Pop singer Katy Perry, whose California Dreams Tour comes to North America next month, has stipulated in her tour rider that her representatives reserve the right to resell her tickets on the secondary market.
The decision by Perry to, in effect, scalp tickets to her own shows is not unique, as several artists in recent years have done the same thing, including Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Radiohead. But, expressly putting it in her tour rider is not as common, and it shows a level of transparency that few artists are willing to reveal.
In addition, the rider sheds some light on what is normally a closely held practice in the touring industry called holdbacks, which are tickets that the artist, promoter, venue or other entity routinely withhold for distribution through a fan club, sponsorship opportunities or other avenues, in this case resale.
The rider, which was obtained by the Web site TheSmokingGun.com, states:
If Company [Perry’s production company] elects to use ‘resellers,’ Promoter shall hold tickets for each Performance, in quantities and in location as designated by the Personal Manager, for distribution to the public through ‘resellers,’ ‘Resellers shall mean any ticket agency, ticket re-seller or other so-called ‘secondary market’ seller of tickets (such as, by way of example only, StubHub in the United States) who sell tickets to the general public. Promoter expressly acknowledges and agrees that Company shall be entitled to retain, for Company’s sole account, such portion of the proceeds from sales made by Resellers as Company and Resellers may agree, and Promoter shall have no entitlement to any monies from such sales by Resellers, whether from Company or from any Reseller, provided that Company shall pay to Promoter for inclusion in the Gross face value of all tickets sold by Resellers on Company’s behalf pursuant to this paragraph 4.9(d)(iii).
The rider also states that promoters are not allowed to hold tickets for any music company representatives, unless such holds are approved by Perry’s manager in writing and money for those tickets is received in advance. Such music industry tickets also cannot be in the first 20 rows in front of the stage.
In recent months, legislators in several states have sought to make the issue of ticket holdbacks more transparent, because often a fraction of the available tickets for a show are released to the public when tickets go on sale. If fans knew, for example, that only 3,000 out of 15,000 seats for a show were initially going to go on sale, they could make more informed purchasing decisions.
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Perry’s manager, Bradford Cobb of Los Angeles-based Direct Management Group, did not respond to a message seeking comment.
StubHub spokesperson Glenn Lehrman told TicketNews that the rider appears to show that Perry understands the reality of today’s ticket industry, and he applauds her decision.
“We don’t have a deal with Katy Perry, but from this rider it appears that artists are choosing StubHub, just like fans are,” Lehrman said. “We believe that artists like Katy Perry have the right to sell their tickets on sites like StubHub where they can get true market value, but think the public has the right to have more visibility into this practice.”
The rider does not mention it, but an undisclosed number of Perry’s tickets currently are being sold on Ticketsforcharity.com, some of the proceeds of which are benefiting Generosity Water, The Humane Society of the United States, the Children’s Health Fund or other charities.
“This summer, Katy Perry is teaming up with Tickets-for-Charity to offer you special access to some of the best seats in the house to benefit great charitable causes!” her page on Ticketsforcharity.com states. “For the same or better price you’ll find elsewhere, Tickets-for-Charity offers you the chance to find the seats you want and support the causes you care about!”
Don Vaccaro, founder and CEO of third-party ticket exchange TicketNetwork, also praised Perry’s decision to resell tickets. “Katy Perry is making a wise business move, realizing that if she lists her tickets on exchanges like TicketNetwork.com, she can maximize the value of her tickets and at the same time compete with ticket resellers.”
TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.