Ward explains nightclub’s side concerning Anthony cancelling Sept. 27 show

Statement from Chuck Ward, owner of Cotton Eyed Joe, concerning the cancellation of Country Music sensation Oliver Anthony’s scheduled performance at the Farragut nightclub Wednesday, Sept. 27:

“On Sept. 6, 2023, Cotton Eyed Joe’s entered into conversation with the intention to create a formal agreement with Brian Prentice, who was identified as Oliver Anthony’s manager, on the terms and conditions specific to a concert and meet-and-greet the artist (Anthony) would furnish on Sept. 27, 2023. “... Prentice verbally stated Anthony requested $120,000 in compensation, plus two nights hotel accommodations.

“Additionally, Prentice verbally agreed that Anthony would participate in a meet-and-greet prior to the concert. Cotton Eyed Joe suggested a ticket price of $99 per ticket for the concert and a concert/meet-and-greet combo ticket at a price of $199 per ticket. Prentice verbally agreed to both the concert ticket and the concert/meet-and-greet combo ticket prices and asked for Cotton Eyed Joe to produce a formal agreement.

This formal agreement was sent to Prentice by Cotton Eyed Joe on the same day (Sept. 6, 2023).

“... Cotton Eyed Joe received a phone call from Prentice on the morning of Sept. 9, 2023, in which he verbalized the signed contract was forthcoming and he requested that Cotton Eyed Joe move forward in announcing the date of the event (concert and meet-and-greet) and the price of admission for both ($99/ticket, concert; $199/ticket, concert/meet-and-greet.) “Therefore, in good faith, on Sept. 10, 2023, Cotton Eyed Joe made such an announcement about the event, published the price of the tickets, and tickets went on sale on Sept. 11, 2023.

“The response was tremendous, temporarily shutting down our ticketing system – with 460 concert tickets and 43 concert/meet-and-greet combo tickets sold. We pride ourselves on providing an intimate event experience – with approximately 2,000 seats available at our venue – and looked forward to hosting the concertgoers.

“What happened next was very much to the surprise of Cotton Eyed Joe. Unfortunately, instead of Anthony coming back to Cotton Eyed Joe directly for a professional discussion about the agreement ... Anthony decided to express his concerns through his social media platforms.

“Anthony’s statements were beyond misleading and did not at all appropriately represent the conversations that had occurred throughout the process to create a formal agreement. It wasn’t until after the media frenzy ensued that Cotton Eyed Joe received a phone call from Prentice expressing concern for the prices that had been previously agreed to, verbally. Ultimately, on Sept. 11, 2023, Prentice notified Cotton Eyed Joe of Anthony’s decision to end the discussions and cancel the Sept. 27 event.

“... We wish Anthony nothing but the best in his professional endeavors. ...”

In a social media post, Anthony stated: “Ultimately, it’s my fault for not being more directly involved with the venues who have reached out. My plate has been full and I delegated the responsibility to someone else to help me book. 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 further stated.

We will find another place in Knoxville area that can do $25 ticket and free meet and greet. 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.”