Country superstar Eric Church is making things fair for fans – by cancelling 25,000 tickets to his upcoming Holdin’ My Own tour.
The “Springsteen” singer told the Associated Press Monday the seats were bought by scalpers.
Will Lofdahl, CEO of SaskTel Centre, confirmed around 100 tickets were affected for Church’s stop in Saskatoon on March 9.
“It’s an ongoing battle that everyone in the entertainment industry is working towards mitigating,” Lofdahl said.
“Eric Church, being proactive, reached out and denied ticket purchases to those who are known as scalpers in the industry.”
Cancelled tickets for Church’s Canadian tour stops were re-released on sale to the general public a few weeks ago. Other affected tickets for his 60-city tour went on sale noon local time Tuesday.
Lofdahl said provincial legislation has been in place for around seven years to help curb scalping.
By law, if someone from outside Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota and Montana buys a SaskTel Centre ticket, it can only be picked up at the facility the day of the show.
SaskTel Centre notifies all people affected by this rule at the time of purchase to let them know and issue a refund if necessary.
“Even though (scalping) is illegal, it’s still something that’s difficult to stop – especially with the technology these days and the internet,” Lofdahl said.
In his interview with AP, Church said scalpers make money buying up thousands of tickets using fake credit cards with fake IDs.
The country singer has become known for his efforts to stop scammers before, but his recent mass cancellation is a first.
When ticket sales were announced for Saskatoon in September 2016, Church’s team sent out a news release detailing how they would address the issue. Efforts included cancelling orders anytime without warning, using technology to flag certain buyers and delaying ticket delivery until the days leading up to the show.
Church fans were also warned not to buy tickets from a secondary market in case seats were cancelled due to scalping.
SaskTel Centre urges customers to only buy seats through Ticketmaster to guarantee a legitimate ticket at the appropriate price.
Ultimately, artists are responsible for setting up any further security measures – such as limiting the number of tickets available for a single buyer, a tactic used by country musician Garth Brooks during his stop in Saskatoon last June.
—With files from The Associated Press.