Threatin's UK tour: The band who faked a fanbase and failed

By Michael Baggs and Jimmy Blake
Newsbeat Reporters

Image source, Threatin / YouTube

Jered Threatin's UK tour did not go to plan.

The LA musician booked a string of shows across the UK to perform with his band, Threatin, promising venues he'd already sold hundreds of tickets for the gigs.

But he's left those venues, and the support bands he booked, confused and out of pocket when nobody showed up.

In one case, Threatin played to an empty venue - after the support band had packed up their van and gone home.

'No one was coming through the door'

Image source, Ghost Of Machine
Image caption,
Billy from Ghost Of Machines says his band rely on selling merchandise to make money at gigs - but couldn't sell T-shirts to empty venues

"There were 180 confirmed tickets sales by his promoter," Billy John Bingham, lead singer of Ghost Of Machines, tells Newsbeat.

They supported Threatin at The Exchange in Bristol on 6 November, taking time off work and hiring a van to drive to the gig from Swindon.

The band seemed legit. They had 38,000 fans on their Facebook page and Jered Threatin has more than 16,000 followers on his Instagram.

"It seemed a bit weird from the get-go because no-one was coming through the door with these advance tickets," says Billy, who persuaded his band-mates to stay and watch Threatin perform because he felt "a bit sorry" because nobody had turned up.

"We were the only four people in the room watching this set," he says.

He now believes that Jered was acting as his own promoter, manager and record label and had posed as someone called Casey to email and book Ghost Of Machines.

Newsbeat has attempted to contact Jered Threatin but he has yet to respond.

Figure caption,
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And after their experience with Threatin, one of Billy's band-mates contacted The Unresolved, who were due to support at the Birmingham show on 8 November.

"They said they'd played in Bristol the night before, and no-one was there but they'd been told it was a sell-out show," says Adam Gostick, the drummer with The Unresolved.

Adam says it was the "weirdest gig" his band have ever played.

But at least the attendance was a little better for the Birmingham show. Threatin sold one ticket.

"We stayed for four or five songs, when we started packing our gear up into the car, the people who came with us seemed to notice we were packing our stuff up and they left," says Adam.

"In the end, Threatin played to the one person who bought a ticket."

'Threatin seemed quite happy playing without an audience'

Image caption,
Patrice and Jon from Underworld in Camden, London were told Threatin had sold 291 tickets for their gig but just three people showed up

Threatin paid a hire fee for the venues before the gigs, which covers most of the cost of paying bar staff, security and sound engineers.

"They played the full show," says Jon Vyner, booking manager at Underworld in Camden.

"If they've paid the hire fee upfront, we're obliged to see the thing through.

"The most remarkable thing is that it didn't seem to bother Threatin. He seemed quite happy to give it his all without an audience."

Jon says that just three people bought tickets for Threatin's London gig and he believes that was from people wanting to see one of the support bands.

But there was one person who seemed to enjoy the experience - Gavin Carney, a bassist who joined Threatin for his European gigs.

Gavin had posted behind the scenes photos from the band's London show at Camden Underworld on his Twitter.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

What happened on their other dates?

Lute, who supported Threatin in Manchester, shared a video of the band performing to an empty venue on their YouTube.

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And despite claims that their gig in Northern Ireland would go ahead, The Belfast Empire announced Threatin had cancelled their gig hours before they were due to perform.

The Empire told Newsbeat it was "glad the saga was over."

'You can't fake support'

Since news broke about the turnout to Threatin's gigs, Jered Threatin has put his Twitter and Instagram accounts on private.

The band's Facebook page has also been removed - despite having 38,000 fans when booking their gigs in the UK.

The whole thing has social media experts in the music industry baffled.

"It's a crazy story but it also shows you can't fake support, you just can't," says Olivia Edwards-Allen, who manages social media for well known bands at one of the UK's biggest record labels.

"Even with all this hype they created around themselves and overselling themselves, it didn't matter because people aren't stupid. "

After the band began their tour, the band's drummer and guitarist reportedly quit and returned to the US.

What next for Threatin?

Image source, Threatin
Image caption,
Threatin cancelled their Belfast gig on Sunday and scheduled dates in Europe are unlikely to take place

They may be missing a trick, because the people who run Underworld reckon Threatin should make the most of their newfound notoriety.

"He's wasted an opportunity and I don't think he should have cancelled those last shows because I think they would have done quite well," says Patrice Lovelace, the London venue's promotions assistant.

"He's blocked me on Twitter. We did try to invite him back for next year.

"I don't know what his point was. I thought he wanted fame and he's famous now."

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