For the first time ever, there will be no support act on this tour. 2016 CMA Album of the Year winner, Eric Church and the Eric Church Band will play two full sets with an intermission in between. In an effort to ensure his core fans get great tickets at face value, Church is revamping the pre-sale and on-sale process to eliminate scalpers from the equa-tion.
“In this era where growing inequality seems to be the norm, we wanted to do everything within our power to put the advantage back in the hands of true fans rather than those that take advantage of the system, and by extension our people,” said John Peets, Church’s manager. “It was important to us to invest time into evaluating and redesigning the ticket buying process and build the technology to level the playing field.”
Church has secured a larger allotment of fan club tickets than in the past so Church Choir members will have much bet-ter success buying tickets in the pre-sale. The Church Choir pre-sale will be the ONLY pre-sale. There will be no venue, credit card or radio pre-sales. Church and his team developed a new fan club pre-sale system that allows them to re-move scalpers from the pre-sale process before it even happens. Scalpers that are found to be gaming the system and posing as real fans won’t receive the buy link at all.
As on past tours, Church will continue to cancel any and all orders found to be made by scalpers. New for the Holdin’ My Own Tour, Church commissioned a proprietary technology that scrubs ticket purchases using up to 10 different data points and automatically flags orders made by scalpers. Orders may be cancelled at any time and without warn-ing. Church cautions fans to stay away from the secondary market because it’s likely that tickets found there will be invalid by the time the show happens.
Finally, delivery of all ticket orders will be delayed until the days leading up to each show. Church hopes that this will make it impossible for scalpers to complete their transactions.
By doing this – investing time and energy to create a more efficient and balanced model – the Church team is not only communicating directly to the fans the best source for face value tickets, but also building a model that protects fans and can be adopted by the industry as a whole.
“The way this album came together mandated we release it as a surprise, straight to our fans, as it was important for me to deliver the music the same way the creativity hit me—directly and swiftly. What I didn’t anticipate is that it left me scratching my head a little as this year was supposed to be spent writing.” Church continues, “What this year’s open schedule did afford us was time to think through the way the fans experience our music live, and it was important to us that we find a way to stick to these same principles when it came to approaching our shows, down to the way they go on sale.”
Church’s fifth studio album, Mr. Misunderstood was recently named Album of the Year at the 50th annual CMA Awards, Nov. 2. After accepting the award Church said, “I always believed that, if you put everything into making the best rec-ord you can make, regardless of how you release it, and regardless of the press and the hype, that the music wins.” Mr. Misunderstood was released by surprise during the 2015 CMA Awards after sending more than 80,000 copies solely to his fan club, The Church Choir, and has since proven to be a critically-acclaimed album.
Church’s 2014-2015’s The Outsiders World Tour topped Billboard's Hot Tours consistently after Church set new attend-ance records in five markets including Chicago's Allstate Arena on March 20 with 18,626 present. Church also shattered Nashville's Bridgestone Arena attendance on January 10 with an unprecedented 18,411 fans assembled, surpas-sing The Blue Collar Comedy Tour’s record set on February 2006. On April 7, 2015 he also broke the attendance record at Grand Forks, N.D.’s Ralph Engelstad Arena, which was previously set by Sir Elton John's 2012 show. The Outsiders World Tour saw Church performing to more than 800,000 fans in more than 65 cities with nearly 20 stops from Sep-tember 2014 through September of ‘15 and was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Must-See Tours.