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Ticketmaster Oz & NZ makes senior appointments

Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand has made a series of leadership changes.

Maria O’Connor – who has served as managing director of Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand for the last 28 years – has been promoted to chairman of the company, with Gavin Taylor, former CEO of the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC), hired as her managing director for Australia.

O’Connor joined Ticketmaster in 1983, when the company operated as BASS (Best Available Seating Service) under the Victorian government. As chairman, she will continue to be responsible for her long-term industry relationships and look for opportunities to grow Ticketmaster’s business in the region.

Mark Yovich, Ticketmaster’s new global president, comments: “Under the leadership of Maria O’Connor, Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand has thrived and become the region’s leading ticketing company. O’Connor’s extensive knowledge and understanding of the ticketing and live event industries will continue to be an invaluable asset to our senior leadership team.”

Taylor, who moves into his new role in January, has 15 years’ experience in live events and ticketing, serving as general manager of Perth Stadium Management prior to joining the WAFC. He is “a welcome addition to the Ticketmaster family,” says Yovich, who praises “his impressive track record of success will undoubtedly have a great impact on our business.

“At such a crucial time for us, Gavin’s knowledge and experience will help guide our teams on the road back to live, while remaining focused on Ticketmaster’s growth and leadership within the industry.”

“Ticketmaster will play such an important part in reconnecting venues and artists with their loyal fans”

Elsewhere, Jim Kotsonis, who has been with the company since 2001 and most recently served as finance and operations director, will move to the newly created position of executive vice-president of Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand, and Julian Pule becomes managing director of Ticketmaster New Zealand.

Harley Evans continues as managing director of Moshtix Australia and New Zealand, which Ticketmaster acquired last year.

Taylor, Pule and Evans all report into Kotsonis in the new structure.

In other appointments, Susie Kyrou, formerly of ad-tech giant Rokt, has been hired as general manager of data and insights at Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand, while Anjelica Devoe becomes head of business development for Moshtix.

Commenting on his new role, Taylor says: “I’m very excited to be joining Ticketmaster, a company I have worked closely with throughout my career and one I genuinely believe in – both the product and the people. In this role, I’ll be focused on supporting the business and the wider live entertainment industry in Australia as we forge the path to reopening.

“Ticketmaster will play such an important part in reconnecting venues and artists with their loyal fans, and I look forward to playing a part in supporting and delivering these fan experiences.”

Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand clients include Frontier Touring, Spark Arena, Auckland Live, Marriner Group, Marvel Stadium, Tennis Australia, the All Blacks and the Australian Football League.

 


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Australian PM advises ban on events over 500-cap.

Updated 18/3/20: Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announces a ban on “non-essential” indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, including “social activities and entertainment”, effective immediately.

 


The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has advised against all “non-essential” mass gatherings of over 500 people, effective from Monday (16 March).

The announcement follows yesterday’s statement from organisers of Australian festival Byron Bay Bluesfest that the event was to go ahead as planned.

A statement released by the Bluesfest team reads: “We are now awaiting the official requirement from Federal and State authorities on Monday and will update you at that time.” Updated (16 March): Bluesfest executive chairman Peter Noble today issued a statement cancelling the festival, saying “it is obvious we will not be on this Easter. We are heartbroken as we believe we were presenting one of the best ever bills of talent for you.”

Leading Australian promoters Frontier Touring an Chugg Entertainment today issued a statement that “a number of concerts will no longer be able to proceed as scheduled”, including shows by Jimmy Eat World, Marc Rebillet, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert and Seaforth.

“Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment are presently working with all artist teams to determine if dates can be rescheduled to late 2020 or early 2021,” reads the statement.

“For ticketholders, tickets will remain valid for rescheduled dates and they will be notified directly as soon as details of new dates are confirmed. Where concerts cannot be rescheduled a full refund will be available for all tickets purchased through official ticketing agencies.”

The promoters note that concerts by New Order, Gengahr and Julia Jacklin will proceed as scheduled over the weekend.

“Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment are presently working with all artist teams to determine if dates can be rescheduled to late 2020 or early 2021”

In Melbourne, Robbie Williams’ upcoming concert as part of TEG Dainty, Apollo World Touring and Westbrook Inc.’s World Tour series has also been called off, along with the Australian Grand Prix. The concert was to take place at the Lakeside Stadium within the Grand Prix racetrack on Saturday.

