Oliver Anthony moves concert to 6,000-capacity stadium after disagreement with original venue over $90 tickets

Oliver Anthony is now playing at a much larger venue due to the high demand for tickets. (Source: WVLT)
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 12:19 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) – Oliver Anthony, the musician who went viral for his song “Rich Men North of Richmond,” has found a solution for his canceled performance in Knoxville after he couldn’t reach an agreement about ticket prices with the venue.

Anthony is now playing at a much larger venue due to the high demand for tickets.

Cotton Eyed Joe, a bar in west Knoxville, originally announced Anthony would perform on Sept. 27. That show was first rescheduled to the Knoxville Convention Center on Sept. 29. However, those plans have been changed yet again due to high demand.

Anthony’s show will now take place at the Smokies Stadium – a 6,000 capacity venue – on Sept. 28. Tickets are $25.

“This will allow us to fit more fans, but also provide that outdoor and authentic feel that many of you said was important to you,” Anthony wrote in a Facebook post.

Anthony made headlines for disputing ticket prices for his originally scheduled performance at Cotton Eyed Joe. Ticket prices for the event were around $99, and a meet-and-greet would be around $200.

The bar said they set these ticket prices to break even, saying Anthony was asking for $120,000 to play there for an hour.

However, when Anthony heard about the ticket prices, he was upset and told people not to buy any tickets for those prices.

“These are supposed to be affordable shows. Please don’t pay $90 for a ticket,” Anthony wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m going to work out the details with him and if we have to reschedule this event somewhere else we will.”

Anthony said he never wants to play a show that costs fans more than $40 a piece, preferably no more than $25.

He also claimed that he had a friend book the venue and was not directly involved. Anthony also said that he never charged the $120,000 fee that Cotton Eyed Joe said he did.

The event at the Cotton Eyed Joe was ultimately canceled as the two sides could not come to an agreement.

“Ultimately, it’s my fault for not being more directly involved with the venues who have reached out,” Anthony said. “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.”

The event was rescheduled for the Knoxville Convention Center and sold out in two hours before ultimately being moved to the Smokies Stadium.

Officials said anyone who can no longer attend the concert at the Smokies Stadium due to the date change can request a refund.

Anthony said he is beginning to work on a 2024 tour schedule and plans to play many North American and international shows. He plans to play again in Knoxville in spring 2024.