Live music business insiders have known for years, but a recording obtained by US industry magazine Billboard has finally brought the issue into public view.
It appears that Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) sent an astonishing 88,000 tickets for Metallica’s 2017 North America tour – that is 4,400 tickets for each of 20 concerts – direct to resale platform StubHub and possibly other secondary sites.
The resale allocation, revealed by Billboard, included up to 2,640 premium tickets and 1,780 troubled seats with poor sightlines.
Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) was the concert promoter after years with AEG and independent promoters.
Metallica was on a 95 per cent of box office after costs deal, according to Billboard, which also gave details of the four entities who shared the resale profits.
Metallica and LNE each received 40 per cent, while 12 per cent went to Tony DiCioccio (Metallica’s ticketing consultant and formerly part of Q Prime Management, the band’s business managers) and eight per cent to wealth adviser-turned-event promoter Vaughn Millette.
The revelations came from an 11-minute secretly-taped telephone
conversation between LNE president of US concerts Bob Roux and
Millette, who had been asked by DiCioccio to arrange for the 88,000 tickets to be sent direct to resale.
On the tape, Roux discusses ways of placing the tickets on resale sites and concealing their source.
Metallica band members were apparently unaware of the deal, according to Billboard.
LNE has since confirmed the company had transferred tickets direct into resale sites and sellers over the years, though it says only at the request of the artistes and/or their managements.
“Between 2016 and 2017, about a dozen artistes out of the thousands we work with asked us to do this,” LNE told Billboard.
It is not known how much money the band and their management team made from touting their own tickets, but it is båelieved to have been a substantial sum.