Only Jered Threatin knows how much money he spent buying Facebook likes, traveling to Europe and performing in empty rooms with his hired band.
The bigger question is what he thought it would accomplish. What did he think would happen when he arrived at his first gig?
The Los Angeles-based musician's recent fake-it-till-you-make-it stunt failed so badly that some are wondering: could the unintended publicity he's getting out of it actually grant him a career?
If that was the plan all along, it makes some sense. What actually happened does not.
Threatin allegedly bought tens of thousands of likes on social media and views on YouTube. He fabricated a fanbase, a booking agent and a record label, all in order to dupe European venues into booking his band for a multi-week tour.
The ill thought-out scheme, however, came to a screeching halt when Threatin began playing gigs... to no one.
Poor Jered apparently didn't take into account that venues might have some questions when literally no one showed for his purportedly sold-out concerts.
It didn't take long for the venues that booked Threatin to start to call him out publicly for duping them. In one instance, a U.K. venue claimed Threatin said he sold 291 tickets in advance of his show, yet only three people showed up for the gig.
While some have wondered if Threatin is actually some kind of performance artist, that doesn't seem to be the case. Since stories about his scam began popping up last week, Threatin has gone dark; he shuttered his social accounts, canceled several shows and half of his band quit on him.
"We had a show last night where the singer had told everyone he had sold 150 tickets (sold out) to our small room, he had actually sold only 1 ticket," wrote Birmingham's The Asylum in an update. "Just a reminder: this is how you get black-listed."
A Belfast venue reported that Threatin paid a venue rental fee in advance of a show he ended up canceling after he was exposed. But since there were two opening acts that night, the venue allowed fans in for free.
Of course the irony of the whole thing is how much money Threatin seemingly spent trying to look like a rockstar when he surely could have hired a publicist to help him build a flesh and blood fanbase in a more ethical way.
Instead, Threatin seemingly dumped money into a flimsy scam that captured the attention of the rock world and ultimately made him look like a delusional fool.
Photo: YouTube / Threatin