Live Nation has some explaining to do. The world’s largest live-entertainment company has been caught placing tickets on scalper websites. In an article published by Billboard, Live Nation had been placing thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market. This would come from various artists’ requests.
Furthermore, the company has confirmed the allegations. In a statement to Variety they defended the practice. Although, Live Nation stated this method is rarely used anymore. While confirming they facilitated the transfer of tickets to resellers, they are focusing on keeping tickets at face value. Also, they are now trying to keep them off the secondary market.
Live Nation Scalping Controversy
Initially, the controversy arose regarding tickets for a Metallica tour. There was a secretly recorded phone call with Bob Roux, Live Nation president of U.S. concerts, and a known “wealth adviser”. On the call, an associate was tasked with selling 88,000 tickets for the tour. The tickets were to be sold to second hand sites such as StubHub. Selling directly to these sites would not be giving fans the opportunity to purchase the tickets at face value.
Live Nation had had to perform the move covertly. On the call, Roux was suggesting a Live Nation employee should sell the tickets to a singular account. Thus allowing the tickets to be sold on secondary market sites. Ticketmaster would not be involved in the scheme. In a statement from Live Nation regarding the controversy:
“In 2016, Metallica performed a single show in Minneapolis at which more than 10,000 tickets were transacted on the secondary market without the band’s participation. After seeing the volume of secondary transactions for that show and the benefit being captured by brokers, the independent consultant worked with Live Nation on a unique distribution strategy that used the secondary market as a sales distribution channel for select high-end tickets.”
With over 30,000 concerts last year this seems like it could be a huge problem for concert goers alike.
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