Black Keys Concert Turns Into Ticket Mayhem

The Black Keys perform live during the 2014 Turn Blue tour at the United Center in Chicago.Daniel DeSlover/ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Last night the Black Keys performed at the Wiltern Theater in LA and there was a problem: fans who bought tickets from third-party vendors like StubHub were turned away. There was massive pointing of fingers over this, with TicketMaster saying everyone knew the tickets were nontransferable while the third-party guys said TicketMaster changed the rules 40 minutes before showtime. It was a mess. But being the pedantic nerd that I am, this is what jumped out at me:

Hundreds of fans who purchased tickets from usually reliable third-party vendors, such as StubHub, SeatGeek and Vivid Seats, had the same experience….A representative for the band and Ticketmaster said everyone who purchased a ticket through Ticketmaster or the band’s fan page got in. The concert was well-attended, with 97% of the 1,850-seat venue full.

So according to TicketMaster, there were only 55 empty seats. But according to the Times, “hundreds” of fans were turned away. This doesn’t add up unless duplicate tickets were sold, but the story doesn’t suggest that anything like this happened. It was all just a big communications cockup.

Maybe so. But this is one pedantic nerd who’d be curious to do a deeper dive into this to find out what really happened. The third-party vendors are all refunding the ticket prices to their customers, so it’s hard to see what motivation they would have had to cheat in the first place. Maybe something else was going on?

CORRECTION: Black Keys, not Black Flag. Black Keys, not Black Flag…

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate