“Witness the Most Evil Music Group,” invited a press release sent to Music Ally this week from a group called The Fan Fairness Coalition.
It was promoting a series of music videos about a fictional band called The Monopoly, with each video making its target absolutely clear in the intro. “In 2010 Live Nation and Ticketmaster joined forces. And the most evil music group was born.”
Cue lyrics about fleecing fans, sites crashing etc. Four music videos and a ‘Meet The Monopoly’ interview spoof have been uploaded to YouTube – and audio tracks to Spotify – with the production values making it clear that this is a well-funded project.
But funded by who?
The website says that the group’s aim is “to protect live events by putting power back in the hands of fans”, including calling for Ticketmaster to be broken up, and that “fans should effectively own the tickets they purchase – with the right to transfer, resell, or attend as plans allow”.
That’s the obvious clue: one or more secondary ticketing services will be behind the campaign, but they are not disclosing their identities for now.
It appears to be the latest case of ‘astroturfing’ in the ticketing industry: something that both sides of the debates (the secondary platforms and Live Nation / Ticketmaster) have indulged in down the years.