Kid Rock is holding to the low-dough ticket scheme he launched with 2013's $20 Best Night Ever Tour as he prepares to hit the road in support of his upcoming album, First Kiss.
Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band open up June 24 in Hartford, Conn., with a 36-date U.S. tour that will feature Foreigner as his special guest and six shows at his hometown DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit. Tickets go on sale Feb. 24, the day First Kiss comes out, with fan club pre-sales beginning Feb. 19. Tickets will again be $20, with reduced parking, concession and merchandise prices at the venues. Walmart is also selling a $20 all-inclusive ticket that includes parking as well as a $2 coupon towards the purchase of First Kiss.
The first rows of the venues, meanwhile, will be held back and given out as fan "upgrades" at each of the shows.
"I'm so happy about the $20 thing," Rock tells Billboard. "I've said before, I feel like I'll be able to ride this into the sunset. I really do. We've even learned more from being the guinea pig to do it the first time, and now we've learned so much more. We thought about raising the ticket price five bucks, and then we're like, 'Let's just keep it $20, man. Let's find ways that we can even be more efficient now that we've done it one time, that we can make more money but we're not messing with the people who are paying.' I'm just very fortunate to be in a position to do it."
Rock keeps the price down by essentially partnering with the building and Live Nation and splitting all the receipts from the shows. "It's still nuts to me that nobody else has done it," he says, "not just $20 but has used the business model of showing up without a guaranteed amount of money and sharing the concessions and merchandise and really putting the weight on your back and passing the savings on to the fans. It's a scary thing, 'cause if nobody shows up it's time to hang it up if you're playing for cheap like that, but...it's a lot of incentive for people to show up, too."
As for the somewhat surprising choice of Foreigner, Rock explains that, "One formula that works with me is getting a band out there for an hour that just delivers hits, familiar hits. Lynyrd Skynyrd worked out awesome. Kool & the Gang and ZZ Top were phenomenal." Rock is also friendly with Foreigner manager Phil Carson from his days with Atlantic Records, and Carson's daughter coordinates Rock's partnership with the Shriners, who sell CDs at his shows to raise money for their hospitals. "I mean, it's Foreigner; it's one of those groups you just forget how many hits they have, and they sound great. I think there's something to be said for having an opener where you're not trying to shove something down people's throats like, 'Here's my new thing' or 'Here's something I'm into that's not popular yet.' For 20 bucks, you're gonna have a good time and there's not a lot of thought involved."
Rock is hoping to play a good chunk of First Kiss during the tour -- including the first single and title track. "I do feel like a lot of these songs, like four or five of them, can fit into the show and still hold people's interest and be something they want to hear," Rock says. "I'll know after the first few shows if I've got to tone it down or add more." But, he acknowledges, "I just hope that I know when I'm turning into that guy when it's like, 'Here's something off the new record' and people are like, 'Let's go get some beer.' I don't want to be that dude."
First Kiss is currently streaming at iTunesRadio.com/KidRock, and Rock will answer fan questions on iTunes' Twitter channel on Feb. 19. Rock and company are performing at 12:15 p.m. ET on Feb. 22, before the Daytona 500 race in Florida, which will be carried on Fox. Rock is also appearing on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 23, the Today show on Feb. 24 and will talk with Howard Stern on Feb. 25.
Rock's full tour itinerary includes:
June 24: Hartford, CT - The Xfinity Theatre
June 25: Mansfield, MA - Xfinity Center
June 27: Scranton, PA - The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
June 28: Burgettstown, PA - First Niagara Pavilion
June 30: Holmdel, NJ - PNC Banks Arts Center
July 2: Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 3: Bethel, NY - Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
July 7: Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
July 8: Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live
July 10: Virginia Beach, VA - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
July 11: Raleigh, NC - Walnut Creek Amphitheater
July 14: Charlotte, NC - PNC Music Pavilion
July 16: West Palm Beach, FL - Coral Sky Amphitheater
July 18: Tampa, FL - MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater
July 19: Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood
July 22: Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman
July 23: Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
July 25: Maryland Heights, MO - Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
July 26: Tinley Park, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
July 30: Cuyahoga Falls, - OH Blossom Music Center
August 1: Noblesville, IN - Klipsch Music Center
August 2: Cincinnati, - OH Riverbend Music Center
August 4: Darien, NY - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
August 7: Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theater
August 8: Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theater
August 11: Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theater
August 12: Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theater
August 14: Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theater
August 15: Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theater
August 26: Phoenix, AZ - Ak-Chin Pavilion
August 27: Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
August 29: San Bernardino, CA - San Manuel Amphitheater
August 30: Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater
September 2: Marysville, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheater
September 4: Ridgefield, WA - Amphitheater Northwest
September 5: Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheater