Gareth Emery's guest list is officially closed.
The dance music vet has taken to social media to blast those who requested free tickets to his new tour as music venues scramble to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of COVID-19. In an acerbic tweet shared today, Emery urged music fans to support their local venues, many of whom rely on ticket sales to save their businesses after succumbing to the financial pitfalls of the pandemic.
"Since announcing a tour my inbox has been full of requests for free tickets," Emery wrote. "And in normal times I'm usually the first to help someone out, and often throw random people on the list for a good reason."
"But not now," he continued. "Clubs have been closed over a year. Many went bust. Others barely survived. So whether it's my show or not: Support live music. Support these venues. Buy the fucking tickets."
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Emery further clarified his comments in a Facebook post, which he said he published to shut down "inevitable conspiracy theorist replies." In it, he noted that he "get[s] paid the same for clubs either way so it ain’t about me."
Emery's tour is set to continue tomorrow, June 11th in Denver. He will also soon begin a Las Vegas residency for the deep-pocketed Zouk Group, whose two flagship clubs—Ayu Dayclub and Zouk Nightclub—have dominated headlines ahead of their grand debuts.
In late 2020 Congress introduced the Save Our Stages Act, a critical $16 billion package enacted to provide relief for independent venues in the wake of COVID-19. However, nearly six months after they ratified the bill, less than 100 of the nearly 5,000 struggling venues have been approved to receive funds, according to a June 9th report disseminated by the Small Business Administration. Variety reports that the money has been tied up ever since, and just "a few" have actually received any.