Dating back to Metallica’s 2017 WorldWired North American tour, a secretly recorded phone call obtained by Billboard shows Live Nation president of U.S. concerts Bob Roux, Metallica ticketing consultant Tony DiCioccio, and a third-party promoter named Vaughn Millette arranging the sale of 4,400 tickets per show (88,000 total) directly to secondary retailers like Stubhub.
Furthermore, the revenue split would offer Metallica and LiveNation 40% of the resale profit each, with 20% set aside for DiCioccio and Millette.
According to Billboard, the parties involved also strategized how to cover their tracks. “When this happens, 4,600 tickets into a single account,” Roux allegedly says on the recording, “there may be some eyebrows that get raised.”
In the wake of the report, Live Nation admitted to Billboard that “the company has facilitated the quiet transfer of concert tickets directly into the hands of resellers through the years, though only at the request of the artists involved — who control where the tickets are initially sold.”
And while Live Nation says that between 2016 and 2017, “about a dozen artists out of the thousands we work with asked us to do this,” they claim “requests like these have declined virtually to zero as tools like dynamic pricing, platinum seats and VIP packages have proven to be more effective at recapturing value previously lost to the secondary market.”
Metallica, on the other hand, claim that while the band members were not personally aware of the ticket scheme, DiCoccio remains a member of their inner circle. “If there’s five seats on the jet flying home, it’s the band and Tony,” a source who has worked with DiCioccio, told Billboard.