hotel rooms for the band, and catering, among other things.
“We did the math. We set our ticket prices to where we could break even on about 1,200-1,300 tickets,” Ward said. “Not make any money, take all the risk of having 1,500 in here. God forbid something happens. We’re liable.”
Ward said they rely on bar sales to make extra money.
However, once Oliver Anthony saw that The Joe was selling tickets for $99 and meet and greet tickets for $199 he posted a video saying, “If we got to cancel the venue and play somewhere else, we will. I didn’t agree to it, and I don’t want you to pay for it. So please don’t.”
According to Anthony through his social media, his manager made the deal without his knowledge of any type of ticket price agreement.
Ward said he canceled Anthony’s show on his own merit.
“He should have picked up the phone and said, ‘Hey, your prices are too expensive. Let’s renegotiate the deal to where you can lower your ticket price’.”
We did reach out to Oliver Anthony and his management for comment. We have not heard back from them at this time.