by Jeff Niesel
Whether or not you like rap rocker Kid Rock's music, you’ve gotta admire the approach he’s taken on his current tour. Tickets only cost $20 and he's made it difficult for scalpers by enlisting a “paperless ticket” policy for all dates of the tour, including the one coming up on Tuesday at Blossom Music Center.
One person who’s praising Kid Rock’s approach is Michael Marion (pictured). Four years ago, Marion worked together with other concert venue owners and promoters to form the Fans First Coalition in order to fight the legislation that would ban paperless tickets. Marion, who currently works as the General Manager of Verizon Arena in Little Rock, serves as president of Fans First.
“We looked at each other and decided to put our non-profit together,” says Marion. “We’re trying to help each other out and be a resource for when scalpers put forth legislation that we know is bad for consumers. The venue owners and promoters want you to go to more than one show. The artists want to have a long-term career. [Country singer] Luke Bryan wants to come back on tour in 18 months but if you paid $400 for a $50 ticket to see him this time around, you might not go. We want to create a long-term big picture that will ensure that people will continue to go to shows.”
Going paperless ensures that a purchased ticket cannot be resold above the face-value price. Statistics show that paperless tickets can reduce scalping by 75 to 100 percent. That's doing enough damage that those greedy guys over at Stubhub have been pushing legislation that would ban paperless tickets.
“It’s admirable,” Marion says of Kid Rock’s approach. “Anytime an artist tries to lower ticket prices, that’s great.”