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The Great Escape ramps up for ‘historic’ comeback

UK showcase festival and convention The Great Escape (TGE) will return to its in-person format for the first time in two years.

TGE 2022 is set to take place next week (11–14 May) in venues across the seaside city of Brighton, with around 3,500 music industry professionals in attendance.

This year’s edition will showcase 500 emerging artists from all over the world including Baby Queen, Muna, Lynks, Moa Moa, Let’s Eat Grandma and Cassyette.

Running alongside the showcases will be a three-strand conference jointly presented by CMU, which focuses on education, data and video.

“After a two-year absence due to Covid, The Great Escape has been straining at the leash to get back to Brighton to bring the best new music from around the world into the light,” says Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals.

“Artists have had the gift of time during covid to really engage with their creativity. The 500 stunning bands programmed across 60 indoor venues and outdoor spaces this year, will have some very special and surprising work to perform.”

“Our conference programme seeks to tackle the key issues and questions facing the industry and we will attempt to examine them thoroughly from many different and world authority perspectives. Discovery and networking are always at the heart of TGE and with the current sense of building excitement for the show, mixed with a weather forecast of 21 degrees and a sunny, we plan to come back with a Great Escape for the history books.”

The music + education conference will take place on the first day of the 2022 event, with music educators, music development organisations and the music industry coming together to discuss the best ways to nurture early-career music-makers on and off stage.

“[We’ve] has been straining at the leash to bring the best new music from around the world into the light”

Day two will see the music and data conference, which will put the spotlight on all the ways data now drives success in the music business – from ticketing to marketing and music discovery to streaming.

Finally, the music and video conference will give an overview of how video can be a revenue generator for artists, songwriters and the wider music industry.

CMU and TGE are also presenting a series of keynote in-conversations with guests including music PR legend Barbara Charone, who will be talking through the highlights and key moments of her career in the music industry ahead of the publication of her memoir ‘Access All Areas: A Backstage Pass Through 50 Years Of Music And Culture’.

MP and culture select committee member Kevin Brennan and musician and #BrokenRecord founder Tom Gray will also be in conversation.

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran’s legal team will be discussing the recent headline-grabbing court battle over the star’s hit ‘Shape Of You’.

Organisers of the event also confirmed Ireland as lead country partner, Music Support as the charity partner and music school BIMM as the education partner.

Delegate passes for TGE are still available and can be bought here.


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How audience insights are improving the fan experience

With restrictions on events gradually coming to an end and shows and festivals restarting across much of the world, promoters and venues are finally getting back to business after a year-and-a-half-long shutdown unprecedented in the history of the concert business.

Also getting ready for a return to something approaching normality are the clever companies behind the software and hardware solutions that help concert businesses learn more about their audiences before, during, and after their events – many of which have used the enforced hibernation of the coronavirus period to tinker with, finesse, and add new functionalities to their already feature-rich products, they tell IQ.

Pascal de Mul, CEO of Exit Live, explains that his company is filling the space left by the decline of physical media to provide fans with a digital souvenir of their favourite shows.

“Live music recordings used to be a major release platform, but streaming has refocused the industry and the fans on studio recordings. Today, there are no good places to find quality live recordings,” he says

“The CD at the door and the bootleg cassettes are gone, with nothing to replace them.

OnePlan is a festival planning platform that enables teams, partners, and stakeholders to plan events in one system

“We created a platform that is 100% focused on celebrating the best audio recordings of live music, and have done it with a passion for the artist first. Performers and songwriters are in control, receive 70% of all proceeds, and can receive this immediately through our ‘pay me now’ button.

“Once a transaction is made, the funds are available immediately. Artists do not have to wait to be remunerated; they can be rewarded instantly. We believe the artist deserves full control and that is our ethos.”

OnePlan, says CEO Paul Foster, provides analytics on fan engagement at the time of ticket purchase, connecting to a venue’s ticketing platform via its Venue Twin solution.

“OnePlan is a collaborative festival planning platform that enables teams, partners, and all stakeholders to plan their events in one system,” he explains. “It’s centimetre-accurate and easy to use, with all the infrastructure and objects you need, plus real-time event analytics.”

OnePlan “seamlessly connects with our hyper-realistic, interactive 3D platform, Venue Twin, including the most advanced 3D SeatView when buying tickets.”

