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Judging from the live music headlines alone, Argentina is having a boom time. The biggest shows fill stadium after stadium – this October and November Coldplay are due to clock up a record ten at El Monumental, home of Club Atlético River Plate, all of which sold out in hours.
The big international festivals keep coming – Lollapalooza is joined later this year by Primavera Sound and Slipknot’s Knotfest – and ASM Global’s new Movistar Arena in Buenos Aires gives the country the modern arena international touring productions want. But then, there’s political turmoil, inflation of more than 70%, and 40% of Argentines in poverty. So the party might not last forever, but in the meantime, plenty of tickets are being sold in 2022.
Ticketmaster has long had a foothold in Argentina, delivering ticketing services for various venues and festivals. But in South America, ticketing has long been viewed as a supplementary revenue stream for promoters, so regional big-hitter Time for Fun has its market-leading Ticketek arm in Argentina, while the Live Nation-associated DF Entertainment sells as All Access, and Move Concerts has its LivePass division. Other ticket-sellers include the fast-growing EntradaUno, which serves the Movistar Arena.
“Business is booming, just like it is all around the world”
Ticketek lays claim to around 50% of the overall market and is strong in the important mid-size segment – busy international venues Teatro Gran Rex and Teatro Opera are among its theatres – as well as in sport, exhibitions, and family entertainment. Overall, it deals with around 5,500 events per year.
“Business is booming, just like it is all around the world,” says Ticketek/T4F Argentina director Fernando Bolan. “In spite of the situation in Argentina, there is a repressed demand.”
DISTRIBUTION OF SALES
Argentinian ticketing methods were already pretty thoroughly modernised, but the pandemic shifted behaviour in Argentina in all the predictable ways, with the mobile channel the key beneficiary.
“We haven’t sold by phone since 2015, and we have reduced our physical sales points to a minimum”
“Since the pandemic, 95% of our sales are online, and the delivery is via a QR code,” says Bolan. “We haven’t sold by phone since 2015, and we have reduced our physical sales points to a minimum.”
VALUE OR MARKET
PwC has looked at the Argentinian market but not recently: the most recent estimates were of growth from $55m (€55m) in 2013 to $85m (€85m) in 2018, and a lot has happened since then.
Secondary sales are a bone of contention in Argentina, and Ticketek among others is scouring for long-term answers. “We are studying new technology like NFTs,” says Bolan. “Our goal is to reduce the illegal resale.”
“Our goal is to reduce the illegal resale”
Tickets for the sold-out first night of Coldplay’s historic stand at El Monumental were going for between £442 (€500) and £785 (€888) on Viagogo at the time of writing.
INTERNATIONAL / DOMESTIC SPLITS & GENRES
Currency problems make Argentina a challenging market, but this year at least, Argentina will take all the international tours you’re offering, whether Latin or English- speaking – Demi Lovato, Dream Theater, Fito Páez, J Balvin, André Rieu, Michael Bublé, and Liam Gallagher are all getting a look at the Movistar Arena in the coming months.
Latin music, of course, is particularly strong right now, and the all-conquering trap scene has a thriving Argentinian branch, producing artists such as Duki, Ysy A, Nicki Nicole, Bizzarrap, and Cazzu. Recent local breakthroughs such as Tiago PZK branch further out into R&B, rap, and reggaeton.
Argentina’s political and economic upheaval took a dark new turn in September when the country’s vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt outside her home. Football matches due to kick off the following day were postponed out of respect, while thousands of supporters descended on the capital’s historic Plaza de Mayo to denounce political violence.
TAXES & CHARGES
Argentina abandoned its 21% VAT on concert tickets in 2006, and they remain exempt.