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Onsales pushed back as Ticketfly remains offline

More than 24 hours after their shutdown following a cyberattack, Ticketfly’s systems and website remain offline, forcing partners to push back onsales or migrate to parent company Eventbrite.

Washington DC-based IMP Productions, which operates the 9:30 club (1,200-cap.), the Anthem (6,000-cap.) and the Lincoln Theatre (1,225-cap.), has four show onsales scheduled for today – Florence and the Machine/Beth Ditto, Eric Hutchinson/Jeremy Messersmith, Garbage and the Bentzen Ball – all of which have been pushed back a week. In a statement, the company thanks both Ticketfly, which is “working hard to securely restore its ticketing system”, and customers, for their “continued patience through these ongoing issues”.

Also affected is Chicago’s Jam Productions, as well as a host of venues, including Colorado’s Fox Theatre (500-cap.), New York’s Birdland Jazz Club (200-cap.), Vermont’s Higher Ground Music (900-cap.) and the Chameleon Club (1,000-cap.) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, all of whose Ticketfly-powered websites are down. Jam’s Friday onsales are being processed by Eventbrite.

Ticketfly.com has been down since yesterday afternoon, after coming under attack from a hacker or hacking group identifying themselves as ‘IsHaKdZ’.

‘IsHaKdZ’ replaced the website’s homepage with a picture of a figure in a Guy Fawkes mask – the V for Vendetta style, as adopted by hacking collective Anonymous – and provided a link to 4,283 CSV spreadsheets, which it suggested contained the personal information of thousands of Ticketfly ‘members’, or customers (screenshot below).

Ticketfly members CSVs

The company confirmed this morning that client and customer data was compromised in the attack, although the severity of the breach is not yet known.

The timing of the hack is especially sensitive, coming just a week after the implementation of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which compels all companies – even those outside the EU, but which hold data on EU citizens – to ensure “an appropriate level of security” to protect data from theft or destruction.

A person close to the situation says, since Ticketfly administrators are still “examining the extent of what’s happened”, it’s too early to say if any European customers have been affected by the breach – although it’s a possibility.

“It’s a forensic investigation. They’re dealing with huge amounts of data”

“Ticketfly is only really active in North America,” they tell IQ, “but it’s completely possible that, say, someone on holiday in Miami bought a ticket to see a show. If that data was then compromised, that would of course affect GDPR.”

Another source says the internal investigation into the attack is proceeding with “forensic” precision. “They’ve taken it very seriously,” they say. “It’s a forensic investigation. They’re dealing with huge amounts of data.”

At press time, there are conflicting reports as to the hackers’ demands – according to CNET, ‘IsHaKdZ’ had previously demanded one bitcoin (currently worth around US$7,500) to fix a security exploit in Ticketfly.com’s code, and downed the site when the ransom was not paid.

The attacker claims to have obtained also Ticketfly’s ‘backstage’ database, which is believed to contain client, rather than customer, information.


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Pandora hails live/streaming synergy with Jam deal

Ticketfly has become the official ticketing provider for three Chicago venues owned by Jam Productions, the US’s largest independent concert promoter.

Is it the second major signing for the fast-growing ticket outlet in as many months: in late April the company, owned by internet radio/streaming service Pandora, lured The Bowery Presents’ Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge away from Ticketmaster.

In addition to taking over ticketing duties for the 2,500-capacity Riviera Theatre, 1,400-capacity Vic Theatre and 900-capacity Park West, Ticketfly will handle “select Jam events throughout the midwest”. (Upcoming Jam shows include Adele at the United Center, Alabama Shakes at the Aragon Ballroom and Wilco at Hall’s Island.)

The three venues previously had a partnership with Etix.

Ticketfly’s other Chicago clients include venues Reggies, The Hideout, Subterranean and Beat Kitchen and festivals Pitchfork Music Festival and Riot Fest.

“We’re making an aggressive move upstream into larger venues and promoters… we’re going after the incumbents, hard

The ticketer now has a presence in America’s three major ‘music cities’ – Chicago, New York and Los Angeles – and Ticketfly’s Rachel Durfee says the company is “making an aggressive move upstream into larger venues and promoters… we’re going after the incumbents, hard.”

Ticketfly also added 48 new venues and promoters to its Canadian roster in January with the acquisition of ticketing system developer TicketBreak.

“Each new deal is further validation that bringing live and streaming music together under one roof is a win-win-win for fans, artists, and promoters,” says Sara Clemens, Pandora’s chief operating officer. “We’re helping venues and promoters book the right talent, promote their events, and build their brand and audience – ultimately helping them to sell more tickets and make more fans happy.”

Despite outwardly going from strength to strength, there are signs that all is not well at Pandora: its stock has been on a downward slide since 2014, and many are questioning whether its spending plans are sustainable. Last month its biggest investor, Corvex Management, said Pandora is “pursuing a costly and uncertain business plan, without a thorough evaluation of all shareholder value-maximising alternatives” and criticised what it called “questionable capital allocation decisions”.


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