Ever waited for the exact second your favorite artist’s concert tickets were going on sale only to have them instantaneously sell out and resold for a ridiculous amount of money. Many concertgoers can relate and have speculated for years that Ticketmaster or the record companies have to be behind the absurd resale ticket pricing. Well, the assumptions were right.
Billboard reports Live Nation, the biggest concert promoter in the U.S., admitted that they were behind the ticket scalping that helped artists amass more ticket sales. It’s important to note Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, a company who has sold billions in show profits.
The revelation was confirmed by a secretly recorded phone conversation between Live Nation President of U.S. Concerts, Bob Roux and Metallica’s longtime business associate Tony DiCioccio. DiCioccio has been a tour manager, media coordinator and “ticketing consultant” for the band.
The Metallica associate asks Roux to assist in selling 88,000 tickets on resale sites as both entities can obtain more enormous profits. The Live Nation President advises, “Ticketmaster will not do it.” Roux then suggests to transfer thousands of tickets into an account run by a broker Live Nation was told to hire.
The band members claimed to be unaware of the scheme. Live Nation admits to have done this for approximately twelve artists between 2016-2017. The massive concert promoter alleges to be no longer involved in the scalping.
“Since then, requests like these have declined virtually to zero as tools like dynamic pricing, platinum seats and VIP packages have proven to be more effective at recapturing value previously lost to the secondary market,” the company said.
“It’s now ‘standard practice’ is to use Ticketmaster’s Platinum, VIP and other tools to help tours price closer to true market value.” They proclaim, “in this situation, a consultant for the band opted to use the secondary market to try to capture that value.” A plan that benefits Live Nation as well.
During that time Taylor Swift, not named in the report, was criticized for charging $500 for her Reputation Tour tickets. More recently, Drake was criticized for selling $383 lawn seats for his OVO Fest 2019 and up to $1918 for seats closer to the stage. It’s hard to believe that this “practice” is over yet even if Live Nation is no longer the culprit.