News broke over the weekend that Metallica’s planned crackdown against ticket resale for upcoming gigs in the United Kingdom is going to be scrapped. Apparently the band’s own concert promoter – Live Nation – was behind the change in plan.
This news shouldn’t be terribly surprising, however – Live Nation owns Ticketmaster, which operates extensively in the secondary market in both the U.S. and abroad. So having one of it’s own acts take a no-holds-barred anti-resale stance would only hurt its own profitability on the shows.
Metallica had announced it would enforce a policy where those entering the venue for its shows would need to show ID at the gate. If the name on the ticket (of the original purchaser) didn’t match the name on the ID, they’d be denied entry. A similar policy for a Foo Fighters show at London’s O2 Arena earlier this year led to hundreds of fans being denied entry despite holding valid tickets, simply because they had bought from a reseller.
Ticketmaster-owned resale sites Seatwave and Getmein operate extensively in the market. According to the Daily Record, at least 1,000 fans holding tickets purchased at resale were allowed into a Metallica show at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on Thursday. That venue and others had planned on implementing the anti-resale procedure, until Live Nation stepped in.
“This is the most blatant conflict of interest we’ve seen in the UK ticketing industry,” says Reg Walker of The Iridium Consultancy.
“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… as Ticketmasters resale sites knew which tickets had been resold in breach of the terms ad conditions, why were they not canelled off and resold to fans at face value?”
The Daily Record says that requests for comment from Live Nation, Ticketmaster, and Get Me In! didn’t receive any reply, and the O2 Arena refused to comment on the sudden policy change.