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New Billboard Report Claims That Live Nation Helped Metallica Place Tickets Directly On Resale Market

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If you’ve ever wondered how it can possibly be that concert and event tickets show up on resale sites such as StubHub almost as quickly as they do on direct ticketing sites, this new report from Billboard will be both enlightening and infuriating.

According to the trade mag, in 2017, “days before” Metallica even announced their WorldWired North American stadium tour, Live Nation president of U.S. concerts Bob Roux conspired with Vaughn Millette, “a little-known wealth adviser turned event promoter who had been tasked by an associate of the band to sell 88,000 tickets directly on resale sites like StubHub, without giving fans a chance to buy them through normal channels at face value.” Millette, who is now the chairman and CEO of Outback Presents, secretly recorded at least one call with Roux, and then “sent [that] recording of it to Live Nation executives and board members” in order “to alert them of information he had collected while working with the company as a business partner.”

Millette had reportedly been employed by Tony DiCioccio, a man Metallica’s publicist calls a “ticketing consultant,” but who Billboard intimates is considerably closer to the band than that title might suggest:

“Metallica’s longtime managers are Q Prime co-founders Cliff Bernstein and Peter Mensch, but those who have worked with the band said DiCioccio, a former Q Prime manager, is ‘family’ to Metallica, and a publicist for the band told Billboard that DiCioccio is still employed directly by the group. ‘If there’s five seats on the jet flying home, it’s the band and Tony,’ says a source who has worked with DiCioccio.”

Left to right: Tony DiCioccio, ‘Through the Never’ director Nimród Antal, Robert Trujillo, Kirk Hammett, and Q Prime’s Marc Reiter in 2011. Photo courtesy of zonametallica.com.

The report goes on to claim “that Metallica would get 40% of the resale revenue, Live Nation 40%, DiCioccio 12% and Millette 8%, though another source said Live Nation’s share was lower.”

For their part, Live Nation claims that it “does not distribute tickets on any platform without an artist’s explicit approval.” Billboard says that “touring executives” assert that “Such arrangements may be legal but are rarely discussed openly, given concerns about how fans will perceive them.”

Which is understandable! You think Metallica fans were pissed about the whole Napster debacle? How do you do think they’d react if they ever found out the band knew about this?

Of course, we don’t know that the band knew about this. The article points out that “some artists delegate such decisions to their managers or agents.” So who knows who was aware of what.

Mostly, this just stinks for the fans. And people wonder why I’m so cynical all the time.

You can read Billboard‘s entire piece here. There are many more interesting details in there. I highly recommend you check it out.

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