“Festivals have till now been planned in non-specialist tools, with screenshots of maps emailed back and forth. OnePlan massively simplifies and improves the event planning process,” he adds “ensuring your team and stakeholders all have one single source-of-truth for the entire festival and any scenario.

“Venue Twin’s hyper-realistic digital twins of the venue can be used for operational planning”

“Venue Twin is a game-changer for stadiums and arenas, with incredible hyper-realistic digital twins of the venue that can be used for operational planning, customer walk-throughs from any angle, easy-to-change signage and branding and more. It even enables light and sound production planning for concerts.”

“Given Exit Live is a global platform, any artist utilising our tool will be able to see where in the world fans are most likely to buy an audio recording,” says De Mul, outlining Exit Live’s audience insight capabilities.

“Even beyond this, an artist will be able to judge pricing structures to sell audio live show recordings by measuring the success of the sell-through of shows. This can help to boost sales whereby the pricing to fans will be agreed at a point that works for everyone.

“Also, over time, as artists upload more and more live show recordings, more data will be received, which will showcase which shows were most popular with fans. Again, this will help to inform any future decision to promote any historical shows in a different way.”

Zack Sabban, president of Festicket and subsidiary Event Genius, identifies a number of Event Genius solutions, including egMarketing, egTicketing, egTravel and egPay, that he says will help “to build strong and clear profiles of fans throughout the life cycle of the events that they attend.”

“A greater understanding of customers’ spending habits can help venues and promoters to deliver a better fan experience”

“Perhaps the most fruitful area for audience insights comes via our cashless solution, offering venues, event organisers and promoters, access to a wealth of data usually reserved for the big banks,” he says.

“Putting this data in the hands of venues and promoters is very powerful; our cashless offering is as much about delivering a better fan experience as it is about regaining ownership of data and insight that promoters and venue owners can usually never gain access to.

“By offering a greater understanding of customers’ spending habits, we can help venues and promoters to deliver a better fan experience, using data to build different profiles of customers – favourite products, food, drink, merchandise, etc – to ascertain how to best serve these audiences and adapt accordingly, as well as offering insights into which customers are the biggest spenders and those that offer the greatest value.

“All of this data across the fan experience, from discovery through to on-the-day purchases, offers the opportunity to engage with audiences in new and creative ways before, during, and after events, via rewards, incentives, gamification and more.”

Festicket’s ticketing and travel businesses, meanwhile, “can help to build a picture of the audience for an event, whether that’s through traditional demographics like age or gender, or more detailed insights into where fans are travelling from the split between domestic and international audiences; and even the preferences and budgets when it comes to VIP tickets, accommodation options, and extras. We can also offer insights into spending behaviours in terms of what proportion of fans make use of payment plans to spread the cost of their booking over instalments,” says Sabban.

“Viberate breaks down fans by accurately pinpointing where they come from, what age they are, and what gender they are”

ComeTogether’s ticketing solution uses crypto- currency-like blockchain technology to give event organisers complete control over a ticket and its life cycle. It also offers tickets as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), with other concert content, such as video and augmented-reality (AR) experiences, also available in the in-vogue collectible format.

With ComeTogether, event organisers are able to “conduct targeted marketing for future events and to better understand the demographics of attendees,” says ComeTogether’s CMO, Claudia Bacco.

“All information is tracked in accordance with GDPR and information can be anonymised as needed. Examples of details that can be provided include who used the ticket to attend the event; the type of ticket purchased; where they sat; whether the ticket was purchased in the primary or secondary market and how much they paid for it; and if they purchased a group of tickets this information would be linked to show who joined as a group.”

Viberate monitors all major social, streaming and other music channels – including radio, Spotify, Beatport, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud and Twitter – and uses the data to determine how each music artist is performing online, and how they rank in popularity compared to other similar artists.

“We measure [the artists’] fanbase growth and engagement for each of those channels through time, so it’s easy for anyone to track their promotional and growth efforts in one place,” comments Vasja Veber, Viberate co-founder and business development director. “We go even deeper into breaking down fans by accurately pinpointing where they come from – by country and city – what age they are, and what gender they are.

OnePlan is used by over 2,000 events in 50 countries, including music festivals in the UK and US

“One major thing is that we listened to the artists and labels and really focused our efforts building extensive analytics for Spotify, radio and Beatport, and we can say that we managed to do that – we really covered everything.”

He adds, “All this information is very useful when artists or their teams want to promote new releases and other ventures, assess past gigs and promotional activities, or look for specific cities that have the most potential for future gigs.”

