Hundreds of Black Keys fans were turned away at the band’s show in Los Angeles on Thursday after purchasing tickets from third-party vendors.
Those who showed employees at the Wiltern Theatre their mobile tickets from the likes of StubHub, SeatGeek and Vivid Seats were denied entry, leaving swathes of disappointed people outside the venue attempting to get refunds.
Statements from the American rock band and Ticketmaster insisted that admission had always been billed as “non-transferable” from the get-go.
The Live Nation-owned ticketing giant said in a statement. “The presenters of the concert directed that these tickets be made available only to fans and that they be strictly non-transferable.
“This was messaged from the beginning with the announcement of the performance and throughout the sales process. Unfortunately, bad actors took advantage of this situation and posted screen shots of tickets that were not valid for entry onto the secondary market. We always recommend purchasing tickets from the official source.”
However, many fans insisted that “non-transferable” was absent in every announcement about the show.
One fan tweeted: “I see the Black Keys admitted full responsibility for turning away all their fans. Great job by them alienating fans for no reason!”
Another said: “Personally I am sick and tired of getting ripped off for concert tickets when this scalper market could easily be completely shut down. Good on the Black Keys. I hope MORE bands do this.”
The Black Keys said in an email via their representative: “Last night’s concert tickets were $25 and geared toward the fan club.
“This was our first show in over four years and the kickoff of the Let’s Rock Tour. Because we were playing a venue far smaller than the rest of the venues on the tour as a warmup show, we turned off ticket transferability to ensure that our fans got in the door at the low ticket prices we set for them.
“Unfortunately, scalpers took this opportunity to defraud our fans and steal their money by selling tickets that were ineligible for transfer on scalper sites.”
StubHub, which became inundated with complaints from fans after the show, decided to issue refunds for those who were turned away.
It said in a statement, according to Variety: “Unexpectedly, Live Nation and Ticketmaster issued tickets for The Black Keys concert through rotating barcodes, which limit how fans can use tickets. This resulted in fans who purchased legitimate tickets on StubHub being turned away at the entrance.
“Fans should not be punished for giving away or reselling their tickets. We strongly disagree with Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s approach and the negative impact it has on fans. As part of our FanProtect Guarantee, StubHub is proactively offering full refunds, and given the exceptional situation, we’re also extending a $100 credit to affected fans.”
Image: Jason Persse