Live & Touring

Judges call Live Nation arbitration ‘Crazy,’ ‘Nuts’ & ‘Unconscionable’

A California District Court removed a ticket buyer class claim from arbitration because the fine print that accompanied each ticket purchase was “drafting malpractice,” “cockamamie,” and “just nuts,” according to one of the judges hearing the case.

Another judge said that some of the language in the arbitration agreement is “circular and problematic,” and a third called some of the rules “crazy.”


Last year, U.S. District Judge George H. Wu found that Live Nation’s switch from the established Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services to controversial upstart arbitrator New Era ADR without telling users was “procedurally unconscionable to an extreme degree,” according to Law 360, and that New Era’s arbitration protocol “evinces elements of substantive unconscionability.”

Live Nation attornies returned to court this week to argue that the ticket buyer claim should still be handled in arbitration rather than in the courtroom.

This latest judicial rebuke of Live Nation comes alongside a US Department of Justice anti-trust suit aimed at splitting up the live music giant and its Ticketmaster arm, which recently suffered a massive data breach.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

Share on: