LA metal band Threatin landed a UK tour based on what seemed like a strong internet following. Despite tens of thousands of Facebook likes and YouTube views, Threatin played to completely empty houses. Venue owners later discovered that all of the band’s internet following was fake and paid for, including “live” videos on YouTube. Front man Jered Davis later posted “What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion.”
- Will this fake news scheme end up getting Threatin gigs?
- Did something illegal happen here?
- Is fake news more rampant in entertainment news?
Facebook likes and YouTube comments and false ticket sales figures have led to one of the year’s weirdest stories
Bands buying Facebook likes is nothing new. The (very silly) practise has been going on for as long as Facebook Pages have existed, businesses and bands alike using bots to up their stats, in the hopes of improving their social media standing. One LA band, who go by the name of Threatin, appear to have taken this mantra to its most baffling extreme.
Twitter user @buzzingbugs pointed out yesterday (November 4) that Threatin’s seemingly well-sold UK tour wasn’t all it seemed. Sharing a Facebook post that referenced a Threatin show at Bristol’s The Exchange, the story unfolds thus: “We were expecting it to be a busy night because the promoter had supposedly sold 180 tickets.” Of course, all was not as it seemed.
Upon arriving at the venue, the poster explains, it seems only the support band’s guestlist had turned up to the show. After a brief altercation which involved the venue (rightfully) demanding the money for venue hire and staff costs before the show could go on, Threatin eventually got up on stage and played to “literally zero people (aside from their tour manager and a couple of guys from one of the support bands because they felt bad for the guy)”.
So far, so odd – but perhaps no odder than a desperate, mid-life crisis wielding dad with his eyes on karaoke-upping grandeur. What really makes this fucking weird, is that it wasn’t an isolated incident. As The Underworld in Camden, London, posted on Threatin’s Facebook page, “What happened to the 291 advanced ticket sales your agent said you’d sold? THREE PEOPLE turned up. Please don’t lie about ticket sales, and please don’t contact us again for a show.”