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Portugal has long been a popular destination on the international touring circuit, thanks to enthusiastic audiences and warm climate. Super Bock Super Rock, NOS Alive, and Afro Nation are all must-see events, as is Sónar Lisboa for those into dance, electronica, visual arts, and digital culture.
Plus, things have bounced back well after Covid-19. “Live performances are back at full power after the lockdown,” says Filipa Nascimento, head of marketing at Lisbon’s Altice Arena, which operates MEO Blueticket. “And big tours now sell even faster than before the pandemic.”
MEO Blueticket, Ticketline, and BOL remain Portugal’s big three, although smaller, more local companies also exist.
DISTRIBUTION OF SALES
Physical points of sale and printed tickets retain primacy, especially among older music fans, but this is changing rapidly. “Printed tickets are definitely being replaced by e-tickets, print-at-home, or validated through codes directly on the client’s smartphone,” says Nascimento.
“Investments in digital and tech, like cashless and hybrid payments with mobile phones, are mandatory to keep up”
“Older clients will always prefer to get their tickets in store, but the trend is shifting fast to all digital. To address this, MEO Blueticket is now part of the Altice Group, a major worldwide telco, which gives us access to state-of-the-art IT know-how and tools to develop innovative online purchase methods, mostly mobile.”
Ticket resale is not formally allowed in Portugal, although some foreign companies are trying to address this market segment at their own risk.
According to Nascimento, addressing younger consumers and their habits are key to growth and success. She notes that hip-hop is growing faster than other genres like pop or rock, particularly when it comes to outdoor festivals, and that: “The way forward for ticket companies is to offer both promoters and end buyers the best experience from the moment the ticket is sold to the moment the show starts.
“Investments in digital and tech, like cashless and hybrid payments with mobile phones, are mandatory to keep up.”