Van Halen Scalped Tickets
REPORT: VAN HALEN EARNED EXTRA MILLION FROM SCALPED TICKETS
Van Halen made an extra one million dollars in the fall of 2007 when as many as 500 of the best seats at around 20 concerts on the band's reunion tour were pulled from Ticketmaster and sold through scalpers, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The scalpers reportedly kept about 30 percent of the jacked-up ticket prices for themselves, while the remaining 70 percent was divided between the band, their representatives and Ticketmaster itself.
The scam was part of a Ticketmaster initiative, codenamed "Project Showtime," which was designed to get a piece of the action from the scalpers, who often re-sell tickets for hundreds or thousands of dollars more than their face value. The move was part of plan to compete with a new ticketing business started by Live Nation, by offering to share profits from the scalpers with the artists and promoters.
Van Halen's 2007-2008 tour, the first with David Lee Roth on the mic in nearly a quarter century, grossed more than $90 million.
At each of the 20 shows, the best seats were taken directly out of the Ticketmaster system and passed directly to private dealers and scalpers.
The project eventually fell apart, according to the Journal, because of distrust among the participants, although a number of Van Halen tickets were sold through the scalpers.
The scam was said to be the brainchild of Van Halen manager Irving Azoff, who also now serves as Ticketmaster's CEO. Azoff is also behind the scheme to merge Ticketmaster with Live Nation, which is under review by the Justice Department. Critics and members of Congress have said that the proposed merger would create a monopoly over almost all aspects of the music business.
Ticketmaster came under fire earlier this year from Bruce Springsteen, his manager, and Springsteen's fans when customers attempting to buy Springsteen tickets at the Ticketmaster website were automatically rerouted to StubHub, a high-priced resale site owned by the company.