Ticketmaster enables event organisers to issue NFTs
Event organisers who sell live events tickets on Ticketmaster now have the ability to issue NFTs (non-fungible tokens) before, during and after live events.
According to the ticketing giant, the new digital feature provides fans with the opportunity to extend their live event experience through digital keepsakes that can be shared online or activated to access unique loyalty rewards, VIP engagement opportunities and more.
To mint these collectable NFTs, Ticketmaster has partnered with Flow, a blockchain operated by Dapper Labs which is known for enabling web3 experiences related to fantasy sports and gaming.
“Event organisers who choose to offer fans an NFT with their ticket have a real opportunity to make this new technology relevant and relatable at scale,” says Brendan Lynch, Ticketmaster EVP of enterprise & revenue. “This is why we are partnering with Flow, because their blockchain is custom-built for fan engagement and frictionless consumer experiences.”
“Flow’s blockchain is custom-built for fan engagement and frictionless consumer experiences”
“Our partnership with Ticketmaster will enable millions of live event fans to immortalise, share and enhance their IRL experiences through digital collectables,” says Mickey Maher, SVP partnerships of Dapper Labs. “Ticketmaster has quickly become a leader in this space, so we’re excited to support their work in empowering event organisers to deliver even greater value to fans through the benefits of blockchain.”
Ticketmaster previously utilised Flow to distribute more than 70,000 one-of-one virtual commemorative ticket NFTs at Super Bowl LVI with each attendee’s unique seat location on the NFT itself.
For the 2022 season, the NFL (National Football League, US) will offer NFTs minted on Flow to every attendee at more than 100 select games, including at least three home games from all 32 clubs.
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Wembley Stadium announces TIXNGO partnership
London’s Wembley Stadium has announced a partnership with blockchain mobile ticketing firm TIXNGO.
The 90,000-cap national stadium will deliver secure digital tickets through a new Wembley-branded ticket wallet, powered by TIXNGO. Using blockchain technology, TIXNGO creates a unique, encrypted ticket for smartphones that is verified, removing the risk of counterfeit tickets.
Wembley ticket holders will be able to securely download, transfer, keep, or assign a ticket to a guest at any point through the wallet.
The venue’s extensive 2022 live music programme kicks off next month with Capital’s Summertime Ball on 12 June, followed by shows with Harry Styles (18-19 June), Ed Sheeran (24-25, 29-30 June, 1 July), Westlife (6 August) and Coldplay (12-13, 16-17, 19-20 August).
“Integrated ticketing with the wider digital ecosystem has become a critical part of achieving a stadium’s digital ambitions”
“We wanted a cutting edge secure mobile solution which could service all of our different types of events, both sporting and non-sporting ones,” says Paul Smyth, Wembley Stadium’s head of event operations. “TIXNGO provides us with exactly this, creating a safe and seamless ticketing experience for all fans.”
TIXNGO is already used at select venues across Europe including the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam and the Stade de France in Paris.
David Hornby, TIXNGO UK MD, adds: “Integrating ticketing with the wider digital ecosystem has become a critical part of achieving a stadium’s digital ambitions. We are excited to work with Paul, his team and Wembley’s other technology partners to deliver a next generation fan experience for all those visiting this most iconic of stadiums.”
Wembley recently became the UK’s first music venue to launch two multi-purpose sensory rooms to better accommodate neuro-divergent guests and their families.
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The Ticket Factory unveils Secutix partnership
The NEC Group’s ticketing business The Ticket Factory has announced a 100% mobile ticketing solution as part of a new strategic partnership with technology-led provider Secutix.
The move will see Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena – two of NEC Group’s leading venues – become the first arenas in the UK to introduce blockchain mobile ticketing technology.
The new service, branded the Ticket Factory Wallet, is powered by Secutix’s mobile blockchain ticketing solution TIXNGO – will see The Ticket Factory significantly reduce its use of paper tickets to create more eco-friendly and sustainable events. The new solution also offers enhanced security measures for customers to safely store, transfer, sell or buy digital tickets.
“Our new, fully-integrated mobile ticketing system is a massive step towards revolutionising the user experience for our fans across the UK,” says Richard Howle, director of ticketing at The Ticket Factory. “By partnering with Secutix and adopting a digital-first approach, we’ll be able to get to know our audiences better, improve the customer journey and deliver more sustainable events.”
Howle will chair ILMC’s annual ticketing panel – Ticketing: All change please! – on Thursday, 28 April.
