Months before the release of his second album, Kip Moore is waging a battle with ticket scalpers, many of whom have been buying tickets to the country singer’s headlining tour — which launches on September 25, following his summertime dates with Tim McGraw — and selling them at a significant mark-up. After exchanging heated tweets with scalpers last week, Moore made an appearance on ESPN 99.1 FM yesterday afternoon, talking with radio host Jeff Thurn about his strict, no-scalpers stance.
“I am trying to make an affordable ticket,” Moore told Thurn, who supports scalpers’ legal right to resell concert tickets, “and then all of a sudden, these scalpers find out it’s a hot show and that [venues] are selling out fast, and they have ways and means with their computer systems to get tickets quicker than anybody else. And you are telling me it’s ok for some weasel behind a computer to get on there and take my $45 ticket and turn around and sell it for $150?
“It’s all for the fans, man,” he added. “They built me, so that’s what I’m fighting for.”
The on-air interview, which lasted for 16 minutes, was decidedly more civil than the pair’s Saturday conversation on Twitter, during which Moore called Thurn a “punk” and a “moron.” Thurn fought back, accusing Moore of turning the ticket debate into a “PR move” and adding, “You don’t know shit.” (The full ESPN interview can be heard here.)
Although Moore and Thurn wrapped up their conversation on a semi-amicable note, the larger battle rages on. Last month, after announcing his CMT-sponsored “Up in Smoke” tour with opening acts Charlie Worsham and Sam Hunt, Moore posted a message on his Facebook page, explaining his frustration with scalpers. After admitting that blocking all resale activity is “a tough thing to do,” he ended the impassioned note by addressing the scalpers directly.
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“I understand doing whatever you can to make a dollar,” he wrote. “I also understand there are ethical ways of making that dollar. Twist it however you want to make it seem like what you’re doing is ok, but it’s not. I want to keep prices low, so don’t be a dick.”
Currently available via Moore’s website, general admission tickets for the Up in Smoke tour are priced between $25 and $35. VP packages are $99. On StubHub.com, the popular ticket resaler owned by eBay, those same GA tickets and VP passes run as high as $470.