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ID&T to sue Dutch gov over “disproportionate” restrictions

ID&T, the promoter behind festivals including Mysteryland and Awakenings, has announced it is taking the Dutch government to court over new Covid restrictions, which have been reimposed just weeks after they were lifted.

Prime minister Mark Rutte held a press conference last Friday (9 July), in which he announced that restrictions would renew on 10 July and remain until 14 August, in an effort to halt a sudden surge in Covid-19 restrictions.

Under the new measures, multi-day events will be banned and only one-day festivals will be permitted until 14 August, provided visitors are given a seat and no more than a thousand people attend.

In the press conference, Rutte said the government won’t give any more clarity until 14 August for events after that date – leaving organisers in a stalemate situation.

ID&T called the measures “disproportionate” and announced that the company would be filing a draft subpoena with the court today (12 July).

“It is our expertise to organise events well and safely and we know that our audience has the discipline,” says said Ritty van Straalen, CEO of ID&T.

“It feels like a death knell for our industry”

“We are now the good who suffer from the bad and it seems that the government prefers holidays over festivals. You can’t go into recess at a crucial moment like this and leave the industry dangling. Young people are disproportionately affected by these measures. The social importance of our industry is enormous.”

Mojo-promoted event A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (aka Lowlands) is due to take place on 20–22 August but festival director Eric van Eerdenburg tells IQ that the Dutch government has created an “unworkable situation”.

“For our festivals, Lowlands (20–22 August) and Down The Rabbit Hole (27–29 Aug), as well as suppliers and artists, this has created a lot of uncertainty. We are already building the infrastructure as we speak, and will continue to do so as we believe it should be possible to let them happen,” says Eerdenburg.

“Our belief is based on a constructive relationship between Mojo and the ministries of health and economic affairs, as well as the Outbreak Management Team that advises the government, we will get more clarity on how we can move on after close consultation in the next few days,” he added.

The Association of Dutch Poppodia and Festivals (VNPF) and the Association of Event Makers (VVEM) are also hoping to sit down with ministers to get a perspective on the summer season and discuss extra support measures.

In January, the government announced a €385 million insurance fund which would compensate organisers 80% of the costs of their event if it is cancelled due to state-enforced coronavirus measures.

“You can’t go into recess at a crucial moment like this and leave the industry dangling”

However, VNPF and VVEM are calling for the compensation to be increased to 100% and extended to organisers who have to cancel within an “unreasonably short period of time” but can’t claim under the scheme.

Eerdenburg says that Mojo is also pushing for the scheme to cover fees for UK artists, as well as those of Dutch and EU artists.

In a joint statement, the VNPF and VVEM wrote: “It feels like a death knell for our industry. Of course, it is understandable that measures are taken when the infection rate increases. However, within those measures, the industry that has not contributed to that higher infection rate at all is being hit hard. It was precisely our industry – the only industry in the Netherlands – that has actively sought solutions in recent months in collaboration with science and ministries.”

Fieldlab Evenementen – an initiative of the Dutch government and several trade bodies – recently revealed findings from three months’ worth of pilot events in the Netherlands show that the risk of Covid-19 infection, when following certain hygiene and testing protocols, is about the same as being at home.

According to OurWorldinData, daily cases in the Netherlands have risen almost sevenfold, from a rolling seven-day average of 49.2 per million people on 4 July to 328.7 on Sunday (11 July).

The Dutch prime minister today (12 July) acknowledged that the cabinet made an error of judgment with the rapid relaxation at the end of June. “What we thought was possible, was not possible.”

 


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ID&T hires company veteran Rosanne Janmaat as COO

Dutch dance promoter ID&T has hired Rosanne Janmaat as its new COO, capitalising on her 14 years of experience in the organisation.

Janmaat started as an intern at ID&T before becoming an account manager in the sponsorship department, and later project manager. She also helped set up the local ID&T office in New York in 2013.

After her time in New York, she joined the management team and helped ID&T implement its new corporate structure after ID&T transferred to a new owner. After this, she led several acquisitions and oversaw the development of new concepts.

