COUNTRY SQUIRE: Tyler Childers is the latest artist to use CashorTrade for an exclusive ticket release. (Courtesy vendor)
If CashorTrade’s recent momentum is any indication, the “face value” ticket movement is alive and well among touring artists. Tyler Childers’ upcoming sold-out Red Rocks concerts are the newest “ticket drop” for the social network-style ticketing platform, which next week will release a new batch of tickets for face value.
The Sept 28-29 shows at the famed Colorado venue are sold out and the only tickets currently available for the event are on the secondary market. Resale tickets on Axs.com, Red Rocks’ primary ticketing provider, as well as Ticketmaster, start at more than $300 for general admission. The best reserved seats list for thousands of dollars. Face value for general admission tickets was $59 before convenience fees.
On Aug. 30, a new batch of tickets for Tyler Childers at Red Rocks will be released directly through the CashorTrade platform instead of the usual fan-to-fan connection. Fans are encouraged to sign up for alerts to be notified when tickets become available. The tickets, provided by the artist, are sold for their original face value, with a 10% transaction fee for buyers not subscribed to the service.
“These are holds which the venue and artists usually have,” CashorTrade co-founder and CEO Brando Rich said, explaining the ticket inventory for the Tyler Childers drop.
“Typically, when those tickets get distributed back out, after the demand increases and they see the secondary market … tickets get gobbled up by the brokers and scalpers more than anything,” Rich said. “Artists feel that by using CashorTrade’s technology and community, it’s a way to pass these tickets on to real fans.”
Rich founded CashorTrade in 2009 with his brother Dusty Rich in their home market of Burlington, Vermont. The site is free for users to sell or trade tickets, but transactions include a 10% fee paid by the buyer. Ticket buyers can avoid transaction fees by purchasing a six- or 12-month membership plan. The platform guarantees transactions, which means any tickets not delivered by a seller will be refunded.
Rich said he can’t disclose the total number of Childers tickets that are part of the exclusive CashorTrade ticket release, but “it’s a healthy amount of tickets for the two days” and falls in line with recent drops. “We’re pretty excited about it and think the fans are, too.”
Ahead of the drop, many fans on the site were already searching for tickets to the Childers concerts at Red Rocks, with numerous ISO, or “in search of,” listings visible.
The Kentucky-born alt-country/folk artist has caught fire in recent years, with critical acclaim and hard-ticket success, including two sold-out Red Rocks events in 2021 that grossed more than $1 million, according to box office data submitted to Pollstar and VenuesNow. Other sellouts for Childers have included four nights at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, that moved more than 9,000 tickets in early February of 2020.
Childers’ only announced 2022 dates are the Red Rocks double, plus an appearance at the Healing Appalachia benefit festival in West Virginia that takes place Sept. 23-24.
Other recent CashorTrade drops include Phish’s Labor Day run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado, which Rich said went smoothly and included charitable donations to the band’s Water Wheel Foundation. In 2017, the company handled 50,000 ticket transactions during Phish’s “Baker’s Dozen” run of shows at Madison Square Garden.
“The Billy Strings one at Red Rocks (in July 2022) was amazing,” Rich added. “Straight up, the fans communicated on socials immediately about how Billy Strings is a stand-up musician and that protecting his fans was his first and foremost priority there.”
Billy Strings’ three-night Halloween 2022 run at ExploreAsheville.com Arena is the next CashorTrade drop, with the artist’s website directing fans to join a waitlist at CashorTrade. “Holiday shows are big ones for us,” Rich said, noting the demand for sold-out destination events.
Rich said working with Childers, Billy Strings and Little Feat, another band using their service, helps show the artist and venue community that CashorTrade isn’t strictly for jam bands, although the community and social aspect speaks to those fans. Goose, an up and coming band in that vein, makes perfect sense for another ticket release, he said.
Festivals also have a need for a service like CashorTrade. Rich said CashorTrade has worked with FloydFest in Virginia, Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois and Moon Crush events in October and April 2023 in Miramar Beach, Florida.
“If a festival hasn’t sold out, they’re working with CashorTrade in a lot of ways to get the word out,” Rich said, mentioning the site’s up to 500,000 users. “CashorTrade has such a significant community behind it that, as we push out content, (festivals) are excited to be part of the ecosystem.”
For sold-out festivals, the site helps patrons sell tickets at face value if they’re unable to attend events.
Rich says so far the company has worked directly with artists on the exclusive ticket drops rather than venues, with multiple shows at Red Rocks. The business model for Fan Exchange ticket partnerships with artists have involved a trade of promotional services and revenue splits, Rich said.
Looking ahead, the company is working to launch a new mobile application, which Rich says will add new features and improve the overall process.
“CashorTrade is face value; a lot of ticketing solutions are not,” he said. “When you’re working directly with the artists and festivals, the fan has some expectations to be treated right. CashorTrade does that for the partner and the fans. It’s real social ticketing that doesn’t exist on other platforms. When we started CashorTrade, no one could absorb the face value idea. Now it’s becoming more common.”