If fans feel like it’s impossible to get highly-sought-after tickets at face value and there’s some sort of conspiracy to inflate ticket prices on the secondary market, news from Billboard may confirm some of those suspicions. Billboard obtained phone calls in which Live Nation’s president of U.S. concerts Bob Roux can allegedly be heard making plans with an event promoter to place thousands of tickets from Metallica’s 2017 WorldWired tour dates onto resale sites such as StubHub.
According to the article, the promoter was tasked by an associate of the band to place these tickets on the secondary market, where they fetch much higher prices. On the tape, Roux allegedly said “either a Live Nation employee or a venue box office basically take these and sell them into a singular account” where they could then be listed on a resale site. Billboard reports that Vaughn Millette, the CEO of Outback Presents, sent the recording to executives and board members at Live Nation in order to alert them about what had transpired. Millette created the recordings, taping Roux calling from Houston, TX to the promoter in New York – without either knowing they were being recorded. According to laws in Texas and New York, this is not illegal.
Live Nation has told Billboard that this is in fact a policy they have in place. According to the article, “Live Nation now tells Billboard that the company has facilitated the quiet transfer of concert tickets directly into the hands of resellers through the years, though only at the request of the artists involved — who control where the tickets are initially sold.” The company went on to clarify that between 2016 and 2017 about a dozen artists requested this to be done, pointing out they work with thousands of artists, making it a rare occurrence.