Oliver Anthony Cancels Knoxville Show Over High Ticket Prices, Gets Slammed By Venue: “Be Careful Booking The North Man of Richmond”

Oliver Anthony country music

Oliver Anthony’s show at the Knoxville, Tennessee, bar and venue Cotton Eyed Joe has officially been canceled.

Anthony was set to play the bar on September 27th to celebrate the bar’s 30th birthday. That dream to have the viral country music singer on their stage was short and sweet because Anthony pulled the plug on the gig after seeing what the venue was charging people for tickets.

According to Anthony, the issues seem to have been due to some miscommunication between him and his “booking agent,” who is really just a buddy of his, and a full-time plumber.

He says:

“Don’t buy $90 Cotton Eyed Joe tickets or $200 for a meet and greet. That’s not acceptable. Just saw the Facebook post and lost my shit. Miscommunication with my friend booking shows and I.

My shows should never cost more than $40, ideally no more than $25. Hell, out of the 4 shows we have currently done, 2 of them have been completely free. This will get straightened out tonight. Hold off on buying tickets for now.”

Oliver Anthony shared in an Instagram caption, but through the video he posted, you can hear in his voice he was not thrilled when he saw what they were going for.

“I had to pull off on the side of the road and make this video. My adrenaline is pumping; I’m pissed off right now. 

Don’t buy Cotton Eyed Joe tickets right now for $99 a piece, and sure as hell don’t buy VIP passes for whatever price they are on…He (his friend) agreed to the show without asking what the ticket prices were. 

Don’t pay $100 for a ticket. That’s horse sh*t. If we’ve got to cancel the venue and play someplace else, we will. I didn’t agree to it, and I don’t want you to pay it.” 

After telling fans to hold off on purchasing tickets, a mere hour later, the venue posted about the show being canceled, indicating that they could not agree on the ticket prices.

Cotton Eyed Joe did not seem pleased with the artist when they made their post.

Calling him the “North Man of Richmond,” they disclosed how much they were paying Anthony and how that dictated what ticket prices would be set. According to them, in order to break even on his fee, they needed to charge $90 a ticket for the 1,500 cap room:

“It’s a Damn Shame what the World has gotten to for the Customers of the World Famous Cotton Eyed Joe. Most times, we say a show has been canceled due to circumstances beyond our control…well we are canceling the Oliver Anthony show under our full control. All refunds will be made in the next few business days to your original form of payment.

The North Man of Richmond contracted to play the Cotton Eyed Joe for $120,000 for 60 minutes…. after doing the math and knowing we can only hold approx. 1,500 people, paying the ticket website their fee to sell the tickets, paying the tax man, opening the JOE on a closed night… we set the ticket price to break even and bring our customers a show we thought would be fun.

To our talent agency and promotor friends that follow us… be careful booking the North Man of Richmond.”

While Oliver Anthony’s platform is all about standing up for the blue collar working man, there is something to be said about doing business with that mentality… it’s just harder.

Anthony would be making a pretty penny stepping foot on that stage for an hour set, and logically, they would not want to lose money by booking him. If you’re charging that much to play a show, you can’t complain about ticket prices. It definitely sounds like there are still some kinks to work out for Oliver Anthony and company…

Anthony did comment on his post once the show had been canceled, noting that he was very sorry and was still learning.

He took responsibility himself, saying:

“Ultimately, it’s my fault for not being more directly involved with the venues who have reached out. My plate has been full and I delegated the responsibility to someone else to help me book. I am not pointing fingers at Cotton Eyed Joe, I don’t know where the miscommunication took place.

I’m just upset seeing those prices. We will find another place in Knoxville area that can do $25 ticket and free meet and greet. I will work to get your tickets refunded from my own budget if they can’t. This will never happen again.

Thanks for your patience. I am still learning how all of this works.”

It will be interesting to see if Anthony sticks to his guns about keeping ticket prices fair or eventually gives into the system and plays the game that many other artists do. At the end of the day, it costs a lot of money to do business and if you’re gonna charge $120,000 for an appearance, the venue has to make that back somehow. Ticket prices are step 1 in that equation…

The cancelation is unfortunate news for the fans who had bought tickets for the show, but hopefully, he can find a venue to accommodate his needs.

According to an Instagram post, it sounds like tickets will be $25 moving forward, and all meet and greets will be free:

“Joey Davis Music and I have agreed on a good model that we will book shows around moving forward:

$25 ticket prices on all upcoming shows, excluding the two that we already have scheduled (Poppy Mountain and Louder than Life.) Free meet and greet at all shows. Joey plays for 1 hour as an opener, we do 1.5 hours together, with an optional open mic for the locals at the end if time allows.

Sorry for all the drama I caused tonight. Thanks for understanding.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock