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Ticketmaster partners with UK operator SivLive

Ticketmaster UK has formed an exclusive ticketing partnership with SivLive, the operator of the 13,500-capacity FlyDSA Arena Sheffield and other venues in the northeast of England.

The deal will see Ticketmaster introduce digital ticketing into SivLive’s venues, which in addition to FlyDSA Arena, formerly Sheffield Arena, include Sheffield City Hall (2,270-cap.l, Scarborough Spa (570-cap.) and Whitby Pavilion (380-cap.).

“Ticketmaster’s recent work in digital ticketing has been groundbreaking and exceeded expectations, so it is really exciting to partner with them,” comments SivLive head Dominic Stokes.

“This move will give us more control and give fans the best possible experience when entering our venues.”

“Ticketmaster’s recent work in digital ticketing has been groundbreaking and exceeded expectations, so it is really exciting to partner with them”

“It’s an honour to say we will be working with SivLive, further demonstrating our commitment to providing venues with the best possible ticketing technology,” says Ticketmaster UK MD, Andrew Parsons.

“We think mobile-first with everything we do, from how fans discover events through to digital entry and we’re looking forward to bringing that ethos to Sheffield’s most important and busiest venues.”

Ticketmaster has introduced digital ticketing technology at all Academy Music Group venues, including O2 Academy Brixton (5,000-cap.) and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (2,000-cap.) in London, and SMG Europe’s UK venues, now operated by ASM Global. Ticketmaster’s digital tickets were most recently used at festivals Citadel, Lovebox and SW4.


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TM UK records biggest weekend for digital tickets

The long weekend of 12–14 July was one of the biggest in recent memory for the Ticketmaster UK team, with more digital tickets processed at greenfield sites than at any time since the technology’s introduction.

A third of tickets at Trnsmt in Glasgow (Friday 12–Sunday 14 July) were mobile-only, and 100% of Ticketmaster tickets at Lovebox (12–13 July) and Citadel (14 July), held in Gunnersbury Park, London, were delivered to fans’ mobile phones.

Festivalgoers were reminded in advance to download tickets using the TM mobile app; for those that didn’t, wifi hotspots were set up in the queue so getting into the festival was as quick as possible.

A transfer function, meanwhile, enabled fans to pass tickets to the phones of other people in their party – every person needed their own individual downloaded ticket – meaning Ticketmaster and the festivals knew every person entering the site (rather than just the buyer), reducing ticket fraud while increasing in- and post-event marketing potential.

“Our team scanned more mobile tickets than ever before at events across the UK last weekend, with 100% of tickets at Lovebox and Citadel delivered to fan’s mobiles,” explains Andrew Parsons, managing director of Ticketmaster UK.

“It was a fantastic outcome for us and, most importantly, the fans”

“What we saw was the fast and frictionless entry of fans into the shows they love, along with a significant reduction in ticket fraud. A further benefit of mobile tickets is that we now know the individual attendees who walked through the festival gates, so we’ve increased our marketing potential even further.

“We’re in the business of happy fans, and it’s clear from a very successful weekend that mobile is the way forward.”

Rory Bett, CEO of Lovebox and Citadel promoter MAMA, adds: “This was our first foray into using mobile tickets at Lovebox and Citadel and we’re pleased to say it was huge success. It was one of the most effortless experiences we’ve had getting fans on site, and quick, too.

“Together with the Ticketmaster team it was a fantastic outcome for us and, most importantly, the fans. We’re now looking ahead to the rest of the festival season and beyond.”

Ticketmaster began rolling out SafeTix, its new anti-counterfeiting technology for digital tickets, in North America earlier this year.


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The Message: MAMA Festivals/Live Nation

The Message, in partnership with I AM POP, is a monthly insight into the latest direct message and Facebook Messenger marketing methods.

For this edition, Camella Agalbayan from MAMA Festivals describes how the company is using Messenger to market Lovebox Festival, among other events. (Read the last column, with Green House Group and End of the Road festival, here.)


Who are you, and what is your role in music marketing?
My name is Camella Agalbayan and I am senior marketing manager at Live Nation’s MAMA Festivals. I oversee the marketing and design team for Lovebox Festival and Citadel Festival, and I am also involved in Wilderness Festival and the Great Escape Festival.

Why did you start experimenting with direct-to-fan messaging? How does it fit in with your marketing strategy, and what lessons have you learned along the way?
We’re conscious as a company that our events are focused heavily on experience. We’ve always been a very dedicated team who aim to respond to as many emails and questions as we can. But as we grow as a company, it gets harder to have a one-to-one experience with every guest.

We felt the Messenger channel was a good place to filter the obvious questions, so we could spend more time taking care of special cases that demanded more attention. We’ve also used the Messenger channel as a way to incentivise our current audiences by giving them information before anybody else.

