Posted in comedy | tour dates on July 5, 2012

A still from 'Louie'

As you may have heard, tickets to Louis CK's upcoming tour -- including the October 24th - 28th dates at the New York City Center -- are being sold exclusively through his website, sidestepping big ticketing agencies to keep prices lower and stamp out scalping. The intial string of NYC shows are sold out but he recently added two more on October 23 and you can still get tickets (early show / late show) to those.

He's been making the rounds on the talk show circuit talking about it, but as to the scalping part of his plan, he wrote in to comedy blog LaughSpin to detail things a little more:

I'm doing 67 shows on this tour and we've sold 135,600 tickets to those shows after one week on sale. In addition to the tour, I'm doing two shows in one city that are on sale through traditional ticketing.*
So as a comparison...

There are 1100 tickets available on stubhub alone for those two traditionally ticketed shows out of 4,400 available (Almost exactly 25%). ** and these shows aren't sold out yet.

There are less than 500 tickets available on all scalper sites (including stubhub) out of the entire 135,600 tickets that have already been sold, from the tour sold exclusively on my site, (substantially less than 1%)

So it's working. So far.

Also, we are learning that, of these few tickets being scalped for my tour, some are the same tickets across a bunch of different sites. They are sharing tickets.

Our goal is to get even these 500 or less tickets back into the hands of fans at their original price. How we are doing that is our business that I won't share right now. But so far our plan is working and we have learned a lot. The main message I'd like to convey to ticket-buyers out there is that buying a scalper ticket to one of my shows is a tremendous risk (well, a risk equal to how much you paid for it) [LaughSpin]

Elsewhere on the web, The AV Club interviewed CK and the whole thing is a great read. But specific to this post, he gives further insight into his decision to do things his way this time:
AVC: Were excessive service charges on tickets something that had bothered you for a long time?

LCK: Well, obviously the problem of my fans paying too much to see me wasn't a problem when I was struggling. It's a new thing. I don't know. I don't like when I'm prevented from doing things the way I think they should be done. I do something called "recession tipping." I make more than some other people in the world, so if I'm in a restaurant, I tip over 20 percent--I tip more. Because I know that other people can't. Tipping is a thing where you can actually steal money from a waiter; you can just not give them any. A lot of people, when they go out to eat during a recession, they just don't tip, and I'm aware of that. It's just my quiet thing that I do. I'll tip over 20 percent because I can afford it. It's just my own voluntary Buffett Rule. That's all it is. When I negotiate with somebody who I'm working with on a crew, like if I hire a first A.D. or something, the way I work it in my head is, I tell them my economic realities--this is a low-budget show--and then I ask them to tell me how much they want. Say the guy says, "I want $500 an hour." That's not realistic; I'm just making it up. Then I'll say, "Okay, I'll give you $550." You know what I mean? I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give. So when I found that through selling tickets I wasn't able to do this, it was frustrating to me, that I literally couldn't do that the way that I believe it should be done, but just by me. Not by other people. I don't judge anybody else. And I think these ticket services are very well run, they're really smart, they got it all set up. And if I was them I'd do it the same way. Or no I wouldn't. [Laughs.]

AVC: You wouldn't because you're doing it your way. It's different than the way Ticketmaster does things.

LCK: Right. I'm just staying away from criticizing anybody else. The point of it, to me, isn't to stick it to somebody else or out of anger toward something else...

AVC: You're not about sticking it to The Man?

LCK: No. It's really providing an alternative. And there are many theaters that we went to with this ticketing service and my show who said, "We don't want to do it because of our economics." And then we would politely say, "Thanks anyway," and keep looking in every city until we could find a place that could accommodate us. That it didn't hurt them, that they didn't have a conflicting affiliation, and that it could make them a profit. So that's why we're playing this place in Chicago. Last year I was at the Chicago Theatre, and I love the Chicago Theatre. And I'm grateful for the shows I did there with the promoters and ticketing services that they use.

Meanwhile, don't forget that the third season of Louis CK's show, Louie, is currently airing on FX (Thursday's at 10:30 Eastern) and the second episode airs tonight. You can watch a preview for it below.




Comments (29)


Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 5:59 PM

4x face boyz > Louis CK

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 6:00 PM

hope ATP happens so I can see him...looking forward to it

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 6:03 PM

Class act.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 6:18 PM

can I sneak in that couch with you?

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 7:33 PM

louis ck kicks so much god damn ass. that being said, this ticket thing is being blown out of proportion. radiohead has essentially been doing this for years by making all the good seats paperless and sold through waste. i'm sure there are better examples too.

also this method of selling tickets doesn't work on a large scale - smaller acts can't afford to pull something like this off. the cost of site maintenance and 'scalper tracking' alone must cost thousands.

but yes, louie, you are a god. i'd suck a nut on a bad day.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 8:10 PM

He's like Fugazi, bro.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 9:32 PM

@ 8:10 - This is all being blown out of proportion... Louis is a God.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 10:50 PM

I heard he made a serious mess of the St. Marks Books' bathroom.

Posted by Anonymous | July 5, 2012 11:29 PM

this bloodmouth thinks he is doing good in the world by selling direct, but he still is guilty of murder

Posted by hardline warrior | July 6, 2012 12:26 AM

Louis C.K. won't eat pussy on the first date. Be warned.... "

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 8:29 AM

Yeah, Louis, we get it already. You're trying to do something different. You can stop making it look like you're trying too hard now...

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 9:34 AM

I think what you cynics who 'appreciate' what he is doing, and down play it by comparing him to Radiohead are forgetting something; Radiohead has an immense staff behind their endevours. You think Thom Yorke is negotiating with venues, W.A.S.T.E. and shit like that HIMSELF? Fuck no.

Louis is a one man team. He does everything (except check for scalpers) HIMSELF. Big difference.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 9:36 AM


Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 9:50 AM

yeah, it was really hard to sell my Radiohead waste tickets on stub hub.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 9:52 AM

yeah, it was really hard to sell my Radiohead waste tickets on stub hub.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 9:52 AM

@952 you couldn't sell your waste tickets on stubhub, you asshat. they were all paperless or will-call only, which stubhub doesn't allow. that's why there were zero tickets available for all waste sections (GA, 7 through 10 and 17 through 20). it was a beautiful thing.

ebay is a different story.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 9:57 AM

if he doesn't eat puss i hope he eats d...

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 9:58 AM

Radiohead blows. They've influenced dick.

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 12:09 PM

ginger faggot

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2012 4:44 PM

c'mon dawg no link to the av club full interview? making me google and shit, damn.

Posted by Anonymous | July 9, 2012 12:26 PM

Looks so cool! I wish I was also there to watch them personally.

Posted by teb4 | November 16, 2012 4:54 PM

ebay is a different story.

Posted by arabic keyboard | November 16, 2012 5:03 PM

was looking forward to it too.

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