U.K. Venues Explain How Threatin Conned Them Into Booking Gigs
If you’ve been following this whole Threatin ordeal from the start (and who hasn’t been??), you’ve probably been questioning your own gullibility: the story is so elaborate, so insane, such a con, that I’ve seen it suggested it could be some kind of elaborate performance art scheme or social experiment. Sadly that doesn’t seem like the case, as MetalSucks is in touch with various parties who can confirm it is all quite real (more on that at a later date).
You’ve likely also been asking yourself how it could be that so many venues (including quite established ones) didn’t do the proper research into this band before agreeing to book them. Similarly, you may have wondered why the venues believed the false advance ticket count claims Threatin gave them: couldn’t they just check on ticket sales themselves? Today we have the answers to both of those questions.
Here’s how Jered Threatin did it (still not sure if this is his real name).
Using a fake email account and website to pose as a man named Casey Marshall from StageRight Bookings — more details on that elaborate scheme right here — Threatin acted as an outside promoter, not a booking agent. While those roles may not seem different unless you’ve worked in the live show business, there is a very important distinction.
In a typical booking scenario, a venue (or someone working for the venue) will assemble a bill of bands and agree to pay them each a set fee or a percentage of ticket sales (or a combination of both). Outside promoters, on the other hand, rent venues for the night to put on their own shows, paying a flat fee to the venue up front with an opportunity to make back that money from ticket sales. In that scenario the promoter will assemble the entire bill with little or no input from the venue: it’s a blank canvas for the promoter to do as they please. In exchange for the trust the venue is placing in that promoter to bring people through the doors, the promoter pays a fee up front to essentially rent the room for the night.
Jered Threatin, posing as Casey Marshall from StageRight Bookings, rented out each venue for the night and assembled his own bills as an outside promoter, using his alias to invite local bands he found through Facebook groups and other means to open the shows. He, and not the venues, was in charge of selling tickets, which is why the venues had no idea the shows hadn’t sold any tickets when he claimed they’d sold hundreds. It’s also why venues later in the tour kept the shows on anyway even after getting word of the shenanigans earlier in the run: they’d already been paid for the night, so they may as well open the doors and hope a few folks come down to spend money at the bar.
Mark from The Asylum in Birmingham, where Threatin played last week, explained the scheme in a comment left on MetalSucks:
“We were one of the venues on the tour and like the Underworld The Asylum 2 venue was hired by Casey Marshall @ Stage right Booking… the hire fee was paid in full months ago… when we asked for a ticket update we were told it sales were 171…
“We were lucky that the other venues reached out and let us know of the issues, after speaking to the supports and making them aware we decided to run the show for them (they all brought people) and with a little morbid curiosity as to what the whole charade was about.
“probably THE strangest show we have ever been involved with… they have basically paid a lot of money to rehearse (they need it) at different venues around the UK.
“Big shout out to London Bristol and Manchester for contacting us in advance and letting us know…
“interesting times for sure!”
Patrice at The Underworld in London, the tour’s first date, shared details of a similar arrangement:
“Hiya, Patrice from Underworld here! We actually hired the venue to this Casey Marshall, the £780 hire fee was paid in full in advance, so we didn’t really bother to do background checks. We watched a YouTube video, was shocked that anybody would bother to hire the venue for this guy but took the money and figured it was a days work for our crew and staff :)”
There’s been an incredible amount of deception on Jered Threatin’s part in this scheme, but at least the venues and their staff were paid. They still lost out in hundreds (or thousands) of pounds in expected bar sales, though, which certainly sucks.
I gotta hand it to Threatin: the guy knew exactly what he was doing. He put more work into this scheme — the above arrangement, the fake record label, the fake press site, etc. — than most metal musicians put into their entire careers, and he spent literal years setting it up. I’d say props are in order, but… nah, fuck this guy.
Meanwhile tonight’s show (November 11th) in Belfast has been canceled. Sad trombone.