It might not be unusual when a band with little over 1k likes on Facebook opens for a huge crowd because sometimes fandom cannot be predicted by small social media followings. But it is certainly a surprise when a band with over 38k likes on Facebook cannot get more than 3 fans into a concert venue. Even I felt bad for this band, and I’m a staunch believer in “work hard, work harder” to get where you are in the music business. But after researching further into this scandal, I found that the band in question with many followers but no fans, Threatin, is not a real band at all.
The brain behind this US-based self-proclaimed rock band is Jered Threatin who started the band under the moniker Threatin and shortly after created his band page, his social engagement skyrocketed from nothing to 38,000 in too little time. Jered released one track that received a huge amount of views on YouTube with only a mere 5 comments, which is quite suspicious (later on he disabled the comment section to make the low comment count versus views irrelevant). The number of views, however, clearly made a positive impression on people because he was gradually getting “organic” listeners. So with this new found glory, he announced a huge international tour (seems like the logical next step). He convinced venues abroad to book him on this tour with only a social media following of bots and, not to mention, a fake booking agency he created.
Shortly after announcing the tour, he made an interesting promotional tour video of himself playing in front of a huge crowd, not his band, but just Jered alone.
The relatively realistic-looking tour video did grab the attention of another small hoard of followers, but then came the most anticipated day – day 1 of his massive European tour. He has his first show in Bristol which was supposed to be practically sold out as per his fake booking agency, but only 3 people turned up. Meanwhile, his fake booking agency (which we can only imagine was Jered behind an email) told the venue that around 290 tickets were sold. Once the entire scandal of faking the booking agency and the tour came up, people began questioning everything else related to Threatin, which led to the outing of his fake record label, Superlative Music Recordings.
The reasons behind why Threatin conducted such a bold experiment is still unknown. Maybe Jered took the term “fake it ’till you make it” a bit too seriously. Although his music is slowly starting to reach the actual masses (likely because of this stunt), the reputation cost that he paid is huge and it proves that if you want to be heard by many – the only way is to “work hard, work harder” and grow slowly and authentically to instill trust in your fanbase.
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