Zach Bryan has made a clear point of trying to keep his upcoming Burn Burn Burn Tour a fan-focused event, with tickets selling for no more than $156 according to the singer, and the use of a non-transferrable ticketing policy to prevent resale and ensure that fans aren’t gouged to see him play. The resale policy doesn’t appear to have stopped scalpers from trying though — even if the tickets aren’t valid. Tickets are currently listed for most of Bryan’s concert dates on resale platforms like VividSeats and TickPick, all of them for hundreds of dollars more than the highest face value price Bryan had cited.
The “Something in the Orange” singer’s tour is currently on sale for those granted access through AXS’s pre-sale. According to AXS’s website, selected customers were first notified about purchasing tickets on Monday; all fans will have been notified if they were selected or not by end of day Thursday. Tickets purchased through AXS can’t be sold for profit, but according to the company, they can be resold for face value to other fans through the Zach Bryan AXS Marketplace.
AEG — which is promoting the show and selling tickets through its subsidiary AXS — tells Rolling Stone that any tickets purchased on other resale platforms won’t be recognized, even if they were legitimately purchased by the original buyer. Anyone who presents a ticket purchased on the secondary market will be turned away at the show.
“All tickets on the Zach Bryan Burn Burn Burn Tour are deemed invalid if they are sold on the secondary market,” a spokesperson for AEG said in a statement. The spokesperson didn’t list any exemption to that policy. “Any tickets offered on resale sites are either fraudulent or will not be honored at the show.”
As of publication, tickets for Zach Bryan’s August show at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles are listed on VividSeats for $260 for the cheapest seats, and more than $1,800 at the top end. For the May 19th show at the Toyota Center in Houston, the range on VividSeats is $470 to $1840. StubHub, among the largest resale platforms in the business, had ticket listings for Bryan’s New York show in June at Forest Hills Stadium from $450 to $8700 after fees, though the New York show is the only date that StubHub had any offerings for. TickPick has seats listed for dates across the country; tickets classified on its website as the “best deal” for Bryan’s June show at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for instance are selling for $850 each while others are into the thousands.
VividSeats didn’t immediately respond to request for comment, nor did TickPick. But in a statement to Rolling Stone, a rep for StubHub defended the tickets listed on their platform, citing New York ticketing laws, which don’t allow non-transferrable paperless tickets. (Bryan has shows booked in Albany and New York City.)
“We are consistently disappointed by artists and promoters who restrict transferability – it is a disservice to fans,” StubHub said in an email. “The NY law protects customers’ rights to buy freely transferable tickets. AXS has to offer customers a transferable ticket independent of their own systems.”
A representative for Bryan didn’t have comment, but in an Instagram post on Tuesday announcing more tour dates due to overwhelming demand, Bryan himself reaffirmed that resold tickets aren’t allowed.
“I didn’t care about selling out the tour in thirty seconds, I cared about people getting reasonably priced tickets,” Bryan wrote. “We sold all the tickets in 3 waves to actual fans, we hired teams to limit bots, and we sacrificed a lot of personal things to give real people real seats.”
Bryan has been vocal about the broken state of the ticketing business for months, particularly as live-music giant Live Nation Entertainment — the owner of both Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation — is facing renewed scrutiny from fans and lawmakers. He titled his recent live album All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster and mainly avoided the ticket company for the Burn Burn Burn Tour, opting for rival AXS instead. Along with the lower prices and non-transferrable tickets, he worked with startup company Laylo to try and communicate directly with fans about his tour on-sale.
Even the best of intentions from Bryan still may not stop customer frustration however, as fans flooded his most recent Instagram post upset that they hadn’t secured tickets. Beyond charging more money or playing significantly more dates though, it’s impossible to ensure every fan who wants a ticket will get one when demand is so much greater than supply. But Bryan’s policy would, if executed properly, help make sure those who get tickets won’t pay an arm and a leg for them.
Non-transferrable ticketing itself is an often-debated topic within the ticking world. Advocates say the policy helps dampen the resale market and prevents the massive markups that can turn even the cheapest tickets at an in-demand show into a massive expense. Critics argue however that the policy isn’t consumer-friendly because limiting resale removes options for fans.
The concept hasn’t come without a few growing pains as well when resellers list tickets regardless of the policy. The Black Keys sparked controversy in 2019 when they employed a non-transferrable ticketing system for a show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. Because it was a significantly cheaper and much more intimate theater-sized gig compared to the band’s typical arena dates, the Black Keys used non-transferrable tickets to keep out scalpers. Unfortunately, hundreds of fans bought from resellers on StubHub anyways, unaware that those tickets weren’t valid.
We’ll have to wait until show day to see if any Zach Bryan fans face similar issues for his tour.