Monday Morning Insights

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    How MercyMe is Taking on Ticketmaster

    How MercyMe is Taking on Ticketmaster

    Bought anything at Ticketmaster lately?  The prices and fees are outrageous.  But Christian band MercyMe had another idea... bypass Ticketmaster altogether and organize a tour around one simple idea:  a $10 at-the-door admission price.

    Here's part of an article at

    Last year Christian adult contemporary act MercyMe brought the Rock and Worship Roadshow to venues across the country, with a solid lineup of Christian rock acts — and every ticket priced at ten dollars. The tour was a risk for the band, who weren't guaranteed a payday if fans didn't come. While there were off nights, overall the tour averaged 10,000 fans a show, with some camping out in front of venues waiting to scurry to the best seats when the doors opened. 

    The appreciative audience is part of what MercyMe frontman Bart Millard says he enjoys about the shows. “It's not about filling up the building, but who's in the building,” he explained during a recent phone interview. “The audience reacts to every band, and there's a competitive aspect as musicians with the other acts, with us feeding off each other ... I wake up every morning ready to play, and when the tour was over last year I was ready for this year.” 

    If you were going to make a list of bands likely to stand up to Ticketmaster and put on a full-scale tour in major venues while selling affordable general admission tickets at the door, MercyMe would probably be among those you'd dismiss as unlikely to rock the boat. After all, the band have a stack of #1 hits on the Christian chart and a readymade audience likely to pay a good amount of money to see them on the road. 

    But their $10-ticket tour was enough of a success to merit a second one, which kicked off in Indianapolis earlier this month and will visit 25 cities before closing in Columbia, South Carolina, on April 28.

    Millard said he and the rest of his band picked the groups for the bill in attempt to give every member of the family something to enjoy, from the frenetic, hip-hop-influenced alternative sounds of Family Force 5, female singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli, more straight-ahead worship rock acts like Remedy Drive and Fee and David Crowder Band, who were described by one reviewer as the Christian version of Radiohead. While most of these bands have headlined tours on their own, they're all on one bill for a tenth of the going rate of many of the shows hosted by the same venues the Rock and Worship Roadshow is hitting.

    Any thoughts?



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    1. Roger on Mon, April 05, 2010

      Ahhh… I believe NewSong has been doing this for…. more than 10 years or more.  With the last 2 or 3 Winter Jam tours ranked in the top 10 of tour attendance of all Christian and Secular tours.

    2. AJ on Mon, April 05, 2010

      New Song?  who are they?  Oh wait, I remember them…. 
      Carman did this for years as well.  I dont know many of MY friends running out to see new song… maybe my mom and her friends.  (ok that probably comes off harsh, but New Song isn’t as current as Family Force Five, DCB*, Remedy Drive, Fee, Mercy Me, Sidewalk Prophets or even Francesca Battistelli, all of which put on a great show in Madison the second night of this tour).

      This isnt a “new” concept when I was a kid, I saw Carman perform for free will offerings in crowded stadiums, but Ticketmaster has become more of a beast than ever before.  It is insane.

      I am glad they are doing it.  They gave those who could give more the opportunity to do so, while allowing people without the financial resources to pay Ticketmaster prices, like myself, a chance to see an amazing show they might not otherwise see.

      Bravo to everyone who is, has or will do this…

    3. KJC on Mon, April 05, 2010

      About time some thing is done, Tickets been way to high for way to long, Ministry I know cost but it should be some what in a price range of allowing ALL to be able to attend. Thanks To Mercy Me and the others who are doing some thing and making a stand. God Bless.

    4. JRC on Mon, April 05, 2010

      Is this sort of like a flat tax for tickets? LOL Seriously, I don’t care if it’s been done already or not, anything we can do to promote the Gospel and support the Christian artists is a good thing. It’s time we quit following the world’s patterns and started following the narrow path! Thanks and God Bless! By the way, I was associated with Carman many years back and when he chose to take love offerings instead of selling tickets, esp. the convention hall shows, he always made more money on those shows. Just a thought!

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