A day before the big CMA Awards Show in Nashville, a local Nashville television station, News Channel 5, has released the results of a 7 month investigation that implicates Keith Urban and Ticketmaster in a HUGE scalping scam. And even worse, the events in question include a benefit concert for The Country Music Hall of Fame, and a concert series where Urban was advertising $20 tickets because Urban knew “people out there are hurting.”
For the Hall of Fame benefit concert in October, tickets were advertised to only be $25. However internal Ticketmaster documents showed that when the tickets went on sale on Sept. 2nd at 10 AM, 10,000 of the 15,000 tickets were already “sold.” Who bought them? Many were bought by Urban’s “Monkeyville Fan Club.” When there was a clamor for tickets fans were told they could get tickets by joining the Monkeville Club. The catch? It’s costs $25 to join the club, in essence, doubling the price of the ticket, and the extra $25 goes to Urban instead of the Hall of Fame benefit. Then to make matters worse, the Monkeyville Club still held back tickets, which they in turn sold later through scalping channels for as much as $642 dollars a pop.
And as Don Pardo would say, “But wait, there’s more.”
Before Keith Urban’s 2009 “Escape Together” tour, he signed a deal with Ticketmaster that, long story short, allowed Urban to inflate demand for his concerts and scalp his own tickets. Urban advertised the concert as a “True $20 Ticket,” but through numerous scams, fans ended up paying much more, and even more than they would normally because of an inflated supply and demand situation set up by Ticketmaster.
For example, Urban’s concert in Nashville had nearly 15,000 ticketed seats, but only 389 of the tickets were made available to the public for $20. Where did the others go? To Ticketmaster’s “Platinum” service, or to TicketExchange, a place on the Ticketmaster website that is supposed to be used for private sellers reselling tickets. But instead of private sellers Ticketmaster was selling the tickets that were never made available to the public at scalper prices.
Keith Urban’s camp has responded by saying they can not get caught up in “ticket scalping debate.”
To read the complete story and to see the documents that News Channel 5 obtained implicating the Keith Urban camp, CLICK HERE.
So why should you care if you’re not a Keith Urban fan? Because every day that goes by, Ticketmaster and LiveNation gain more and more control over the ticketing of concerts, and have begun to move into smaller and independent venues as well.
Like Joe Buck said to me in a recent interview. “We got to be clear eyed, because the shit is coming right at us.”