Under her new title, which she assumed on 1 January, Janmaat will oversee day-to-day operations, cultivate company culture and help implement strategies for ID&T Events, Awakenings, and Q-dance.

“The past year was challenging, but thanks to Rosanne’s enormous efforts, we are in good shape and organised”

“From my first day at ID&T I have been inspired by our talented team that is able to realise the best possible products with unprecedented passion, and I am grateful for our wonderful and loyal visitors,” she says.

“It is remarkable that this feeling remains unchanged almost 15 years later. Despite the fact that we are in a difficult situation, I fully trust that our brands are strong and I look forward to taking the experience for our visitors to the next level, with a focus on our unique creativity and innovation.”

Ritty van Straalen, CEO ID&T Group, added: “I am very happy with Rosanne in my team as COO. In addition to the fact that Rosanne has been with us for a long time, she made real progress with ID&T, knows the company, the people, and the culture exceptionally well, and has developed herself broadly and internationally. Her knowledge and skills are perfectly in line with ID&T’s ambitious plans. The past year was challenging, but thanks to Rosanne’s enormous efforts, we are in good shape and organised.”

Last year the company – which is known for festivals such as Mysteryland, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival, Amsterdam Open Air and Welcome to the Future – announced a management reshuffle which saw van Straalen take over from Q-Dance founder Wouter Tavecchio as CEO of ID&T.

 


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Dutch festivals reschedule for gov insurance cover

Paaspop, Awakenings and Zwarte Cross are among the major Dutch festivals to push back spring editions following the government’s pledge to provide cancellation insurance for events taking place in the second half of 2021.

The government announced the €300 million insurance scheme last month and is now considering a 1 June commencement date, which has prompted a number of spring festivals to postpone until the autumn.

Multi-genre festival Paaspop will not take place during Easter, for the first time in its 47-year history.

This year, the Mojo-promoted festival will take place between 3–5 September, instead of April, at its usual location of De Molenheide in Schijndel.

“It was an immense assignment to move our giant festival”

“Paaspop has traditionally taken place during Easter since the late 70s,” say organisers. “This year we will close the summer, instead of starting spring and doing so together with you. It was an immense assignment to move our giant festival but we did it. This unique edition will be one to never forget.”

The organisers say Paaspop’s 2021 lineup will include as many artists as possible from the 2020 bill, which included domestic acts André Gerardus Hazes, Anouk, Kensington. The final programme will be announced soon.

According to the organisers, more than 90% of 2020 ticket buyers opted to transfer their tickets to this year. The few remaining tickets will go on sale 27 February.

Last year’s edition of Paaspop, which was scheduled to take place between 2–4 April, was cancelled when the Dutch government extended its ban on public gatherings until 1 June.

The 2019 edition of Paaspop hosted around 90,000 people across the weekend.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter”

Elsewhere, Awakenings has rescheduled its June festival to 11–12 September, though it’s looking likely the festival will have to relocate from its usual site of Spaarnwoude Houtrak, just outside of Amsterdam, for the new date.

Organisers say they have an option on two locations for the 20th edition of the festival which – at 80,000 capacity – is the largest outdoor techno festival in the world.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter,” say organisers.

“Just like you, we can’t wait to party together again. We have boldly taken the first step and are preparing for our first post-pandemic event for you, the DJs, the scene, and everybody else involved. We are very grateful for your support; almost everyone chose to keep their ticket last year. We hope to come up with an update as soon as possible.”

The organisers say the re-released tickets will not go on sale until there are more “assurances about the possibilities regarding Covid”, adding, “we don’t think it’s fair to sell something new when there is too much uncertainty”.

Awakenings 2020 was also cancelled due to the government’s extension of the ban on public gatherings, though promoter ID&T received a substantial insurance payout to compensate for lost income due to the cancellation of its festivals.

The techno brand’s Easter event series in Amsterdam, Awakenings Easter, will not take place again until 2022.

