Oliver Anthony — the singer and songwriter of the hit “Rich Men North of Richmond”– apologized to fans for a show being canceled after he was booked to appear in Knoxville, Tennesseem, at the end of the month.
Anthony was angry that the venue, the nightclub Cotton Eyed Joe, was charging $99 for tickets, plus another $199 for a meet-and-greet pass, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“I had to pull off on the side of the road and make this video. My adrenaline’s pumping. I’m p*ssed off right now,” the singer said in a video posted to Instagram on Monday.
“Don’t buy Cotton Eyed Joe tickets for $99 a piece and sure as hell don’t buy VIP passes for whatever bulls*** price they’re on,” he added.
Anthony explained that a friend of his, who is a plumber by trade, has been filling in as a part-time booking agent for the performer.
“He agreed to this show, I guess, without asking what the ticket prices are,” Anthony said.
“Don’t pay $100 for a ticket. That’s horses***. 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,” he told his fans.
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Anthony further elaborated in a written post on Instagram that he never wants tickets to his shows to cost more than $40, and ideally not more $25.
“Cotton Eyed Joe has been canceled. I am so sorry about all of this. I will do better next time. We are still learning,” he promised.
In a Facebook post, Anthony wrote, “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.”
He’s looking for another venue in Knoxville where the ticket price will be $25.
“I will work to get your tickets refunded from my own budget if they can’t. This will never happen again. Thanks for your patience. I am still learning how all of this works,” Anthony said.
The News Sentinel reported that Cotton Eyed Joe had written in a Facebook post — which is no longer available — that Anthony had agreed to play a 60-minute set at the Knoxville bar for $120,000.
“We set the ticket price to break even,” the post stated.
It wasn’t clear which side actually canceled the show.
Anthony’s statements make it clear he was willing to cancel over the ticket prices, but he doesn’t actually say it outright. According to the News Sentinel, the venue used a social media post to say it had canceled the show and borrowed some lyrics from “Rich Men North of Richmond” to inform the public of it, according to the News Sentinel — but that social media post is no longer available.
“It’s a d**n shame what the world’s gotten to for the customers of the World Famous Cotton Joe. 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,” the club wrote in an Instagram post, the News Sentinel reported.
As of 7 a.m. Wednesday Eastern time, it was No. 3 in the Apple iTunes rankings, behind Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” and “Come Monday.” (Purchases of several of Buffett’s songs have surged following the singer’s death over Labor Day Weekend.)
In addition to “North of Richmond,” Anthony has the No. 19 song on iTunes with “I Want to Go Home” and No. 26 with his recently released “90 some Chevy.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.