The Black Keys have reportedly let go of managers Irving Azoff and Steve Moir, who had co-managed the blues-rock duo since 2021. The move comes in the wake of the highly-publicized cancellation of their fall arena tour dates in North America, rumored to be due to poor ticket sales driven by an astronomical pricing strategy.

A representative of Azoff told Billboard it was an “amicable parting” while the group has not issued any public comment regarding the decision.

It is almost certain that the move comes in response to the deeply unflattering news cycle that bandmates Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have had to endure in the wake of their decision to abruptly cancel the tour two weeks ago. For several days after the run was cancelled, no official reason was given for the cancellation, but online speculation that the event was another victim of the aggressively high pricing that promoters and artists have been pursuing in the post-COVID touring scene was rampant.

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Headlines on national outlets have cited the poor sales and subsequent cancellation of the International Players Tour as well as similar cancellations by Jennifer Lopez and a rash of postponements and individual shows being cancelled as a systemic issue driven by ticket pricing and consumers unwillingness to pay premium prices being demanded by acts across the touring spectrum in the post-COVID era.

“The tickets are too expensive,” one fan told NBC News of the current ticket pricing mess. “There’s only a SMALL amount of people (10%) that will spend $500+ on vip/floor/premium. The rest of us have budgets and won’t spend $100 on nosebleeds.”

“Everyone is touring this year … and we only have money for 2-3 concerts MAX,” she added.

Azoff has also had a rough news cycle himself, in the wake of his Oak View Group business being prominently mentioned in the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit aimed at breaking up Live Nation and Ticketmaster. The longtime music manager saw his company accused of serving as Live Nation’s “pimp” and “hammer” by the feds, who say he and Live Nation leadership opted to collude rather than compete to avoid allowing artists to drive up compensation or ticket prices to fall.

His sprawling role in the industry over the past 50 years was examined in sharp detail by a report in The American Prospect published shortly after the DOJ lawsuit was filed. Even more recently, Azoff’s role in driving Dead & Company’s decision to oust a longtime VIP/experiences business partner in favor of Live Nation’s Vibee platform for shows at The Sphere – a venue run by former Azoff MSG Entertainment partner James Dolan, at a venue which Azoff continues to serve as a consultant on.

Plans are for The Black Keys to shift their fall touring plans into a “similarly exciting, intimate experience for both fans and the band,” according to their statement shared days after the tour was cancelled. It is unclear who the band has taken on to manage this plan after letting go of Azoff and Muir.

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