“[Zwarte Cross] is now seriously investigating whether the move to September is possible”

Zwarte Cross – the largest paid-for festival in the Netherlands which combines music, motocross, comedy and theatre – may also take place in September instead of its usual summer date.

The festival, which typically welcomes 220,000 visitors across four days, was due to hold its 24th edition between 15–18 July in Lichtenvoorde but organisers say there is “great doubt” about that.

“We are now seriously investigating whether the move to September is possible. Hopefully, we will be rid of corona measures and most of the Netherlands will be vaccinated by then,” organiser Pieter Holkenborg told Tubantia.

The festival’s recent lineups have included Black Eyed Peas, White Lies, Scooter, Royal Republic and more.

Best Kept Secret, Pinkpop, Defqon. 1, DGTL Amsterdam, Motel Mozaique Festival, Dauwpop and Ribs & Blues are among the other Dutch festivals scheduled to take place in the spring.

Since the Dutch government announced its event cancellation insurance fund, a number of festivals have seen an unprecedented demand for tickets.

Yesterday, A State of Trance revealed it had sold all 55,000 tickets for this September’s festival, which takes place at the Jaarbeurs convention centre in Utrecht on 3–4 September.

 


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ID&T to receive coronavirus insurance payout

Netherlands-based electronic dance promoter ID&T will receive an advance insurance payout of €1.3 million to compensate for lost income due to the corona crisis.

The promoter claims that as a result of the cancellation of a number of events of its subsidiaries, it has suffered damage consisting of costs already incurred or owed and loss of profit.

ID&T was forced to cancel this year’s editions of festivals including Awakenings, and the promoter’s longest-running electronic dance music festival Mysteryland, due to the pandemic.

The promoter’s insurers, Nationale Nederlanden, Reaal and Amlin and Chubb, originally argued that the cover taken out by ID&T had a corona exclusion clause.

However, on 29 June, a judge ruled against the defendants, ordering a preliminary payout of €1.3m while valuation company Troostwijk and a loss adjuster arrives at a definitive compensation.

Troostwijk originally estimated that the promoter would have lost more than €11.5m by September due to the coronavirus measures. However, though the judge did not dispute that ID&T has a significant decline in income, the total amount was questioned.

It was decided that ID&T could claim an advance based on an estimated damage amount of €2m in total, on the condition that it provides a bank guarantee for that amount for the benefit of the insurers. The insurers are appealing.

Troostwijk originally estimated the promoter lost more than €11.5m until September due to the corona measures

The ID&T Group includes the companies b2s, ID&T Events, Q-dance, Monumental (Awakenings), Air Events, Art of Dance and VD Events. ID&T organises approximately 80 events a year, including festivals such as Mysteryland, Amsterdam Open Air, Vunzige Deuntjes, Thunderdome, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival, Awakenings, Decibel Outdoor and Masters of Hardcore.

Earlier this year, ID&T announced a management reshuffle which saw the company’s former COO Ritty van Straalen succeeds Wouter Tavecchio as CEO.

A number of campaigns have launched in the Netherlands in an attempt to draw government support for the country’s struggling live sector.

The Dutch live business announced it will participate in Belgium’s Sound of Silence campaign, which calls for supporters to change their profile pictures to an orange “Sound of Silence” cross and tweet with the hashtag #SoundOfSilence.

The country is also taking note from Germany’s initiative, Night of Live, which will see music-related buildings illuminated in red on 25 August.

The Netherlands relaxed its coronavirus regulations from 1 July, removing the capacity limit for seated indoor and outdoor events, provided fans have undergone health checks before entry.

The capacity limit for events that do not undertake health checks increased to 100 for indoor venues and 250 for outdoor shows from 1 July, while festivals in the Netherlands have to obtain licences from local authorities before being able to resume.

Nightclubs and discos remain closed until 1 September – which was the original deadline for the ban on large-scale events. The rules for clubs and similar venues will be reassessed at the end of August.

 


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Netherlands latest EU country hit by summer event ban

There will be no festivals in the Netherlands this summer, as the Dutch government imposes a ban on all large-scale events until 1 September.

