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Hawaii takes aim at exclusive ticketing contracts

A bill that would prevent venues that receive public funding from partnering exclusively with one ticket agency has been introduced in Hawaii.

SB 1534 – tabled on 24 January by Hawaii Senate president Ron Kouchi, and referred to the Senate’s Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health (CPH) Committee on 28 January after passing its first reading – would prohibit any “place of entertainment that is funded through public donations, state or county funds” from “entering into exclusive ticketing contracts with primary sellers”.

The prohibition would affect all of Hawaii’s major venues, including the 8,800-capacity Blaisdell Arena, owned by the city of Honolulu (and exclusively ticketed by Ticketmaster), the 10,300-seat Stan Sheriff Center, owned by the University of Hawaii and utilising the university’s own eTicketHawaii portal; and Aloha Stadium (50,000-cap.), another Ticketmaster partner, run by the publicly owned Hawaii Stadium Authority.

SB 1534 would also require venues to report how many tickets will be put on sale for any given event, as well as any details on holdbacks – similar to proposed legislation in Ontario, Canada, later abandoned amid opposition from the live industry.

SB 1534 would also require venues to require how many tickets will be put on sale for any given event

If passed, the legislation would “mean more artists appearing at venues, a larger diversity of events, and more local jobs and revenue for Hawaiian residents,” Scot X. Esdaile, president of ticket resellers’ association the US Minority Ticketing Group, tells Ticket News.

Unlike in Europe and elsewhere, where the open ticket distribution model is prevalent, the majority of large venues in the US are tied to a single ticket provider, with volume sellers such as Ticketmaster, AXS and See Tickets handing over huge amounts of cash upfront to venues to sell their tickets exclusively.

This model was cited as a key in factor in Amazon Tickets’ undoing when it called off its US launch a year ago, and exclusive ticketing deals have also drawn attention from authorities in territories where they are less common, such as Germany and South Africa.


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Bruno Mars announces record third Hawaiian show

Following two sold-out dates, Bruno Mars has added a historic third Hawaii show to his successful 24k Magic world tour.

Produced and promoted by Live Nation, the newly announced concert will take place on Thursday 8 November at the 50,000-capacity Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The trio of homecoming performances by the Honolulu-born star is a record for the stadium, with no other artist in its history having booked so many dates in succession.

Mars (pictured) will also play Aloha Stadium on 10 and 11 November, with special guests the Green and Common Kings.

The 24K Magic tour, Mars’s third world tour, will have made more than 135 stops in the Americas, the UK and Europe by the time it wraps up with the final Honolulu show. According to Pollstar’s mid-year top 100 tours chart, Mars sold nearly 739,575 tickets in H1 2018.

The 24K Magic tour is the Grammy winner’s first since 2013’s Moonshine Jungle world tour, which sold two million tickets worldwide from 155 sold-out dates.


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