Jason Isbell is pictured with his wife Amanda Shires and his manager Traci Thomas at the 2014 Americana Music Awards
Amplify has spoken to Americana singer Jason Isbell’s manager Traci Thomas at Thirty Tigers about her battle with Ticketmaster and her decision to call out the company over its fan club policy.
“In the future I will try not to book rooms that use Ticketmaster,” she told Amplify in a phone interview Thursday. “It’s not fair for Ticketmaster to tell an artist how to do their business. Last time I checked, people bought tickets to hear Jason play his music, not to see Ticketmaster. And they should not be telling us how to sell tickets to our fanbase. I don’t want to use their services, because they don’t provide us with any backend demographics the way other fan club ticketing services do.”
Traci’s comments follow a Twitter posting from yesterday where she explains to fans that Isbell won’t be doing a presale for his upcoming tour dates because executives with Ticketmaster told the artist his fan club didn’t meet the company’s guidelines:
Isbell’s story follows a familiar narrative of other bands who were denied their fan club allotment from TM. Thomas said the artist requested his 8-10% ticket allotment usually given to all artists prior to going on sale. Those tickets are then sold to an artist’s fans through various VIP platforms — in Isbell’s case, he was using CrowdSurge. When Thomas requested the tickets for four sold-out October shows at the Ryman in Nashville, she was told Jason’s fan club didn’t qualify for its fan club allotment because the site didn’t include a chat room or message board.
“Their definition of a fan club is archaic,” she said. “Who has a chat room on their website anymore? This isn’t 1987. On a message board, people are really catty with one another and I don’t have time to monitor that. That’s counterproductive for everyone to have something like that.”
Traci said Isbell was “given a one-time pass” to sell fan club tickets for the Ryman show, but going forward he would have to use TM’s fan club and presale system for any shows he did at TM venues. While she did conduct a presale through Spotify, she eventually decided to cancel all fan club presales for the remainder of the tour.
So what exactly are Ticketmaster’s rules about fan clubs and what constitutes a legitimate one in their eyes? Amplify was able to obtain a Ticketmaster Fan Club Policy Clarification memo dated July 13, 2015. You can read the document below:
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