Live Nation forced UK venues to allow Metallica fans with resold tickets to enter the concerts, after management previously said fans would be turned away.
The O2 Arena in London, the Manchester Arena, the Genting Arena in Birmingham and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow all aligned earlier this month with Metallica’s hardline approach to keep touts from making any money off the rock band’s tour.
Promoter Live Nation, which owns GetMeIn! and Seatwave, ordered the venues to withdraw their approach and allow all fans with tickets to enter.
This meant that none of the resale sites were required to refund fans, many of whom had paid inflated prices.
UK venues said that fans attending shows would have needed to produce an ID that matches the original name on their ticket, meaning that while so-called ‘supertouts’ would lose money, many fans would also be turned away. If people bought tickets off secondary sites such as StubHub, Viagogo, Get Me In! and Seatwave, it is likely the name on the ticket was not their own.
According to the Daily Record news website, industry investigator Reg Walker, of The Iridium Consultancy, said: “This is the most blatant conflict of interest we’ve seen in the UK ticketing industry. Fans have paid vastly inflated prices for tickets due to a failure to stop touts harvesting them in bulk.
“The only winners are touts who are breaking the law to make millions from fans, and sites like Stubhub, Viagogo, Get Me In! and Seatwave, who make profit whenever the touts sell on tickets.
“It is clearly a conflict of interest when you have Ticketmaster, owned by the promoter, expected to robustly prevent tickets being acquired by touts when it owns half of the big four secondary ticketing sites who depend on touts selling tickets in vast numbers. If millions of pounds are spent by ticket companies on thwarting touts, it is clearly not working.
“The main question is this: as Ticketmasters resale sites knew which tickets had been resold in breach of the terms and conditions, why were they not cancelled off and resold to fans at face value?
“Ticketmaster, could simply have issued a statement about secondary tickets being cancelled in accordance with the band’s wishes. Once again the only losers are the fans.”
According to the Daily Record, more than 1,000 fans were allowed into the SSE Hydro in Glasgow with resold tickets. Live Nation did not respond to the Daily Record’s allegations.
Earlier in the month, three major resale sites removed tickets listed by touts for most of Metallica’s UK concerts after it was revealed fans could get turned away.
StubHub, as well as Get Me In! and Seatwave, all removed masses of tickets after pressure from the Daily Record newspaper.
Image: Kreepin Deth