The move follows similar decisions taken in some of Europe’s biggest festival markets including Germany, Belgium and Denmark, where events are banned until 31 August, as well as slightly shorter bans in France (mid-July) Austria (end of June) and Luxembourg (31 July), and is in line with European Union guidance.

The government in the Netherlands had previously stated public events were not permitted until 1 June, affecting festivals including DGTL Amsterdam, Awakenings Easter and Dauwpop.

The extended ban has resulted in the calling off of major festivals organised by Live Nation’s Mojo Concerts, Friendly Fire – part of the CTS Eventim-owned FKP Scorpio group – and dance music giant ID&T.

“We all saw it coming, but the hammer has finally fallen: there will be no Lowlands this summer,” reads a statement on the Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (Lowlands) website, set to take place from 21 to 23 August with performances from Stormzy, the Chemical Brothers, Foals and Liam Gallagher.

“Like you, we are heartbroken. All we can do now is look to the future and promise you that we’ll make Lowlands 2021 an all-out party beyond your wildest dreams.”

“Like you, we are heartbroken. All we can do now is look to the future and promise you that we’ll make Lowlands 2021 an all-out party beyond your wildest dreams”

Mojo-promoted Lowlands is part of the Netherlands’ ‘Save your ticket, enjoy later’ campaign, supported by the Dutch government and competition watchdog ACM, encouraging fans to hang on to tickets for a later date, rather than request refunds.

Lowlands will return from 20 to 22 August 2021.

Fellow Mojo festivals, Pinkpop (Guns N Roses, Post Malone, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Down the Rabbit Hole (Tyler the Creator, Disclosure, FKA Twigs), North Sea Jazz Festival (Alicia Keys, John Legend, Lionel Richie) and Woo Hah! (Kendrick Lamar, Asap Ferg, Aitch) have all moved to 2021 following the ban.

The cancellation of the 8th edition of Friendly Fire’s Best Kept Secret, which had a line-up including the Strokes, the National and Massive Attack, is a “massive blow”, say organisers.

“This news has an enormous impact on our festival and everyone involved. For us it makes an enormous difference if you decide to stay with us in 2021. By doing so, you’ll help secure the foundation of Best Kept Secret so that we can organise a fantastic edition for you next year.”

Best Kept Secret returns from 11 to 13 June 2021.

Netherlands-based dance music promoter ID&T has also had a number of events affected by the extended ban. The group states “we will do everything in our power to find an alternative date for all concerned events,” with the 2021 dates for festival including Defqon.1, Awakenings, Mysteryland and Amsterdam Open Air already announced.

 


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Dutch govt bans all events until 1 June

The Dutch government has tightened up restrictions on live events, extending its existing ban on public gatherings until 1 June, applying the ban to events of all sizes and issuing fines to those not in compliance.

The new measures were announced by the cabinet on Monday evening (23 March). Under the new rules, groups of three or more not keeping one-and-a-half meters apart will be fined. Previously, events were banned until 6 April, and gatherings of up to 100 people were still permitted.

Companies not complying with the new rules will face fines or up to €4,000, whereas individuals will be charged €400.

The extension brings the event ban into festival season. Following the announcement, the organisers of DGTL Amsterdam cancelled the 2020 edition, due to take place on 11 and 12 April. Acts billed to play DGTL included Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth, Bonobo, Marcel Dettman and Honey Dijon.

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all. After closely following the advice and precautionary measures from the Dutch government and health officials, it is with deep sadness that we have to officially inform you that DGTL Amsterdam will not be taking place as scheduled,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

“Despite all the hard work that everyone has put into the organisation of the festival, this obviously feels like the only right decision. Our current priority is to play our part responsibly in the fight against this global health crisis.”

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all”

Organisers will reach our to ticketholders in the coming weeks, offering a ticket exchange for the 2021 event or a full refund. In accordance with recent government advice, fans are urged to give organisers “time and space” and to resist getting into contact regarding refunds.

