LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Scores of frustrated fans — many whom had forked out hundreds of dollars — were denied access to a sold-out Black Keys show at the Wiltern Theatre Thursday night in Koreatown because their tickets were fake.
The scene was chaotic, with hundreds of people being forced to give up and go home.
The Black Keys, who were performing their first live show in four-and-a-half years, went on stage at around 9:20 p.m., but there was also a spectacle outside the venue prior to that because people who had purchased tickets through third party vendors like StubHub, Vivid Seats and SeatGeek discovered their tickets were fake.
The official tickets, which were sold through Ticketmaster, were mobile only with a rotating barcode. Ticketmaster told CBS2 that the tickets were sold "to fans and not transferable." Some sellers had allegedly posted screen grabs of their tickets on resale sites such as StubHub. People who bought those tickets were then denied entry.
"The presenters of the concert directed that these tickets be made available only to fans and that they be strictly nontransferable," Ticketmaster said in a statement provided to CBS2. "This was messaged from the beginning with the announcement of the performance and throughout the sales process. Unfortunately, bad actors took advantage of this situation and posted screen shots of tickets that were not valid for entry onto the secondary market. We always recommend purchasing tickets from the official source."
Many of these customers were told their tickets were not valid -- some turned away after waiting in line. Sky9 was overhead as frustrated people poured out of the theater after being denied entry.
"Our StubHubs aren't working," one man who paid $800 for his tickets told CBS2. "We paid full value for our tickets, and they're not letting us in."
Another man said he got a weird email from his seller.
"He started saying that he couldn't deliver the ticket," he said. "And he sent it to me through my personal email. And I feel bad, but I just started calling StubHub, asking them if this was normal or not. And they kept assuring me that it was."
Another would-be concertgoer still couldn't figure out what the problem was.
"Got the tickets," he said, "I was so psyched. Got in line, waited in line for 30 minutes. Got in there, got through security, went into the thing and then (makes scanner noise), 'you can't get in.' Walked out, and there were hundreds of people out here."
CBS2 reached out for comment to the Wiltern, but did not immediately hear back. StubHub told CBS2 it would be providing a full refund to customers who weren't able to get in and offering them an additional $100 credit. Here's StubHub's full statement:
"Unexpectedly, Live Nation and Ticketmaster issued tickets for The Black Keys concert through rotating barcodes, which limit how fans can use tickets. This resulted in fans who purchased legitimate tickets on StubHub being turned away at the entrance. Fans should not be punished for giving away or reselling their tickets. We strongly disagree with Live Nation and Ticketmaster's approach and the negative impact it has on fans. As part of our FanProtect Guarantee, StubHub is proactively offering full refunds, and given the exceptional situation, we're also extending a $100 credit to affected fans."
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