“This partnership marks the first time a UK arena group has adopted mobile blockchain ticketing across all its venues”
“As one of the leading national ticketing agents, being agile and flexible to our clients’ needs is incredibly important, so we’re proud to have moved quickly and efficiently to introduce such transformational change that will deliver real value to organisers and promoters alike,” he adds.
By digitising its audience, the new Wallet will allow The Ticket Factory to become increasingly data-led, providing it with deeper insights into the behaviour of ticket buyers across the UK. It made its official debut for sold-out shows by Royal Blood and Sam Fender at Utilita Arena Birmingham over the weekend.
“We’re looking forward to working with Richard and his team,” adds Andy Duckworth, Secutix senior sales manager. “This partnership marks the first time a UK arena group has adopted mobile blockchain ticketing across all its venues. Their fans will now experience a simpler and more secure way to receive, share and use their tickets.
“A solution that works for both fans and live event organisers, we’re delighted to be working with our partners at The Ticket Factory to bring this to life.”
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Tomorrowland partners with global crypto exchange
Belgium’s biggest festival Tomorrowland is partnering with leading global cryptocurrency exchange FTX Europe to “make the leap into web3 and NFTs”.
According to Tomorrowland, the partnership will explore a variety of applications of Web3 and blockchain technology including NFTs for art, music, and ticketing, events in the metaverse, and cryptocurrency payments.
The partnership will kick off with an activation called The Quest by FTX, which will allow Tomorrowland Winter festival attendees to collect the first 1,500 NFTs of a 6,500 collection and earn a unique experience.
There will be five locations hidden throughout the mountains that festivalgoers will have to find and then scan their event bracelet for entry, with 250 winners selected each day of Tomorrowland Winter. These tickets entitle 1,500 attendees access to exclusive concerts held at a secret location over three nights.
“The evolution to web3 opens a lot of possibilities for our endless imagination”
Tomorrowland Winter will take place in the Alpe d’Huez ski area between 19–26 March 2022.
Michiel Beers, founder of Tomorrowland, says: “Since day one it’s within the DNA of Tomorrowland to never stop pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation, to create the most unique experiences and important moments for our global community, The People of Tomorrow. The evolution to web3 opens a lot of possibilities for our endless imagination and also the opportunity to tighten the bonds of our community in the coming years.”
Some 600,000 visitors are expected at this year’s Tomorrowland in Belgium, after tickets completely sold out just 30 minutes after the on-sale.
The marquee festival will take place in De Schorre park in Boom, Antwerp, during three weekends rather than its usual two.
The 16th edition of the Belgian festival will take place this year from 15–17 July, 22–24 July and 29–31 July and will feature more than 700 different artists spread over fourteen stages.
WMG to create ‘music-themed world’ in Sandbox metaverse
Warner Music Group (WMG) is to create the first music-themed world in The Sandbox gaming metaverse, following a deal between the two companies.
The Sandbox, which is built around blockchain and NFT (non-fungible token) technology, has been described as “part virtual real estate, part amusement park”.
According to WMG, its virtual ‘Land’ within The Sandbox will be a “combination of musical theme park and concert venue” and will host concerts and musical experiences featuring its roster of artists.
These immersive experiences “will empower WMG artists to engage with their fans, as well as to reach the global community of The Sandbox”, in addition to generating “new revenue streams and new forms of virtual entertainment”.
The strategic partnership marks The Sandbox’s first deal with a major music company and what WMG says is its “first entry into the NFT metaverse realm”.
“WMG has secured the equivalent of beachfront property in the metaverse”
To mark the occasion, The Sandbox will hold a Land sale in March 2022, which will allow music fans to buy coveted Lands adjacent to the WMG property.
“Our partnership with The Sandbox adds a new layer of possibility in the metaverse, with the ownership of virtual real estate,” says Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer & EVP, business development at WMG. “As a first-mover, WMG has secured the equivalent of beachfront property in the metaverse. On the Land, we’ll develop persistent, immersive social music experiences that defy real-world limitations and allow our artists and their fans to engage like never before.”
Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, added: “We’re shaping The Sandbox as a fun entertainment destination where creators, fans, and players can enjoy first-of-a-kind immersive experiences and be more closely connected to their favourite musical artists through NFTs. This strategic partnership with WMG brings the open metaverse one step forward in the direction of fan-owned and community-driven initiatives – the possibilities are very exciting.”
WMG joins over 200 existing partnerships including The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, and CryptoKitties.
The Sandbox, which is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, raised US$93 million in a Series B funding round, last November.
Yourticketprovider moves into NFT ticketing
Yourticketprovider, one of the Netherlands’ leading ticketing platforms, will integrate a new NFT (non-fungible token) ticketing product called Digital Twin.
Launched by blockchain ticketing innovator, GET Protocol, the product will allow Yourticketprovider to create an NFT copy of every ticket issued without extensive integration or interruption to their usual business.
“Thanks to this unique integration with the GET Protocol we will help organisers to enter, explore and monetise the many opportunities of this new online space using NFTs, for example, a more secure secondary market, pre-funding events and selling digital merchandise,” says Bart Peute, CEO of Yourticketprovider.
“Also to a visitor a ticket is much more than a barcode and we now support the full visitor journey and experience offline and online.”
Maarten Bloemers, CEO of GET Protocol, added: ‘We are thrilled with this move, as we are looking to develop the NFT ticketing use case as widely and thoroughly as possible.
“YTP will help organisers to enter, explore and monetise the many opportunities of this new online space using NFTs”
“In Yourticketprovider we have a great initial partner for the Digital Twin product, showing that they are open to innovation. That’s a mindset we are hoping to come across more and more, as we show the world what a ticket is capable of.”
Founded in 2012, Yourticketprovider currently sells around 2 million tickets per year. The CM.com-backed platform sells tickets for major festival organisers such as Loveland events, the Zoo events and Kwaku Summer festivals.
Yourticketprovider is the first platform to integrate with Digital Twin, which was designed for existing ticketing companies who want to break into the NFT ticketing space.
GET Protocol has been issuing and optimising blockchain-registered tickets since 2016, helping to eliminate scalping, the monetisation of the secondary market and the possibilities of using tickets as digital collectables.
Read more about the possibilities of NFT ticketing here.
NFTs: Umek to sell rights to live show as a token
Music analytics and data platform Viberate will tomorrrow be the first company to test the concept of a ‘live event NFT’ by selling the rights to a live performance as a non-fungible token.
The upcoming NFT ‘drop’ – ie the release, and subsequent auction, of the blockchain-based tokens – will start on 29 April at 8pm UK time (3pm EST) and run for 24 hours. Focusing on the work of techno DJ Umek, the drop will see buyers bid for rights one of three remixes of Umek’s 1999 hit ‘Lanicor‘, a livestreamed concert, or an in-person live performance.
Bidding for the livestream NFT begins at US$2,500, with the concert NFT starting at $5,000.
“We’re excited about NFTs and blockchain technology in general, as it really opens up new opportunities for artists and organisers to create transparent and secure bookings,” says Vasja Veber, Viberate co-founder and Umek’s manager.
“We hope to prove a concept with our NFT drop”
“The industry’s been in a sort of limbo this past year. As there are no live events, the artists try to make do by streaming their performances, but there’s no clear answer as to when and how things will return to normal – or even what ‘normal’ will mean by then.
“We hope to prove a concept with our NFT drop – any artist can make sure they’ll have a booking waiting for them once live gigs are back in the picture, and the terms of that booking are agreed upon in advance.”
If the concept proves successful, Viberate plans to provide its blockchain-based verification and token-minting services to the hundreds of thousands of artists in its database.
The NFT boom has so far seen artists offer VIP tickets, digital art and collectible albums in the format, though the Viberate event, in partnership with Blockparty, is the first to leverage the technology for booking artists.
Finding gold in the glitter – how NFTs are going to impact ticketing
A recent discovery was made in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that drew the attention of anyone in the vicinity: a hill was found to contain 98% gold in its soil. As can be expected after such a find, anyone within travelling distance with a shovel or fingernails has feverishly been digging away at the mountain, trying to extract its riches.
A video from the Republic of the Congo documents the biggest surprise for some villagers in this country, as an entire mountain filled with gold was discovered!
They dig the soil inside the gold deposits and take them to their homes in order to wash the dirt& extract the gold. pic.twitter.com/i4UMq94cEh
— Ahmad Algohbary (@AhmadAlgohbary) March 2, 2021
It’s not too difficult to draw a comparison between this mountain and the recent NFT hype.
