Hundreds of fans were turned away from a Black Keys concert on Thursday night, clutching what they thought were valid tickets. According to the Los Angeles Times, the issue stemmed from tickets purchased from third party vendors such as SeatGeek, StubHub, and Vivid Seats. For their performance at Los Angeles’ The Wiltern, the band had taken the unusual step of disallowing ticket transferability, meaning only tickets purchased from Ticketmaster or the band’s website would be honored.
Fan footage shows would-be concert goers huddling outside the venue, many re-reading the fine print on their tickets, or on the phone with customer service.
We were turned away. Apparently the rotating ticket policy was put into effect 40 min. Before showtime. And people were being treated like garbage by the staff. pic.twitter.com/33QRcpWcbS
— Sherry Sabety (@SSabety) September 20, 2019
In a statement Ticketmaster said, “The presenters of the concert directed that these tickets be made available only to fans and that they be strictly nontransferable. 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.”
But while Ticketmaster insists that “this was messaged from the beginning” fans on Twitter have disagreed. Besides, the ticket behemoth has a long history of shady dealings. Last year they were slammed with a class action lawsuit for allegedly running a secret scalping program, and just this summer they were fined $4.5 million in Canada for deceptive ticketing practices. Ticketmaster recently launched a series of concerts for $25 or less. Those taking advantage of that deal would do well to read the fine print.
As for The Black Keys, they are gearing up for their first tour in four years in support of their new album “Let’s Rock”. Apparently, the show at The Wiltern was supposed to be a cheaper and more intimate alternative. Through a representative, the band stated, “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.”
But their intentions aside, hundreds of fake and invalid tickets were scalped on the secondary market. Fans lose, The Black Keys lose, Ticketmaster’s reputation stands as it ever did, and only the scalpers win.