It didn't take long for music newcomer Oliver Anthony to see the less glamorous side of country music fame. The artist was contracted to play the Cotton Eye'd Joe in Knoxville, Tennessee - but pulled out when he learned what ticket prices were going to be for fans. Then it was game on.
Once Anthony canceled, the venue jumped on their socials to decry his cancellation. "It’s a Damn Shame what the Worlds gotten to (sic) for the Customers of the World Famous Cotton [Eyed] Joe," the statement began. "Most times we say a show has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control…well we are cancelling the Oliver Anthony show under our full control."
"The North Man of Richmond contracted to play the Cotton Eyed Joe for $120,000 for 60 minutes,” the venue revealed. “After doing the math and knowing we can only hold apprx. 1500 people, paying the ticket website their fee to sell the tickets, paying the tax man, opening the JOE on a closed night… we set the ticket price to break even and bring our customers a show we thought would be fun." The club closed the post with a warning to others who may be hoping to book Oliver Anthony. "To our talent agency and [promoter] friends that follow us… be careful booking the North Man of Richmond."
Anthony had a different point of view on the matter, and he told his side on his social media platforms. "Cotton Eyed Joe has been cancelled. Ultimately, it’s my fault for not being more directly involved with the venues who have reached out," Anthony admitted. "My plate has been full and I delegated the responsibility to someone else to help me book. I am not pointing fingers at Cotton Eyed Joe, I don’t know where the miscommunication took place. I’m just upset seeing those prices. We will find another place in Knoxville area that can do $25 ticket and free meet and greet," he said. "I will work to get your tickets refunded from my own budget if they can’t."
"I apologize for the price at Cotton Eyed Joe. Have a friend of mine trying to help me book gigs. I told him I don’t want to do anything that’s more than $40 a ticket, ideally no more than $25 a piece,” he explained. "These are supposed to be affordable shows. Please don’t pay $90 for a ticket. I’m going to work out the details with him and if we have to reschedule this event somewhere else we will."
It would appear Anthony's newbie status and reliance on friends ill-equipped to handle his business affairs have added up to an unfortunate situation. As he said in his statement, "This will never happen again. Thanks for your patience. I am still learning how all of this works."