Singer Oliver Anthony, 31, canceled his concert in Tennessee when the venue charged $99 for tickets and nearly double for a meet and greet, pleading with fans not to spend the hefty price tag.
Anthony, the Virginia artist behind the viral “Rich Men North of Richmond” tune, was scheduled to perform at the “Cotton Eyed Joe” bar in Knoxville before he and the venue couldn’t come to an agreement over the pricing.
The venue charged $99 for standard tickets and around $200 for a package that includes an opportunity to meet the singer, according to WVLT.
The country-folk singer expressed in a rant in multiple Facebook posts that he wants his shows to be an affordable low-cost experience, calling the meet-and-greet fee “horses—t” and “supposed to be free.”
“I apologize for the price at Cotton Eyed Joe,” Anthony said Tuesday. “Have a friend of mine trying to help me book gigs. I told him I don’t want to do anything that’s more than $40 a ticket, ideally no more than $25 a piece. These are supposed to be affordable shows. Please don’t pay $90 for a ticket.”
“Ultimately, it’s my fault for not being more directly involved with the venues who have reached out. My plate has been full and I delegated the responsibility to someone else to help me book,” Anthony explained in a separate post.
Anthony preferred his tickets to cost fans as little as $25 to a max of $40.
Anthony admitted that a friend had booked the show and not him, most likely causing the miscommunication with ticket pricing along with other charges.
The singer also posted a video to Instagram about the conundrum, saying when he found out about the ticket prices, he was “pissed off.”
In a Facebook post, Cotton Eyed Joe claimed Anthony charged them $120,000 to perform for just one hour.
Anthony, however, refuted the claim, saying the most he’s made on a show was $35,000.
The $120,000 charge also included production, security, staffing, hotel rooms and catering, according to the Daily Mail.
The owner of Cotton Eyed Joe clapped back at the 31-year-old country singer, saying the ticket prices were not discussed during negotiations for the show.
“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,” Chuck Ward, the owner, told WATE.
“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,” the owner added.
Ultimately, in a change of events, Anthony admitted he might’ve been at fault for the ticket price chaos and took it up on a call with Cotton Eyed Joe.
Anthony said he was upset about the nearly $200 cost for the meet and greet, alleging the venue “suckered us into playing there just so they could make extra money off of ya’ll.”
“My booking guy handled all of this on the phone with them. And I realize there are two sides to every story,” he typed out in the post.
“That being said, I wish them the best. All the fault ultimately is with me. I should have been more thoroughly involved in the booking, and I should probably consider using a professional consultant in this area,” he ended the note to his fans.
The event has since been rescheduled and will instead take place at Knoxville Convention Center on Sept. 29, according to the singer’s website.
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