Brewing controversy amid Zach Bryan ticket sales

By: Abby Altman

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Zach Bryan is a rising country singer who made himself known after posting videos on YouTube and TikTok, and rising in fame after releasing his single “Something in the Orange” in April of 2022. The song made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 2022, and hit the top 10 in January.

In December of 2022, Bryan released ‘All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster (Live from Red Rocks)’, a live album recorded at a 2022 concert. With the album, Bryan released a statement against the large increase in ticket prices via Ticketmaster.

In late January, Zach Bryan announced the official Burn Burn Burn Tour across the United States. Bryan, previously expressing his disdain for Ticketmaster, scalpers, and tickets being resold at a higher resale value, utilized a ticket sales site called AXS.

AXS is a sports and entertainment ticket sales outlet, first deployed in 2011.

After announcing the tour, Bryan opened presale registration, with a $1 sign-up fee. Randomly selected fans were then notified several weeks later with the opportunity to purchase tickets, ranging from $40 to $156 at the absolute maximum.

Fans selected to purchase tickets received an email from AXS, which led to fans checking their inbox every 30 seconds for 3 days straight. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and TikTok are filled with fans expressing anger and sadness over “not getting the email”.

Along with using AXS, Bryan is not allowing the transfer of tickets to avoid reselling. The original purchaser of the ticket must be in attendance at the concert, with an ID matching the name of the ticket holder.

While the thought process behind the idea is sound, the resale policy has not stopped scalpers from trying. Tickets for the Burn Burn Burn tour have been appearing on sites such as VividSeats and TickPick for hundreds more than the original sale value. Zach Bryan and his organization have done everything in their power to try and make it clear; These tickets will not be accepted, and no refunds will be given.

Buyers selected to purchase tickets were first notified on February 14th through the 17th. For most concerts, fans were allowed to purchase up to 4 tickets, and for the concerts held at Red Rocks Amphitheater, fans were limited to 2 tickets per purchase.

While the random selection process worked just as Bryan had explained, many fans who were not selected were angry and spoke out publicly on social media.

During the selection process, Zach Bryan deactivated his Twitter account to avoid the harassment and hate. Shortly after tickets had been sold out, Bryan returned to Twitter saying “sorry guys had to avoid Twitter while the tour went on sale. I love you guys all so much and I’m so insanely happy and blessed.”

Bryan disappeared from social media once again a few weeks later after tweeting “Jesus, you guys have taken it out of me, see ya man, tried my best”. He reappeared 2 weeks later, but the complaints regarding ticket sales have not ceased.

Demand for tickets to see Zach Bryan in concert is much higher than the supply of seats to sell tickets to. Aside from adding more tour dates, there’s not much Bryan can do about the overwhelming number of fans who didn’t secure tickets.

Zach Bryan did exactly what he said he was going to do, in reducing ticket prices, eliminating scalpers reselling his tickets, and creating the fairest way possible for people to get access to his show. It’s understandable that those without tickets would be upset, but the amount of heat Bryan has received from upset fans is completely unwarranted.

The Burn Burn Burn tour will begin May 10th in Charlottesville, Virginia, and last until the end of August.

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