You used I AM POP’s tool to market the 2018 edition of Lovebox Festival. Could you tell us something about how you went about getting people to subscribe to the festival’s Messenger channel?
We were quite traditional in that sense – simply because we were still testing the efficacy of the channel, and we’re conscious we have a huge audience with high demands – so 2018 was very much a ‘beta’ version of how we’ll be marketing Lovebox Festival for 2019.

All our social content is paid, so we simply integrated this messaging through our content calendar. This way, we could track clicks, sign-ups and return from our posts.

“It’s a good way to filter out the noise”

How did you run your messaging campaign after that? How was it received?
I think people are much more aware about Messenger marketing on Facebook and its purpose, so it’s much easier nowadays to promote your Messenger channel. We’re not being much more playful with how it’s being used, necessarily. Instead, we’re focusing on how we can ensure people get the right information, as well as how we can use it as a marketing tool to increase brand loyalty and build our brand identity.

Can you share some stats from the campaign? How did the open rates and ticket sales do, for instance?
The open rates are amazing! The last broadcast we sent out regarding the Lovebox Festival line-up announcement had over 84% open rates. We make sure to ‘filter’ audiences on Messenger as much as possible, so people are aware about what they are signing up to. I think transparency is key, so you can forge a small community of loyal fans.

Direct-message marketing calls for a different approach to traditional marketing channels like social and email. What kind of approaches do you think work best for direct message marketing in the live music space?
We’ve always been very transparent with our messaging in general. We have really strong brands and create huge worlds in which our artwork, tone of voice and programming comes to life. It’s important to be consistent with that messaging, and we ensure that everything from our website to our newsletters to our communications in general all fit into the same world. With direct messaging you can definitely be more playful with how you reach out to the fan and make it more friendly, and less targeted around sales, specifically.

“A new strategy for us this year is to create small communities of fans within Lovebox that feel special”

Have you already started using direct-to-fan messaging to promote the 2019 edition of Lovebox? If so, how? And how are you planning to proceed?
Indeed we have. A new strategy for us this year is to create small communities of fans within Lovebox that feel special. We are working with a small Lovebox ‘squad’ (to be announced in April), for example, who will be involved in artwork, photography and design for the show.

With our Messenger channel, we want those fans to feel they have signed up to something that has a purpose, which is why we have decided to make sure they are always the first to be in the know before anyone else. Whether it’s dropping a poster, launching a merch line or access to afterparty ticket, our Messenger subscribers will be the first to hear about it!

Do you work on any other projects where Messenger marketing might prove useful?
Citadel is another festival I run. We intend to use Messenger this year, as we want to ensure people can get adequate information about the show easily.

We moved site last year and we tend to vary in audiences depending on the headliner, so it’s important for those new guests to know everything is there for them to explore.

Any final words of advice for other people wanting to get into direct-to-fan messaging?
I definitely think the Messenger channel has been a great add-on to our marketing campaign. It helps us keep things streamlined online and target the right people with the right information.

It’s a good way to filter out the noise when you have some guests that require specific attention, but can also be a really easy and playful tool that lets you have fun with your fans and enhance brand loyalty.


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Lovebox, Citadel to relocate to Gunnersbury Park

Despite both festivals confirming last November they would be moving to Brockwell Park in Brixton for 2018, Ealing and Hounslow councils today jointly announced they have reached an agreement with Mama parent Live Nation/Festival Republic for Lovebox and Citadel to instead relocate to Gunnersbury Park in west London.

Lovebox will take place on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 July, with Citadel following on Sunday 15 July 2018. Initial line-up announcements for both events are due next month.

The festivals’ planned move to Brockwell Park, first reported by IQ last October, was met with fierce opposition from locals, with residents’ association Friends of Brockwell Park complaining that the “small, urban park” does “not have not have the capacity to host such gigantic events. We oppose them utterly.”

Many local residents are also opposed to Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day festival moving to Brockwell Park, as is planned.

All three events previously took place in Victoria Park, in east London, but were forced to move after AEG agreed a five-year contract with Tower Hamlets council for exclusive use of the park.

“I have no doubt that this move for Lovebox and Citadel 2018 will be a great success”

Commenting on today’s news, Julian Bell, leader of Ealing council, says: “I am delighted to welcome the Lovebox and Citadel festivals to the borough this summer. Rightly recognised as among the very best anywhere across the capital and beyond, these festivals will boast acclaimed, international artists and a vibrant atmosphere for the many thousands of fans attending. It is a venue with an excellent record of hosting large public events, including the London Mela, which has attracted over 90,000 visitors in the past.

“Gunnersbury Park is currently undergoing a hugely positive transition which will see brand-new sports facilities and wonderful historical buildings opening their doors in the near future. Hosting these festivals is another huge boost for the park and it also underlines our reputation as a place to see great live events.”

“Gunnersbury Park has undergone a phenomenal transformation in recent years,” adds Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn, “and I have no doubt that this move for Lovebox and Citadel 2018 will be a great success.”