Organisers of Kingsland Festival, set to take place on 27 April in celebration of Kingsday (the Dutch King’s birthday), are currently working “to find a suitable solution with all authorities and parties involved” and ask for the understanding and patience of ticketholders.

The one-day festival takes place simultaneously in the cities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Tilburg. Acts scheduled to perform include Afrojack, Wizkid and Fisher.

Awakenings Easter, a four-day series of events across Amsterdam over the Easter bank holiday, will no longer take place. Awakenings Festival is still set to go ahead on June 27 and 28, with acts including Amelia Lens, Avalon Emerson, Charlotte de Witte, Helena Hauff, Ricardo Villalobos and Maceo Plex.

Mojo festivals including Paaspop (2 to 4 April), Momo Festival (16 to 18 April), Dauwpop (21 May), Ribs and Blues (30 May to 1 June) are no longer taking place, although all will return in 2021.

Major Mojo festivals such as A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, Woo Hah!, North Sea Jazz Festival, Down the Rabbit Hole and Pinkpop are all currently going on as planned once the ban is lifted.

Other Dutch festivals going ahead this summer include Mysteryland, FKP Scorpio’s Best Kept Secret and Defqon.1 Weekend Festival.

 


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ID&T Group announces management reshuffle

Electronic music giant ID&T Group has adopted a one-tier board structure for 2020, as the company’s former COO Ritty van Straalen succeeds Wouter Tavecchio as CEO.

Tavecchio, who founded hardcore promoter Q-Dance in 2000, became CEO of ID&T Group following a merger of the two companies in 2006. He now serves as the chairman of ID&T Group’s board of directors.

Ushered in on 1 January, the changes also see ID&T co-founder Duncan Stutterheim return to the company as a non-executive board member. Stutterheim founded ID&T in 1992, selling the business to the late Robert Sillerman’s SFX Entertainment in 2013.

Stutterheim comments that it is “the right moment to return to the group in a completely different capacity and support the new generation.”

In addition to his role as Q-Dance creative director, Jonas Schmidt joins ID&T Group’s management team as chief creative officer, completing the team along with Bastiaan Heuft, Martijn van Daalen, Michael Guntenaar and Rosanne Janmaat.

“With the new management team, we start 2020 with the strongest setup possible”

“It was a great honour to operate as the head of this dynamic company for almost 15 years and in good faith I am passing on the baton,” says Tavecchio. “With the new management team, we start 2020 with the strongest setup possible and are poised for a bright future for all the brands and people that are part of the ID&T group.”

CEO van Straalen adds that the changes allow the team to “guarantee the creativity of ID&T for the long-term future”.

The management shake-up follows December’s appointment of former Tomorrowland Brazil booker Edo van Duijn to director of music.

The ID&T Group includes the companies b2s, ID&T Events, Q-dance, Monumental (Awakenings), Air Events, Art of Dance and VD Events. ID&T organises approximately 80 events a year, including festivals such as Mysteryland, Amsterdam Open Air, Vunzige Deuntjes, Thunderdome, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival, Awakenings, Decibel Outdoor and Masters of Hardcore.

 


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ID&T appoints Edo van Duijn as music director

Electronic music promoter ID&T has named Edo van Duijn as its new music director, as the company prepares for a new series of global touring events in 2020.

Van Duijn, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, will lead the music team for curating and booking events across the ID&T portfolio, including flagship brands Mysteryland, Sensation, Welcome to the Future and Amsterdam Open Air.

The new ID&T music director has a long history with the promoter, which was formerly part of SFX Entertainment (now LiveStyle), having founded sister company Plus Network in Brazil and programmed festivals such as Tomorrowland Brazil and Electric Zoo São Paulo.

He also leads ID&T’s Headliner Entertainment team, which focuses on artist management and special projects centred around artist brand activations.

Over the last decade van Duijn has toured South America with the likes of Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Afrojack, Steve Angello, Axwell and Nicky Romero, and worked on brand collaborations with Samsung, Nike and Red Bull.