Despite its focus on recorded/streaming music channels, Veber says Viberate has been affected by restrictions on concerts during the pandemic. “The live music industry was hit hard, and since events and festivals were a big chunk of our business, we had to adapt quickly.

“Now, with things slowly picking up, we’re happy to notice that a lot of music professionals have turned to data and tech in general to help them navigate their online presence.

“The music business has always been notoriously slow at adopting tech solutions, but the adoption and use of analytics has now leapt forward by at least five years.”

Foster says OnePlan, which is used by over 2,000 events in 50 countries, including music festivals in the UK and US, has also seen increased demand for its solutions as promoters sought to minimise travel after March 2020.

“[Event Genius] invested heavily in unmanned top-up stations, contactless payments, and contactless ticket scanning”

“The global pandemic has made it much more difficult for promoters to visit venues for site visits,” he explains. “Venue Twin provides perfectly realistic virtual site visits, massively reducing the need to travel and significantly cutting costs.”

OnePlan, Foster adds, has also developed a “social distancing toolkit” that event organisers can use to plan the flow of attendees, including with automated calculations for entrance and exit.”

Sabban explains that Event Genius spent its pandemic downtime “evaluat[ing] our offering in light of the lasting changes that Covid-19 will inevitably have on the live events industry.

“We made a series of innovations to our services to make sure we had a completely Covid-ready solution for event organisers. Things like reduced contact between staff and eventgoers suddenly became a huge part of an event experience, so we invested heavily in things like unmanned top-up stations, contactless payments, and self-scan contactless ticket and wristband scanning.

“We wanted to make sure we were able to reassure fans and staff that they were attending an event that felt safe. We developed time-slot-specific tickets to help maintain social distancing and improve attendee flow, while also making sure promoters could be fully [contact tracing] compliant with us.”

ComeTogether has the “ability to have a single digital ticketing solution that also supports health access control and NFTs”

For ComeTogether, coronavirus lockdowns were initially “a complete halt to our business,” according to Bacco, with the company undergoing a “short-term pivot to focus on the development of Covid-19 certificates to support health access control based on our blockchain engine. This solution was made available as a standalone app, and also combined with the main digital ticketing app.

“As the industry started to reopen, we [found ourselves] ahead of solutions that don’t offer as many options to implement this functionality.”

What makes ComeTogether unique, she adds, is the “ability to have a single digital ticketing solution that also supports health access control and NFT collectibles through a single app. The app can be provided as a white-label solution to promote individual branding, and NFT solutions can be customised to the event, audience or topic.”

De Mul says that the shutdown, despite the proliferation of live-streamed events, underlined the importance of live shows for both performers and fans.

“What the pandemic has shown us is that live shows are very important to artists and the music industry. As an artist, it is within the live show where a real connection with the fan is made,” he comments. “This cannot be replicated in any other format.

Viberate is “in the final stages of launching a personalised professional feed that will deliver unique information”

“With the return of live music, we are excited to support artists and share content with fans and audiences once again.”

Having “worked with thousands of partners across more than 50 countries,” including festivals such as Coachella, Tomorrowland, Mad Cool, Afro Nation and Rolling Loud, and promoters like AEG and Untitled Group, Festicket and Event Genius are now looking at other business areas, including striking agreements with artists directly, says Sabban.

“Because our platform is versatile we’re always looking to explore other verticals, and we’re currently working on deals with some globally renowned artists, so being a part of more global tours like these is something we’d definitely like to do more of,” he explains. “There’s also scope for events that aren’t music-based: seasonal events, attractions and the like.”

Viberate, which is currently offering a 30-day free trial of its fully featured Viberate Premium service, is “in the final stages of launching a personalised professional feed that will deliver unique and up-to-date information for every single registered user,” reveals Veber.

“Apart from the feed feature, we’re currently working on adding several other features to the platform, such as TikTok Analytics, Facebook Analytics, the most comprehensive YouTube analytics available, as well as the data export feature,” he adds. “We expect to roll everything out in the coming months.”

“Be open to new ways of using technology you have already built, and be open to expanding beyond your initial target market”

“The main lesson learned” over the past 18 months by the team at ComeTogether, which prior to the pandemic had provided its solution to 14 events in Greece, is “to always stay flexible. Be open to new ways of using technology you have already built, and be open to expanding beyond your initial target market,” says Bacco.

De Mul, meanwhile, is looking forward to the return of live music, as well as new audio technologies that will enable fans to hear live recordings in a higher quality than possible before: “New digital technology, spatial audio and HD-quality [sound] all contribute to the intensity and intimacy” of the recordings, he says.

“Never before has technology allowed so many fans to get so close to their idols. Fans wanting to relive those incredible live music experiences will truly benefit from Exit Live, and will do so in the assurance that their artists will receive a fair deal.” Ultimately, he concludes, “there is nothing like the energy of live music. In person, or as a recording, hearing an artist or band at their creative peak is exciting and exhilarating like nothing else.”


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1/3 of Italians book tickets for post-corona shows

In news that bodes well for the immediate future of the Italian live industry, nearly a third of live music fans have already bought, or are planning to buy, tickets for their first post-lockdown concerts, new research suggests.

Dopo l’Intervallo (After the Interval), based on the results of a survey of over 32,000 Italian eventgoers between 27 May and 19 June, reveals that 30.5% of respondents are actively seeking to buy tickets for shows – nearly double the number in the UK (17%), where the first After the Interval survey was conducted on 16 April–6 May.

“Italy is considered to be 2–4 weeks ahead of the UK in their experience of Covid-19. Could these results give us an idea of how our cultural audiences might be feeling in 6–8 weeks?” asks Indigo, the consultancy behind both surveys.

Italy’s concert scene reopened for business earlier this month, with phase three of the easing of lockdown seeing indoor shows of up to 200 people and outdoor events of up to 1,000 people allowed from 15 June. Some 90% of bars and restaurants are now open, though the live industry continues to wait for news on major gatherings such as large concerts and festivals.

“[Italians] consider it an integral part of their culture … to participate in music events and live shows”

The Italian version of After the Interval – produced by Indigo for Teatro Stabile del FVG, with input from live music associations such as Assomusica and KeepOn Live – additionally reveals a huge 96% of Italian respondents said they have missed live events during the Covid-19 pandemic (73% of them “a lot”), and that nearly a quarter (23%) would return to an event “as soon as venues reopen”.

However, of the 30.5% of those who are actively booking tickets, around half of them are booking for events after November 2020, indicating there will likely not be a full-scale recovery until 2021.

Vincenzo Spera, president of promoters’ association Assomusica, says the survey results are testament to the importance the Italian public places on live events. “We can take comfort and confidence”, he explains, in the fact Italian audiences consider it an “integral part of their culture […] to participate in music events and live shows.”

Italy is the world’s sixth-largest music market, with US$635m in ticket sales in 2019, according to PwC.


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Why live music can’t ignore data in a digital world

With over 25 years’ experience behind him, Crowd Connected’s founder and CEO, James Cobb, is well placed to assess how live music is reacting to the challenges of a digital-first world.

The driving force behind Crowd Connected’s multi-award winning software – described more than once as “Google analytics for live events” – Cobb talks to IQ about the seismic changes he’s seen in the attitude of festivals and venues towards new technology over the past five years, and how the pacesetters in the live music industry are increasingly embracing data to compete with digital.


IQ: Crowd Connected is now well established when it comes to enabling live events to benefit from data. But how did Crowd Connected come into existence?
JC: I started in live music in 1994 , working for Paul Walden and Derek Nicol at the Flying Music company. Ten years later, I found myself working with Hugh Phillimore on the very first Cornbury Music Festival.

As a self-confessed data “geek” it frustrated me how little insight we had once the gates had opened. Pre-event I could analyse the post codes of previous ticket-buyers, and use that to predict ticket sales and target marketing spend. But once fans were on site the approach seemed to be cross your fingers… and fire-fight.

That frustration stayed with me and became even stronger as I started designing festival sites and stadium configurations. Where was the data on how people moved around?

So I set up Crowd Connected. Live Nation had teamed up with Innovate UK to look for innovative digital solutions to improve the festivalgoer experience. We entered and won the competition. Our first deployment was Wireless Festival in 2014.

As a self-confessed data “geek” it frustrated me how little insight we had once the gates had opened

What exactly does Crowd Connected do?
Crowd Connected delivers three things: real-time situational awareness, personalised audience communication and audience movement analytics.

In a nutshell, we enable live events and venues to better monitor, measure and engage with the audience.

We’re used by events of all types beyond live music. But we first established ourselves with festivals, who quickly begun using our technology in really creative ways.

