Billy Joel loses thousands every night by giving away front-row tickets
At every show, Joel never sells front-row tickets. In fact, he leaves the first few rows unsold. But that doesn’t mean those seats remain empty.
“About 25 years ago, I got tired of looking down [at the crowd],” Joel explained during a 2017 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “The first-row tickets are always scalper tickets — always somebody who paid way too much money to be a big shot, sit in the front row.”
So Joel decided, “Screw this. The real fans are in the back.” Since then, he has sent crew members to the seats in the back to find enthusiastic ticketholders. The crew upgrades them to free front-row tickets, and Joel enjoys seeing genuine fans’ reactions while he performs.
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