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London’s parks set for 2018 festival boom

London’s parklands and open spaces are gearing up for a huge 2018 festival summer, following a slate of new announcements – and with more events believed to be in the pipeline.

In the last 24 hours alone, AEG announced the launch of a new ten-day event, All Points East, following its securing a multi-year contract for exclusive use of Victoria Park in Bow, east London, for events, while rival Festival Republic revealed it is adding a headline show by Liam Gallagher to its programming for Finsbury Park next year, alongside the existing Wireless and Community Festivals.

AEG’s exclusivity on the 213-acre Victoria Park leaves at least three festivals by other promoters without a home for 2018, with Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day already confirming it will be “upping sticks” for an as-yet-unannounced location elsewhere in London.

Both Field Day and Live Nation/Mama’s Lovebox and Citadel festivals are rumoured to be decamping to Brockwell Park in Brixton, south London, in 2018, where they would share the 26-acre space with indie events such as Sunfall Festival and Gala Brixton.

In addition to Wireless, Community and Liam Gallagher’s As You Were, Festival Republic has applied to Haringey Council for permission to stage a “music event” with a daily capacity of 20,000 from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 May. (A spokesperson for the promoter declined to comment.)

Festival Republic has applied for permission to stage a “music event” with a daily capacity of 20,000 from 4–6 May

Also in Finsbury Park, council minutes reveal Slammin’ Events plans to reprise its Southport Weekender/Tranz-mission and Hospitality/Abode in the Park events in 2018, with the festivals pencilled in for 9–10 June and 22–23 September.

Back in south London, meanwhile, Lambeth Council has given permission for an “unprecedented” 110 event days on Clapham Common in future, paving the way for new events to join the likes of SW4, Let’s Rock and Madness’s House of Common, while Crosstown Concerts has confirmed OnBlackheath will return to the park of the same name next year following a successful debut event this summer.

Finally, in Hyde Park – a grade I-listed, 350-acre royal park in Westminster, and London’s most famous – AEG has exclusive rights to produce festivals until at least 2019. And with almost half a million people attending its flagship British Summer Time event in 2017 alone, don’t bet against that relationship lasting well into the 2020s…

After IQ revealed in September that London is by far Europe’s leading city for live music, and the third biggest in the world, mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the city’s “incredible nightlife” and called London a “powerhouse for music”.


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Security co. ‘sending stewards with fake badges’ to UK fests

A Welsh event security firm is under investigation by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) for allegedly supplying unlicensed stewards to several British music festivals.

Lee Szuchnik, of Barry-based LS Armour Security, has advertised for security staff for several festivals this summer, including Glastonbury Festival, Shindig Weekender in Bruton, Somerset, and Mutiny Festival in Portsmouth. The company has also been recruiting for stewards for Liverpool International Music Festival and Lewes Live Festival later this month.

(LS also put out an ad for stewards to join “team of 48” for last weekend’s Citadel, in Victoria Park, east London, although a spokesperson for promoter Mama has clarified the company was not involved in the festival.)

In a letter sent to festival promoters, security companies and industry associations, SIA deputy director Ed Bateman reveals the company been accused of using fraudulent badges at a number of UK festivals.

“The SIA is investigating event security provider LS Armour Security Ltd of Barry, South Wales, following allegations that the company supplied unlicensed operatives using fraudulent (cloned) SIA badges at festivals in the United Kingdom,” says Bateman. “The badges displayed a genuine name and licence number but a photograph of the unlicensed bearer.

“We are aware that LS Armour Security Ltd have contracted to supply SIA licensed staff and stewards to events and festivals throughout July and August, mostly as a subcontractor or labour provider. We understand that LS Armour Security Ltd have been deploying correctly licensed staff alongside the cloned badges, so events or festival organisers should not necessarily assume that an existing contract with the south Wales company will fail to deliver licensed staff.

“We understand that LS Armour Security Ltd have been deploying correctly licensed staff alongside the cloned badges”

“The SIA will be contacting organisers of events and festivals known to be using LS Armour Security Ltd and will work with them and to ensure that operatives are correctly licensed.”

Any event which has hired, or security company which has contracted, LS-supplied staff is being advised to check the register of SIA licence-holders at

“The SIA understand that at this time of year event organisers and primary contractors may struggle to recruit sufficient SIA licensed staff and frequently have to resort to extensive subcontracting,” continues Bateman. :This provides opportunity to rogue providers that, with appropriate checks by organisers and primary contractors, can be largely mitigated.

“If SIA licensed staff arrive on site and are unknown to you, you must take all reasonable steps to ensure the person named on and in possession of the licence are the same person by requiring them to provide further evidence of identity. This will mitigate the risk of the cloned licence.”

LS Armour Security was founded by Szuchnik (the “LS”) and Peter Valaitis, the latter of which has several active appointments as director of a property company, a Bristol ‘forest school’ and an IT consultancy, according to Companies House. As of 14 June, it has one director, Erica Lloyd.


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