Often, that’s to enhance the festivalgoer experience. Sometimes even before they are on site. One US festival in 2019 could see huge traffic jams building up on the way into the festival, using our live heatmaps. So they used our targeted notification platform to send them all a festival playlist to keep them in a positive frame of mind.

Another festival – this time in the UK – was also alerted to traffic issues during ingress, through using our heatmaps. They reported this to the Highways Agency who were a little confused as to how someone had better intelligence than they did.

We’ve had events use our data to support licensing applications; to report footfall figures to sponsors; to analyse which artists are getting the largest audiences; or to evaluate which facilities are being over and under-utilised.

Once you have situational awareness across (and beyond) your entire venue, and you have the means to talk to very specific groups in your audience, you start managing live events in a completely new way.

Once you have situational awareness across (and beyond) your entire venue, you start managing live events in a completely new way

How does Crowd Connected get the data?
We integrate into the official mobile app for the festival, venue or show. Event fans come with their smartphone, expecting a first-rate digital experience to complement the physical joy of the live event. For a big event like a festival, that’s £20m+ of hardware.

Today’s smartphones can provide step-by-step tracking throughout the duration of the event. We take this data plus some smart algorithms to produce a single, accurate journey around the event site for each app user that’s granted permission.

So, while we don’t develop apps ourselves, we work with all the major app developers.

So what’s changed over the last five years?
We’ve seen a huge change in the attitude towards technology.

I remember in the early days approaching a leading UK festival. I was told there was no point talking to them. They believed in an organic and thoroughly non-digital live experience. Data was viewed as a dirty word.

That festival is now a Crowd Connected client, seeing real value from the situational awareness and analytics tools they now have. And it hasn’t spoilt the festivalgoer experience. It’s improving it.

That illustrates that you can’t compete with digital if you don’t embrace data. This has now dawned on pretty much the entire live industry.

You can’t compete with digital if you don’t embrace data – this has now dawned on pretty much the entire live industry

Who’s using Crowd Connected?
We can mention some names, but not others. If our clients don’t want us to disclose that we work for them, then, of course, we won’t. That can be a bit frustrating sometimes, but we’re a privacy-first company. Privacy and security of user data, and confidentiality for our customers.

The big companies – Live Nation and AEG – were early adopters. Leading festivals like Coachella have worked with us since the very beginning. Many renowned independents use us too, for example Roskilde.

Over the past couple of years we’ve worked with hundreds of festivals and venues across the globe. I think we’ve got to the point where major events are thinking they can’t afford not to – at the very least – consider the value of this kind of technology.

What’s next for Crowd Connected?
One focus for 2020 is to make sure smaller festival teams get real value from our technology. Maybe they don’t have the in-house personnel or technical expertise that the big players have. But that shouldn’t matter. We want them to use digital tools and data like ours to help take the live music experience forward in the 2020s.

So we’ll continue to innovate. We’ll continue to listen to our customers, to develop new features. As smartphones get ever smarter, our mission is to help live event promoters do the same.


Want to promote your business or service with a sponsored news story? Contact Archie Carmichael by emailing [email protected] for more information.

Festivalgoers’ data for sale in latest email scam

Email marketers are offering to sell lists of festival attendee data to music business professionals, in the latest suspected email scam to target the live industry.

IQ has learnt that alleged fraudsters have offered to sell the data of attendees to “many events across Europe”, including Norway’s Øya Festival and the UK’s Tramlines, to booking agencies and record labels.

The majority of the emails, all sharing the same format, come from several email addresses traced by IQ to one Vikram H, operating from an apartment block in Bangalore, India. If one takes Vikram up on his offer, respondents are directed to a company registered anonymously in Arizona. None of the people involved responded to multiple requests for comment.

The alleged scam entails offering music businesses the opportunity to purchase attendees’ full names, email addresses, job titles, complete mailing addresses and phone numbers.

“My guess is that they either don’t have the information they claim to have, or they have nicked the info from our Facebook event somehow”

It is suggested that the data, which is supposed collected from “permission-based, double opt in contacts”, compliant with the new GDPR regulations, be used for “pre-show and post-show marketing campaigns, appointment setting and networking”. It is unclear whether said individuals are actually in possession of the information.