If you have been consuming any type of media, social or other, chances are you will have heard the term ‘NFT’ several dozen times over the last few weeks. From Kings of Leon releasing their album as an NFT to sports mogul Ted Leonsis naming the benefits of NFTs in sports to digital artist Beeple auctioning off an NFT artwork for $69 million through esteemed auction house Christie’s.
Needless to say, there is a lot of hype around those three letters right now, as everyone begins sticking their shovels into this newly discovered mountain of gold. There seems to be no end to what it can provide; common dirt clusters are suddenly invaluable gems.
“NFT ticketing is a use case worth taking very seriously”
The obvious counter-response to a new trend that seems to be making everyone and their mother ridiculous amounts of money without any significant friction is to question its legitimacy.
However, simply dismissing NFTs as a fad or a money-grab would be a wasted opportunity. There is indeed merit to it, especially as its application and use cases are developed and fine-tuned.
For everyone in the entertainment industry, and especially the ticketing business, reading up on the possibilities and potential implementations of NFTs should be required homework.
Just an idea. There will be countless more from smart people in our industry. Innovation on digital platforms will be the big story of the economic comeback. Make dust— or eat dust.https://t.co/10JgS2Fgss
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) March 16, 2021
I’ll explain why we’ve been working on an NFT ticketing approach over the past year at GET Protocol, and how we see it shaping the future of events.
But first, some basics. What is an NFT?
“The term is short for non-fungible token and, in plain English, refers to a small digital file – such as a drawing, a short video clip or even a tweet – that has been registered as one of a kind, or one of a limited batch, using blockchain software.” — Decrypt
Over the past few months NFTs have proven themselves useful in allowing digital content creators to take ownership over their craft and content. An artist now no longer relies on intermediaries such as agents, galleries or publishers to get their work in the hands of their (potential) fans.
While the headlines are filled with astronomical bidding wars and overnight millionaires, there’s a lot more to it than hot shot auctions and digital art, where most of the hype has originated from thus far.
“Dismissing NFTs as a fad or a money-grab would be a wasted opportunity”
NFT ticketing is a use case worth taking very seriously. When applied correctly, it enables ticket issuers a variety of benefits that impact and drastically improve the ticketing experience. Both for the fan and the organizer or artist.
Here are three benefits of NFT tickets we are embracing and will be offering to the ticketing companies using GET Protocol. Feel free to copy, tweak or critique them at your own discretion.
A. Perpetual revenue
Since NFT tickets are programmable, it is possible to introduce a built-in ‘royalty split’ for any resale on the secondary market. Profit sharing can be tweaked to the liking of the ticket issuer and written into the smart contract code.
Finally, those who actually deliver the value can profit from secondary ticket sales, instead of greedy touts or resale platforms. All without any need for complicated accounting or external parties.
B. Tickets as collectibles
This might seem gimmicky, but the sentimental experience of fandom should not be overlooked. Think of a digitised version of sticking the ticket to an unforgettable night on your refrigerator, only with way more possibilities to maximise the memories and cultivate a longstanding connection with a fan.
As NFTs, tickets can turn into proof-of-attendance badges (we are partnering with POAP for this purpose) which can be shown off online and even traded. It can also allow you to find and reward your diehard fans who go to every show, for example by sending exclusive content to those fans in possession of a previously issued ticket. The possibilities and variations here are limitless.
C. Pre-financing of future events
We are working on a ‘DeFi’ (decentralised finance – don’t worry, we’ll save that for another blog) approach that will allow event organisers to use their ticket inventory as collateral. This will enable organisers to offer up their (NFT) tickets for investment prior to making any organisational costs.
This type of crowdfund investing can help organisers mitigate (part of) the risk of setting up a new event. Especially in a post-Covid world, this can be a welcome change. Read more about this functionality here.
If you want to know more about the technical workings of our NFT ticketing approach, I highly recommend this blog: Tokenizing the right of entry — Using NFTs to solve ticket scalping.
Of course, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. As with all new developments there are certain doubts and downsides being propagated which are worth mentioning briefly.
The two major counter-arguments heard right now are:
- “It’s a bubble.” Certainly not every artwork is going to be sold for 69m dollars, nor is every initiative currently being founded and funded going to make a difference in the world. If you are looking to make a quick buck by speculating on NFT artworks, there is an ever-increasing chance that you might be too late and will end up taking a loss. However, if you approach the innovations that are taking place with a curious perspective, you will uncover ‘game-changer’ elements in many shapes and sizes.
