Sometimes, it's hard to know whether something's a good thing or not. Recently StubHub revealed it's top 10 selling live acts of 2014, and George Strait came #2 on the list thanks to his record-breaking final tour, The Cowboy Rides Away, that culminated in a star-studded show on June 7 in Arlington, Texas and a huge-selling CD and DVD. Luke Bryan came third on the list thanks to several different tours in the past year, propelled by many consecutive #1 singles and leading to a few stadium dates.
Other acts on the list are not from country; topping it is One Direction, while acts such as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce & Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Fleetwood Mac and Bruno Mars occupy some of the other spots in the top 10. Stubhub rep Glen Lehrman noted the power of country music touring, although it should be said that were it not for George's final tour and Luke generally being a crossover superstar, there would be no country acts in the top 10 at all. Something to think about even as we celebrate the increasing popularity of country in the mainstream.
But what's kind of awkward about this list is that StubHub is a known home of ticket scalpers. They deny it, and claim they use measures to prevent it, but the fact is scalpers love the ease and mass usage of the Ebay-owned operation, even if a fair amount of the ticket selling is face value and legit. For example, a while back some fans who bought tickets from StubHub to see George found that the tickets were copies and they couldn't get in. So much for all that money spent on travel and the excitement leading up to it, especially since he won't be touring again.
So while it's great that George and Luke are up there representing country, I sort of don't feel like it's something we should be excited about. StubHub is ticket re-selling, and I would prefer to talk about initial sales directly from the vendor, rather than from somewhere full of people buying in bulk to try and make a quick buck off desperate fans. Hopefully, the fact that other country artists aren't in the top 10 means that they're going to lengths to make sure their tickets can't be scalped (Eric Church and Garth Brooks have actively campaigned against it).
All potential angry mobs with pitchforks may get in touch with Vickye on Twitter @planmymistake.