A list of data for 25,127 Øya attendees is priced at US$298. The number is a small proportion of the more than 100,000 visitors expected at this year’s festival – which takes place from 6 to 10 August – but was “very much the same number” as those attending on Øya’s Facebook event at the time of the quotation, says the festival’s chief executive, Tonje Kaada.

“They claim to have gathered the data from surveys, and that all the contacts have agreed to receive emails and calls from third-party companies,” Kaada tells IQ. “My guess is that they either don’t have the information they claim to have, or they have nicked the info from our Facebook event somehow.”

The live music industry has seen several similar scams in recent months. In June, Asian promoters received emails from fraudsters posing as agents of high-profile acts. A scam also targeted artists, with bogus UK festival directors offering acts non-existent headline slots.


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Data that drives ticket sales: Music to a marketer’s ears

With live performances accounting for the largest portion of an artist’s income, it’s no wonder that selling tickets is high on their priorities list.

In the digital music era, listeners are prioritising experiences with their favourite artists. But while other industries have committed to data-driven marketing techniques, there’s been a disconnect between the data collected via ticketing platforms and an event manager’s ability to use the data to drive ticket sales. These platforms are built for facilitating sales, not customer relationship management (CRM).

It’s the data collected on ticket buyers – from demographic information, to merchandise purchases, to past ticket purchases – that holds the secret to personalising marketing efforts to increase ticket sales.

In fact, a personalised fan experience is expected by concertgoers. An artist’s biggest fans want to be recognised for their commitment with limited-edition merchandise and meet and greets to stay engaged with an artist performance after performance. It is only through the careful analysis of fan data that these super-fans can be identified and given the special treatment that will encourage ticket sales for years to come.

With the right tools and marketing strategies, artists and event managers can get more concert and event tickets into the hands of fans.

The goal is to collect as much data as possible on past and potential concertgoers


Data integration tools
First and foremost, a robust data integration tool is required to take the data captured via a ticketing platform and integrate it into the tools used to automate sales and marketing processes. Because ticketing platforms were never intended to be CRM tools, more often than not, the most basic information that could personalise an artist or event manager’s marketing campaigns, like birthdates, geographic information and past ticket and merchandise purchases, are only available within the ticketing platform.

The proper data integration tool should remove the manual work that is the current standard for connecting ticketing platform data to a marketing campaign. Data on demographics, attendance, purchases and more should regularly and automatically update as ticket purchases are made.

Customer relationship management
 Just as important as the data integration tool is the CRM that it’s integrated into. This is the tool that is most important to a ticket seller’s marketing journey – though it can’t function properly without the data integration tool it’s paired with. A CRM should allow for the development of marketing initiatives in tools like Marketing Cloud, Pardot, HubSpot, Eloqua or Marketo and automatically send emails and text messages, as well as target customers with social media ads.

Ticketing platforms were never intended to be CRM tools


With the proper data integration and CRM tools in place, data-based marketing strategies can be put in place. The goal is to collect as much data as possible on past and potential concertgoers in order to use that information to personalise outreach ahead of an event.

Begin by using previously collected information
When an event attendee purchases a ticket online, it is likely that they have already submitted key information like their email address, phone number and address. They also have given information on the area they are likely to attend in a concert in. Using this data, automatic marketing campaigns can be targeted to fans that are likely interested in seeing the artist again.

Move merchandise ahead of the concert
Merchandise sales are a reliable indicator of a strong relationship between a fan and an artist. Fans who go to an artist’s website to purchase merchandise will likely be interested in joining the artist’s mailing list for insider information ahead of a tour. Take this mailing list a step further by collecting data on those willing to buy merchandise ahead of an event. This data can then be used to retarget an artist’s biggest fans with early-bird access to tickets, meet and greets and more.

Offer preferred access to previous concertgoers
Using the data collected within a ticketing platform, past ticket purchases can be viewed, evaluated for patterns and used for personalised campaigns. By leveraging already available data, an artist or event manager can offer personalised messages to those who meet certain criteria.

Of course, an artist’s most loyal fans deserve special attention when possible. Using attendance data, it is easy to identify committed fans and offer them an unforgettable experience. This data can also be used to identify not-so-committed fans and reengage them with the artist – securing ticket sales for this event and increasing likelihood of purchase of another ticket in the future.

Leverage social media
Any marketer worth their salt understands the value of a robust social media strategy ahead of an event. Targeting social media ads to those who already like and follow an artist is obvious, but lookalike ads can be created to target new fans.

A Facebook event for the concert can help target fans in the area of the event. Creating a robust mailing list can also help identify the accounts of fans and reach them on their social media channels, in addition to appearing in their inbox. With emails receiving only a 20% open rate, the more channels used to engage with fans, the better.

An artist’s most loyal fans deserve special attention when possible

Once the hurdle of connecting data to a CRM and marketing tools is overcome, data-based strategies are much easier to implement.

By personalising outreach to an artist’s biggest fans, potential new fans and touching them through as many mediums as possible, the gold mine that is ticketing data can be fully realised.


Jon Robinson is the president of Lunar, a Salesforce consulting and SaaS product development company that automates and integrates technology to get more out of its clients’ existing sales and marketing. A Ticketmaster Nexus partner, Lunar uses its product TicketBeam to integrate Archtics and Salesforce to help the entertainment industry visualise and take action off of customer data without having to leave the Salesforce environment.

GDPR, mailing lists and the live business

The data generated by digital platforms such as Spotify provides musicians with valuable insights into their fans’ locations and behaviour. Fortunately, much of the data provided by third-party platforms is anonymised, which means it generally falls outside data protection legislation.

However, bands, promoters and booking agents routinely collect contact details and other personal data relating to their fans and customers, which falls squarely within the remit of the legislation.

There is a legal requirement when collecting, using and storing personal data to inform the data subjects about what data you are collecting and what you will be doing with it. This doesn’t just apply to companies; bands and musicians acting in the course of business also have this obligation (there are exemptions, and you should visit your local information commissioner’s office website to find out more).

This is usually done via a privacy policy, which should be tailored to your specific uses of the data you collect. If you have a website, it is good practice to have a link to your privacy policy on your website.

If you’re planning to share personal data with a third party, such as between a band and a promoter, it’s important to establish a legal basis

So, if you receive an email from a fan asking for information about a forthcoming tour, can you add their email address to your database and start sending them marketing material? The simple answer is no, you can’t.

Individuals usually have to give explicit consent to their personal data being used for marketing purposes. However, you can reply to the fan, answer their question and ask if they want to join your mailing list. If they agree, you are free to market to them, but remember to make a record of their consent, and ensure that your marketing emails include simple instructions to help the recipient locate your privacy information and opt out of the emails.

If you’re planning to share personal data with a third party, such as between a band and a promoter, it’s important to establish a legal basis for this transfer to take place. This should be set out in your privacy policy. Data protection is a tricky area, and care should be taken not to breach the legislation.

Rob Eakins can be reached on +44 161 358 0280 or [email protected]


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Ticketmaster launches SafeTix for digital tickets

Ticketing giant Ticketmaster has launched SafeTix, adding anti-counterfeiting features to digital tickets and providing event owners with more data about event attendees.

The SafeTix feature issues buyers with a unique, identifiable digital ticket. The tickets are tied to each fan’s mobile phone through an encrypted barcode that automatically refreshes, preventing the use of screenshots to duplicate tickets.

The tickets also include near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow attendees to enter venues with a “tap and go” experience.

Fans can sell or transfer tickets to a friend’s mobile number or email address. A new digital ticket is tied to the recipient’s account and phone each time a ticket is transferred or sold, making the journey of each issued ticket visible to organisers.

This visibility provides event organisers with more data on each individual fan attending their event, rather than just that of the original ticket purchaser. Organisers can communicate directly with attendees, providing fans with venue- or event-specific information and personalised food, drink and merchandise offerings.

“SafeTix will allow fans to arrive at a show or game with confidence that their tickets are always 100% authentic”

“Given that a new ticket is issued every time there is a transfer or sale, event owners have the ability to develop a unique relationship with each fan, leading to in-venue personalisation and future communication while increasing their known fanbase,” says Justin Burleigh, chief product officer of Ticketmaster, North America.

“SafeTix will allow fans to arrive at a show or game with confidence that their tickets are always 100% authentic and will dramatically reduce the amount of ticket fraud event owners are dealing with on event day.”

SafeTix will be used across NFL stadiums for the 2019 season and for a variety of touring artists. It will be available at additional participating venues in the future.

Later this year, fans will also be able to add contactless tickets to Apple Wallet, allowing them to enter venues easily and securely using their iPhone or Apple Watch. Tickets are automatically selected when a customer holds their iPhone near the ticket reader, using proximity-based technology.

Apple and Ticketmaster unveiled the integration this month during the opening keynote at Transact, the world’s premiere FinTech conference.

Ticketmaster acquired blockchain-ticketing service Upgraded in October 2018.


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Ticketmaster in £5m lawsuit over UK data breach

A British law firm has launched a £5 million law suit against Ticketmaster following a security breach in June last year, which may have affected up to 40,000 users of the ticketing service in the UK.

Widnes law firm Hayes Connor issued its claim at the High Court in Liverpool on Wednesday (3 April) on behalf of over 650 claimants. The company is pursuing damages of up to $5m (US$6.5m), saying many claimants “suffered multiple fraudulent transactions” and a third endured “significant stress”.

Ticketmaster UK confirmed it had identified a major security breach on its systems on 23 June 2018. The breach was caused by malicious software on a third-party customer support product hosted by Inbenta Technologies. Ticketmaster immediately disabled the product across its platforms.

The following month, cyber-security firm RiskIQ warned the TM hack was the “tip of the iceberg”, noting that the Ibenta plug-in also ran on hundreds of other ecommerce sites.

Data, including personal information and payment and login details, is believed to have been stolen. Ticketmaster has not confirmed how many customers were affected.

“More than two thirds of our clients have suffered multiple fraudulent transactions since the serious data breach”

The breach was announced after the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect.

Digital, mobile-only bank Monzo claims to have spotted the breach months earlier, notifying Ticketmaster to the security breach on 12 April.

“Ticketmaster failed to action the breach until two months after it was alerted to the fact by digital bank Monzo,” says Kingsley Hayes, managing director of Hayes Connor Solicitors.

“More than two thirds of our clients have suffered multiple fraudulent transactions since the serious data breach with the remainder still at risk of having their money stolen or their details used for fraudulent activity in the future,” adds Hayes.

Investigations into the security breach by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and National Crime Agency (NCA), along with officers from the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), are ongoing.


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Audience profiling: monetisation beyond the ticket

Year on year, millions of fans happily pay to see their favourite bands and attend their favourite festivals. The challenge for artists and promoters alike is that in many cases they have no clue who the majority of their fans are. Even for those they do know, there is no insight into what they value or how much they are willing to pay to access various products or experiences.

Creating this insight requires the collection of quality audience data and the refinement of that data into clusters of people who have similar artist interest, affluence, life stage, digital fluency and other relating factors.

Festyvent’s touring and festival apps are a key pillar for the collecting of this kind of quality audience data, which when combined with ticket data, mailing lists and RFID data, forms the raw material for the Festyvent data refinery and produces audience insight.

This audience insight removes the guesswork and enables the creation of successful acquisition, retention and cross-selling campaigns, as well as simplifying event planning and improving conversions when pitching for brand activations. Moreover, it also provides insight into artist popularity outside of the headliners, which is invaluable for future line up curation and can be an advantage when negotiating artist fees.

“The ability to view an audience at the individual level is increasingly important to reflect the variations in interests, spending power and channel use,” states Festyvent founder David Jacobs, who presented on the new technology panel at this year’s ILMC.

“The ability to view an audience at the individual level is increasingly important to reflect the variations in interests, spending power and channel use”

“You wouldn’t target recently employed millennials with the same campaign as their 50-something parents. So, while they may live in the same house, Festyvent’s apps and data refinery ensure that the messages they’re sent and the channels that they receive are relevant,” explains Jacobs.

In a recent case study, Festyvent looked at the audience composition of a UK festival to demonstrate the value of audience segmentation. Four axes were used to profile the audience: life stage (young adults, families, empty nesters and retirees), affluence (high, medium, low), digital awareness (from always online to seldom connected) and age group (18 – 70), with the objective of reaching a better understanding of the core audience at the event.

The organisers had expected a crowd of young, not very affluent attendees. Based on this assumption, they had only offered basic camping facilities, provided no fine food options and had partnered with a lower-end beverage brand as their primary corporate sponsor.

Festyvent’s analysis showed that the audience was much older but, more importantly, much more affluent than expected. Even the segment of young adults scored higher on the affluence measure than anticipated. As a result, the festival left money on the table as there was nothing the audience could spend their money on, no glamping, no premium brand food and beverage and no designated VIP zones.

The case study shows that to push monetisation beyond the ticket; the event organiser has to understand the make-up of their audience to ensure that the relevant products, services and brand activations are on offer, when and where the public is willing to spend their money.