Kid Rock Embarrassed to Be a Republican
The artist known as Kid Rock endorsed Mitt Romney but now says he's "embarrassed to be a Republican." Because of their stance on paperless tickets, naturally.
The artist known as Kid Rock endorsed Mitt Romney but now says he’s “embarrassed to be a Republican.” Because of their stance on paperless tickets, naturally.
TV Guide/YahooNews (“Kid Rock: I’m Embarrassed to Be a Republican“):
Even though Kid Rock went red in the last election, he’s not entirely on board with the current GOP agenda.
The rocker, who threw his support behind Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, is now sounding off against the Republicans, who have supported various acts of legislation in Congress to raise concert ticket prices.
“That’s one of the times I’m f—ing embarrassed to be a Republican,” Rock tells Rolling Stone. “It’s f—ing Republican lawmakers passing those laws, you dumba–es. They already did it in New York and they’re trying to do it in Michigan. I’ve even called some of those guys to try and stop it.”
Of the embarrassing things Republicans have done of late, this was not one that had heretofore appeared on my radar screen. They’re trying to raise the price of concert tickets?
The Rolling Stone article “Kid Rock on His $20 Tour and ‘Dumbass Republicans’” has more:
Rapino and Rock came to a deal that allowed for $20 tickets for every seat in the house. “I said to them, ‘Look, I’ll go in as your partner. Don’t guarantee me a dime; if nobody shows up, I’ll lose money.’ It costs us $125,000 to show up with our crew and whatnot,” he explains. “I also said, ‘But I want to share beer, parking, hot dogs. Let’s put the money in a pot at the end of the night and figure out, based on the numbers, what I’ll get paid.’ Even if it sells out, I’ll take a pay cut. Fortunately, I’m able to do that.”
However, the first two rows of each venue will not be sold to anybody. “I’m going to send my roadies to find people in the back of the place to sit there,” Rock says. “I have big-time buddies that can get front-row seats for anything. They know the right people. Not my show, though. We don’t care who you are, you can’t get those seats unless we select you.” In places where it’s legal, rows two through 18 will be only available via paperless ticketing. Unfortunately, many states have outlawed the practice, which infuriates Rock.
“That’s one of the times I’m f-king embarrassed to be a Republican,” he seethes. “It’s f-ing Republican lawmakers passing those laws, you dumbasses. They already did it in New York and they’re trying to do it in Michigan. I’ve even called some of those guys to try and stop it.”
Oddly, the rationale for banning paperless tickets is to protect consumers.
Unlike paper tickets, e-tickets printed at home by consumers or digital tickets delivered to smartphones, Ticketmaster’s so-called “paperless” tickets use the purchaser’s credit card and state ID as the ticket to a live event. This prevents fans from transferring tickets easily or at all.
Further, if consumers wish to give away, donate or sell their ticket, under Ticketmaster’s system they must use Ticketmaster’s reseller, pay Ticketmaster’s fees and accept Ticketmaster’s resale price terms — regardless of whether that price is higher or lower than fair market value. Consumers have no choice but to comply with whatever pricing and fees the company enforces – or waste their ticket.
In a 71-page paper released earlier this year, the Washington, D.C.-based American Antitrust Institute, with which I am a senior research fellow, called on the Federal Trade Commission and several state attorneys general to investigate Ticketmaster’s restrictive paperless system because it denies consumer choice and stifles competition.
The institute also called on state legislatures to act to protect consumers and preserve an open marketplace. Michigan lawmakers now have that opportunity thanks to legislation recently introduced in the state Senate.
Proponents of restrictive ticketing argue that these restrictions are needed to prevent scalping, but their true motivation is to take a cut of the profit from the secondary ticket market by blocking competition and charging additional service fees. By preventing consumers from selling their tickets directly or through other vendors and setting a “floor” on resale prices, these restrictions enable Ticketmaster, already the dominant ticket seller for live-events, and other ticket companies to extend their control over consumers’ tickets and take more of their hard-earned money.
I don’t have any strong views on whether Ticketmaster ought to have a right to restrict tickets to those who purchased them, as airlines and some other service providers do. But a position taken by state legislators on this issue strikes me as an odd reason, indeed, to turn against a political party—especially one at odds with so many of other of his views.
Additionally, I’m bemused that the source of his tirade is that it’ll make it harder for his road crew to hand select people for the good seats at his concerts.