Kid Rock Vs. Scalpers

The headline probably doesn’t tell you anything new.  Kid Rock has long fought the good fight against ticket scalpers.  What is new is Rock’s recent editorial in a Detroit newspaper aimed at those who want to eliminate Michigan’s anti-scalping law.

Photo: John Davisson
Voodoo Experience, City Park, New Orleans, La.

Kid Rock has never been on friendly terms with folks buying tickets at box office prices and reselling them at exorbitant mark-ups.  During his 2012 tour, Rock, using paperless tickets, kept prices at $20.  What’s more, he also threw in free parking and $4 beers. 

However, to offset the $20 tickets Rock reserved approximately 1,000 seats for each show to be sold as platinum tickets.  If you think that made Rock a scalper, the artist would probably agree with you.

“I’m in the scalping business, but you know what?  We told everyone.  A lot of artists have been doing this for years behind fans’ backs, taking all these backdoor deals,” Rock told Associated Press in May.  “We look at StubHub and other places and see what they’re selling them for and we just undercut them.”

Now Rock is concerned about Michigan House Bill 5108 which would eliminate a long-time state law prohibiting the resale of tickets over the purchase price.

“Lawmakers look at this bill thinking that it will be good for the free market and that one less law means smaller government,” Rock wrote in a Detroit Free Press op-ed.  “All this bill does is take away the one measly law that venues have to protect artists and fans from scalpers who want to get rich off the backs of the working man.”

The bill, introduced by Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw, would repeal an 83-year-old Michigan law prohibiting ticket reselling above box office prices.  Those favoring the bill say it will give fans a legal way to sell their tickets when they can’t make it to the event.  But Rock isn’t buying it.

“People say this bill is about letting the average guy go out and sell his tickets when his grandma gets sick and he can’t go to the concert.  Nowhere does it say you can’t do that now.  You occasionally just can’t sell them for more than the face value.  If you remove the law that helps keep tickets at the price the artists intend, it will put scalpers ahead of fans.”

What do you think?  Should states enact and/or keep laws prohibiting scalping?  Or are such laws examples of government overreach and that people should be legally allowed to sell tickets for whatever price the market will allow?

But before you add your comments to the thread below, here’s one more quote from Rock to think about:

“Times are tough.  I see it every day.  I live in Clarkston (location of the DTE Energy Music Theatre), and have a house in Detroit, and the folks around my town have been hit hard.  They can’t afford those crazy ticket prices. We need to keep this law in place to protect them.  I’d rather take a pay cut than have to see my fans pay outrageous amounts just to watch me perform.  Going to a concert or a sporting event should be about having a good time, not losing your shirt to a scalper.”

Click here to read Rock’s entire editorial in the Detroit Free Press.