Oliver Anthony has a message for any “rich men” charging an arm and a leg for concert tickets.
Anthony, 31, took to Instagram on Monday, September 11, to vent his frustration after hearing that tickets to his now-canceled show at the Cotton Eyed Joe venue in Knoxville, Tennessee were almost a hundred bucks each. “My adrenaline’s pumping, man. I’m pissed off right now,” the “Rich Men North of Richmond” singer said in the Instagram video. “Don’t buy Cotton Eyed Joe tickets for $99 apiece. And sure as hell don’t buy VIP for whatever bulls–t price they’re going.”
Anthony said that the incident happened because his booking agent – who works full-time as a plumber – agreed to the show “without asking what the ticket prices are,” said Anthony. The “miscommunication” led to this situation, and Anthony encouraged his fans not to pay the ticket price. “That’s horse s–t. If we’ve got to cancel the venue and play somewhere else, we will. I didn’t agree to it, and I don’t want you to pay it.”
In the video’s caption, Anthony said his fans shouldn’t agree to paying $200 for a meet-and-greet. “That’s not acceptable,” he wrote. “Just saw the Facebook post and lost my s–t. … My shows should never cost more than $40, ideally no more than $25. Hell, out of the four shows we have currently done, two of them have been completely free. This will get straightened out tonight. Hold off on buying tickets for now.”
Shortly after posting the video, Anthony wrote in the comments section that the Cotton Eyed Joe show had been canceled. “I am so sorry about all of this. I will do better next time. We are still learning,” he said.
However, the venue responded to Anthony’s video via the official Cotton Eyed Joe Facebook page and said they were the ones pulling the plug on the event. “It’s a damn shame what the world’s gotten to for the customers of the world-famous Cotton Eyed Joe,” the venue wrote. “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 venue claimed Anthony was “contracted to play the Cotton Eyed Joe for $120,000 for 60 minutes.” The venue, which claims to hold around 1500 people, said it set the pricing to cover the cost of taxes and to pay “the ticket website their fee to sell the tickets,” ultimately settling on $99 “to break even and bring our customers a show we thought we would be fun.”
Anthony has been experiencing the rush of fame since his song, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” spent two weeks on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 after going viral on YouTube. The Farmville, Virginia native’s track was embraced by conservatives since its lyrics attack “the obese [people] milkin’ welfare,” all while criticizing the “rich” politicians in Washington D.C., aka the town north of Richmond.
With the surge of conservative support for the song, where it was the basis for a question in a 2024 Republican presidential primary debate, Anthony had to speak out and say that the song was “written about the people on that [debate] stage.”
“The one thing that has bothered me is seeing people wrap politics up into this,” Anthony said in a video posted to YouTube on August 25, per CNN. “It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them. It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here, like that we’re trying to present the same message.”
Anthony said his politics lie “pretty dead center down the aisle,” and he finds himself at odds with “the right trying to characterize me as one of their own” as well as “the left trying to discredit me…that sh—t’s gotta stop.”