- “It’s bad for the environment.” The most (loud) opposing voices use this argument to disqualify NFTs outright. While excessive energy consumption certainly is a factor worth monitoring and combating, there seems to be a lot of misinformation and confusion fuelling this particular train of thought. On top of that, there are several eco-friendly NFT initiatives already out there, and many more on the way. If you want to get a somewhat balanced sense of what this discussion entails, here are two recommendations: #1, #2.
Humble advice: Be critical – but don’t miss out by being a boomer. 😉
As NFT applications mature we will begin to see where the longevity lies and how impactful the newly uncovered innovations are going to be. There will undoubtedly be growing pains and challenges along the way, but all signs indicate that the road ahead is worth the trouble.
As long as you look close enough, there’s gold to be found for everyone.
Olivier Biggs is a marketeer at GET Protocol and GUTS Tickets. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to get in touch via the GET Protocol website or follow the company’s developments on Twitter.
Sick Festivals: 300+ events now affected by coronavirus
With the coronavirus forcing festival cancellations on a daily basis, music data start-up Viberate has launched Sick Festivals, a list of some 5,000 music festivals, updated daily, tracking which events are on, which are postponed and which have been cancelled altogether.
Slovenia-based Viberate has, at the time of writing, identified 141 cancelled and 185 postponed festivals. The data is sourced from artists, venues, events and festivals featured in Viberate’s blockchain-based music industry database, which the company hopes will become the ‘IMDb of music’.
The idea for Sick Festivals came when one of the company’s founders, techno DJ Uroš Umek (aka DJ Umek), started receiving a slew of festival cancellations, he explains: “Just a week ago, I played on the Resistance stage at Ultra in Melbourne and Sydney, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. When I landed back home and turned my phone back on, most of my upcoming gigs had already disappeared from my calendar.
“That was when I realised how serious this outbreak had become in a matter of days. It feels eerily dystopian.
“It’s up to us to do whatever we can to manage the damage”
“Now it’s up to us to do whatever we can to manage the damage. At Viberate, we quickly put together a service that we hope will help people see what’s going on with the festival they had been planning to visit, and shed a light onto industry professionals’ income loss, which is no laughing matter.”
In addition to listing festivals’ current statuses, Sick Festivals allows fans to express their disappointment at cancellations/postponements, demonstrated by a sad-face emoji next to the festival’s entry. (At press time, Coachella had 19,175 sad faces, some 5,000 more than Ultra Miami and 9,000 more than Glastonbury.)
Viberate, one of the first wave of music-focused cryptocurrencies, started out as an Airbnb-like service which promised to cut out the agency middle man and connect unsigned musicians (who would be paid in Viberate’s native crypto, the vibe) with a database of those who might want to book them.
Nearly three years on, its creators are focused on building blockchain-powered database that maps the entire live music business, including artists, music venues, booking agencies, festivals and other music events.
Amsterdam’s GUTS Tickets sets up shop in Korea
The team behind Dutch blockchain ticketing platform GUTS Tickets is launching getTicket, a new ticketing company based in South Korea.
Working together with local partners, GUTS is bringing its anti-tout and anti-fraud ticketing technology to Asia. GetTicket is ready to sell its first tickets, with GUTS stating that “multiple big events” are already lined up.
Founded in 2016, GUTS uses the blockchain-based GET Protocol to register all transactions, allowing organisers to track each ticket bought, alerting them to duplication or above-face-value resale. All ticket bought through GUTS are registered to the buyer’s mobile phone.
Put simply, says the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, “GUTS has come up with a technology that prevents unwanted third parties intervening in the ecosystem between event organiser and the end consumer.”
“Our mission of becoming the worldwide standard for digital ticketing is nowhere near to complete”
The company has broken multiple blockchain ticketing records, most recently powering the sale for two 35,000-capacity shows by pop star Guus Meeuwis at the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven. GUTS is the official ticketing partner of Dutch festival Oerrock.
GetTicket is GUTS’ first venture outside of the Netherlands.
“Over the 3.5 years since we sold our first ticket, the team has put forth a world-class achievement,” says Maarten Bloemers, founder of GUTS Tickets.
“The fact that we are now getting recognition on a global scale makes me incredibly proud. However, our mission of becoming the worldwide standard for digital ticketing is nowhere near to complete. We won’t rest until we get there.”
Companies in over 40 countries worldwide have shown interest in using GUTS’ white label ticketing solution. Following the launch of getTicket, the company plans on launching its technology in other markets.