“Not only are our established brands performing exceptionally, but we’re now focused on creating new event experiences for our fans”

Van Duijn has also helped to launch the careers artists including DJ Marky, Bruno Martini and Alok and co-produced festivals such as Skolbeats and Nokia Trends.

“This is an exciting time to be part of the incredible music team at ID&T,” says van Duijn. “Not only are our established brands such as Mysteryland performing exceptionally, but we’re now focused on creating new event experiences for our fans and building stronger ties with the artist and agency community.”

ID&T’s COO, Ritty van Straalen, adds: “Edo is well known in this industry for his eye for talent and music, and has great relationships with the artists, agents and managers. For me it was a no-brainer to ask him back and guide ID&T to the next chapter in electronic music.”

Founded in 1992, ID&T organises around 80 events a year, attracting more than one million visitors annually. The ID&T Group includes the companies b2s, ID&T Events, Q-dance, Monumental (Awakenings), AIR and events such as Milkshake, Thunderdome, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival, Qlimax, Awakenings, Decibel Outdoors and Masters of Hardcore.

The ID&T Group also encompasses hard dance booking agencies Platinum Agency and Most Wanted DJ, as well as management agency Headliner Entertainment.

 


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Randy Phillips steps down as LiveStyle CEO

Randy Phillips, the man who helped to salvage SFX Entertainment post LiveStyle rebrand, is stepping down as the company’s chief executive, as first reported by Billboard.

Phillips will stay on at LiveStyle as a consultant to investors, as the company prepares to sell off several of its assets.

The former LiveStyle boss will now focus on managing US boy band Why Don’t We, whom he states “are really starting to take off”.

Phillips took over the running of Robert Sillerman-founded SFX Entertainment in early 2017. The company had become insolvent two years after launching and Phillips was brought onboard to turn it around as the company emerged from bankruptcy. He led the dance music behemoth, rebranded as LiveStyle, for three years.

In just one year, Phillips turned losses of US$30 million into earnings of $20m.

Randy Phillips, the man who helped to salvage SFX Entertainment post LiveStyle rebrand,  is stepping down as the company’s chief executive

“I was given my mission and I fulfilled my mission,” says Phillips. Under his leadership, LiveStyle sold assets including Paylogic to Vivendi and a minority stake in Rock in Rio to Live Nation and axed the US-leg of festival Mysteryland.

During Phillips’ tenure, LiveStyle made a number of high-profile hires, including Hard Events founder Gary Richards (president, North America), ex-Universal Music Group executive Chris Monaco (chief revenue officer) and NRG Productions founder Neil Ryan (senior vice president and head of North America production).

Prior to his work at LiveStyle, Phillips served as chief executive of AEG Live.

LiveStyle produces dance music festivals including Electric Zoo, Defqon.1 and Awakenings, operating through promoters and entertainment companies including Made Event and All My Friends in the United States, ID&T in the Netherlands and majority DEAG-owned I-Motion in Germany.

SFX founder Sillerman was recently charged with fraud in relation to his online publishing business, Function(x).

 


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Dutch EDM giants partner with TicketSwap

Amsterdam-based secondary ticket marketplace TicketSwap, which caps the price of resold tickets at 20% above face value, has won the backing of some of the Netherlands’ biggest electronic dance music (EDM) festivals and promoters.

ID&T/LiveStyle’s Mysteryland, Sensation, Thunderdome, Welcome to the Future and Amsterdam Open Air festivals, along with Monumental Productions’ Awakenings festival and EDM promoters Q-Dance, Air Events and b2s, are using the company’s Secure Swap platform, which automatically invalidates unwanted tickets and issues new ones personalised with the name of the secondary buyer.

“It’s amazing that’s the biggest Dutch festivals are all getting behind TicketSwap”

TicketSwap, founded in Amsterdam in 2012, is now active in 20 countries and has 1.5 million users worldwide.

“It’s amazing that the biggest Dutch festivals are all getting behind TicketSwap,” comments company co-founder Hans Ober. “This underlines that we are on the right track. It’s really a crowning achievement of our work and shows that we can eliminate ticket fraud and touting.”

 


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