Louis C.K. bypasses ticket agents to sell own tour

Louis C.K., the innovative U.S. comedian with a huge following, is successfully bypassing services like Ticketmaster for his upcoming U.S. tour.
Louis C.K. is successfully selling tickets for his upcoming U.S. tour through his official website. (Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)

Louis C.K., the innovative comedian with a huge following, is successfully bypassing services like Ticketmaster to sell the tickets for his upcoming U.S. tour.

The comedian, also star of the popular TV show Louie, sold 100,000 tickets and took in $4.5 million US in just 45 hours on his website.

For the 39-city tour, which begins Oct. 3 in Cleveland, he is offering tickets to fans for $45 US each — without any mark-up or "convenience fees."

In a statement online, he said he wanted people to get tickets to his shows in an easy and affordable way.

"Making my shows affordable has always been my goal, but two things have always worked against that — high ticket charges and ticket re-sellers marking up the prices," the comedian said.

"Some ticketing services charge more than 40 per cent over the ticket price and, ironically, the lower I've made my ticket prices, the more scalpers have bought them up."

There are also rules in place to discourage reselling. If a ticket is resold, it will be rescinded, he said.

Different fare structure for Canadian show

Unfortunately for Canadian fans, Louis C.K.'s Just for Laughs appearances in Toronto this fall have a different ticket-sale structure than the U.S. tour.

For the upcoming shows, fans must buy a special, all-festival pass to receive a reserved seat for one of the comedian's four planned appearances in Toronto in September. The pass will be accessible via smart phone, which will also allow holders entry into shows for other comics and personalities participating in the festival.

Earlier this year, Louis C.K. paid to produce of his own comedy special, Live at the Beacon, and then sold it to fans for $5 US on his website. Beyond being a very reasonable price for his fans, he bypassed the need to negotiate with a broadcaster to air the special.

The video made more than $1 million US in 12 days and the move has since been imitated by other comics.

With files from The Associated Press