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The Texan company, acquired by Ticketmaster in 2015, makes its British debut this summer, joining TicketWeb and Universe in TM's stable of specialised ticketing solutions
By Jon Chapple on 10 May 2017
Front Gate Tickets, the US white-label festival ticketing company whose clients include some of North America’s biggest events, has launched in the UK, IQ can reveal.
Front Gate Tickets (FGT), headquartered in Austin, Texas, was acquired by Ticketmaster/Live Nation along with DIY platform Universe in September 2015. It was previously jointly owned by AEG, Live Nation’s chief rival, and Lollapalooza promoter C3 Presents, itself now a Live Nation company.
The decision to launch FGT locally came as a result of Ticketmaster’s belief that a “one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for all clients”, explains its UK director of business development for music, Sarah Slater.
“It’s about having the right platform for the right client,” she says. “Ticketmaster.co.uk is brilliant platform that can sell millions of tickets on a Friday morning for big tours and arena shows; for festivals, which don’t necessarily sell out on a Friday, that’s where Front Gate comes in.”
Other Ticketmaster subsidiaries targeted at specific markets include TicketWeb, for smaller, independent venues and events, and aforementioned self-service platform Universe, which launched in Europe last April.
The first British festival on FGT – which counts among its North American clients Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Governors Ball, Outside Lands, Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy Carnival and Bestival Canada (also formerly AEG’s Coachella and Stagecoach, “before we bought it”, jokes Slater) – is Latitude 2017.
“For festivals, which don’t necessarily sell out on a Friday, that’s where Front Gate comes in”
The plan, explains Slater, is to have all Ticketmaster festivals – including both Live Nation/Festival Republic events and its non-Live Nation clients – using Front Gate by 2018. She also reveals the company hopes to extend the FGT roll-out to its festivals in continental Europe in future.
“Front Gate is built specifically with festivals in mind,” Slater continues. “It’s tailored to their needs: so they can do a quick check-out, including Facebook log-in options, they can upsell VIP experiences, spa sessions, parking… all the things our festival clients need to do in one completely white-label solution.”
Other features include group booking and tiered pricing, optimisation for both desktop and mobile devices and RFID capabilities for both site access and cashless payments.
In addition, FGT’s RFID solution can be used to create “interactive touchpoints”, such as sweepstakes and giveaways, allowing promoters to maximise the collection of customer data. “This gives festival promoters the ability to increase sponsorship revenue with a unique opportunity for branding and data insight,” says Ticketmaster.
The launch of Front Gate Tickets in the UK, which is supported by the Ticketmaster team, is part of a “massive focus on festivals”, concludes Slater, reflecting the “different needs” of festival ticketing compared to stadium and arena tours.
“Our focus is on selling more tickets – and Front Gate enables us to work with festivals to get exactly what they want and do just that.”
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