Country fans were thrilled this week with the announcement that “King of Country” George Strait and Chris Stapleton would be performing a run of stadium shows together in 2023, joined by Little Big Town. But that excitement quickly turned to shock at the ticket prices discovered when presales launched this week, displaying box office charges for thousands of dollars for prime locations, and several hundred dollars even for the far reaches of the venues.

“Unlocked AMEX presale for @GeorgeStrait  at @NissanStadium in Nashville. Didn’t know it was going to be AMEX black card pricing,” tweeted one fan, including a screenshot of the Ticketmaster page displaying a $3,123.60 ticket for “American Express Preferred Access” seats in the front of the floor.. “Well known ticket prices have risen but this is egregious. Even tickets in the lower bowl cost as much and tickets 50 rows back are still pushing $500″

That reaction was widespread, beginning with the presales that started on Wednesday, October 26 for both American Express cardmembers and those willing to pay the Ticketmaster “Platinum” prices applied to many of the prime locations. They will continue to open up to new presale audiences throughout this week and next before the general onsale begins next Friday for each show. Seats near the front of the stage were typically well over the $1,000 mark, with the entire floor, all the way to the back, priced over $500 and often closer to $1,000. Front seats in the lower bowl were close to $1,000 each, with some “platinum” prices exceeding that, and upper deck seats well over $100 in almost every instance.

Insomniac browser for ticketing professionals

Initially, the tour was announced for six stadiums running through the summer. Citing high demand, the tour added a second date at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where the tour will play back-to-back nights on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29.

It is likely that the demand-based surge price “dynamic” ticketing system will still be in play for all shows going forward, so consumers shopping for tickets will have to keep an eye on shifting prices as they try to add options to their “cart.”

Learn more about the Insomniac web browser, designed for ticket resale professionals

While President Biden and the FTC indicated a desire to help save fans from egregious and hidden ticket fees, tours and promoters like Live Nation have inflated prices to unprecedented highs using “platinum” and “dynamic pricing” surge tactics, which actually might not even fall under the purview of the fees that the FTC is planning to regulate. Rather than hiding fees to the last second using “drip pricing” techniques that have come under fire, dynamic and platinum pricing just use sophisticated algorithmic systems and enormous amounts of user data harvested from mobile-only ticketing systems to anticipate the maximum price that can be extracted for each ticket on a tour, and makes that the price. Tours that have drawn huge complaints over the pricing scheme in recent months are plentiful, from Bruce Springsteen to Harry Styles to Billie Eilish to Blink-182.

Country music fans are no exception, and there is little that regulating when and how fees are displayed can likely do about that, though there is a concurrent effort by numerous groups to convince the Department of Justice to break up Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

The full run of scheduled shows and links to ticket marketplaces are available below:

George Strait Ticket Links

Tickets at | No Service Charge/Free Shipping – 10% Off Using Code TICKETNEWS
Tickets at Event Tickets Center
Tickets at Scorebig
Tickets at StubHub
Tickets at Ticket Club | Free Membership Offer
Tickets at TicketNetwork
Tickets at TickPick
Tickets at TicketSmarter

George Strait and Chris Stapleton Tour Dates

May 6 – Glendale, Ariz. | State Farm Stadium
June 3 – Milwaukee, Wisc. | American Family Field
June 17 – Seattle, Wash. | Lumen Field
June 24 – Denver, Colo. | Empower Field at Mile High Stadium
July 28 – Nashville, Tenn. | Nissan Stadium (newly added date)
July 29 – Nashville, Tenn. | Nissan Stadium
Aug. 5 – Tampa, Fla. | Raymond James Stadium