“We appreciate that this is very disappointing news for the fans due to attend the show and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and will be contacted by Ticketek shortly,” reads a statement from World Tour Melbourne and TEG Dainty.

The news follows the cancellation of Miley Cyrus’ World Tour Bushfire Relief show at the same venue earlier this week.

The Australian editions of Download Festival, set to take place in Sydney and Melbourne on 20 and 21 March, have also been cancelled.

Headliners My Chemical Romance pulled out of headline appearances at the festivals, as well as all other performances in Australia and New Zealand today, “given the current global situation”. The band have also cancelled upcoming tour dates in Japan.

“Given that this announcement has come barely eight days prior to Download Australia we will not be able to secure an alternative headliner as there is insufficient time to secure visas and arrange the other relevant logistics that are required prior to the festival,” reads a statement from organisers.

“As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020″

“As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up to meet the standard that Download fans both expect and deserve, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020.”

The team says it is working with My Chemical Romance and fellow headliners Deftones “to schedule separate headline shows in Australia in 2020”, as well as with other Download acts to arrange “headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne next week”.

All ticketholders will receive a full refund via Moshtix.

In the wake of event cancellations, the Australian live performance industry has called on the government to supply a stimulus plan to support the business in the event of significant loss of trade.

“We believe it’s possible to design measures that are targeted, scalable and temporary in terms of their budgetary impact, and which could be lifted once the current public health crisis is resolved,” comments Live Performance Australia chief executive, Evelyn Richardson.

Read insurance brokers advice on navigating coronavirus-related event cancellations here.

The financials of a pandemic: Brokers talk coronavirus

 


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SITG sells record 50k tickets for 20th anniversary

Australia’s Splendour in the Grass festival celebrated its largest ever ticket sale today (27 February), with fans clearing out all 50,000 tickets under an hour.

The festival has sold four times as many tickets for its 20th edition than it did for its inaugural event in 2001. This year’s festival is the biggest ever, marking a 7,500 capacity increase from last year.

The Strokes, Flume and Tyler the Creator are heading up the festival from 24 to 26 July, which will also feature performances from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Midnight Oil, Denzel Curry and more.

“The response to our 20th edition of Splendour in The Grass has been phenomenal,” says event producer Jessica Ducrou. “We know many people are doing it tough in our local communities at the moment and we’re grateful for the opportunity to bring people together in Byron through the uniting power of music.”

New South Wales is one of the regions most affected by the Australian bushfires, which have been raging through the country since September.

“We never would have thought when we produced our first edition of Splendour back in 2001 that it would resonate and mean so much to so many people 20 years later”

“We never would have thought when we produced our first edition of Splendour back in 2001 that it would resonate and mean so much to so many people 20 years later.”

Harley Evans, managing director of Splendour’s ticketing partner Moshtix, comments: “It’s been Moshtix’s great privilege to be involved in this wonderful event for so many years and the incredible demand for the 20th edition is a testament to the efforts of Jess, Paul, and their amazing team, and the love that the public has for Splendour.

“In difficult times, it will be wonderful to see 50,000 people come together in July to celebrate music and life.”

Moshtix, formerly the biggest independent ticketing service in Australia, was acquired by Ticketmaster in February last year.

Fans can sign up to the resale waiting list here.

 


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Download Sydney moves to new site

The organisers of the Sydney edition of Download festival have announced a change in venue for this year’s event, due to the “unique setup and infrastructure” required for the festival.

Download Australia is taking place on two consecutive days in Melbourne (20 March) and Sydney (21 March), featuring acts including My Chemical Romance, Deftones, Jimmy Eat World, Clutch and Ministry.

The Melbourne leg of the festival will be at the Showgrounds, with the Sydney day originally scheduled for Parramatta Park (60,000-cap.). However, after carrying out an independent consultation, organisers have decided to move the event to the Domain (80,000-cap.) in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

“Our friends at Parramatta Park had initially advised they could host Download 2020. However, we found that it would not be the right space to deliver the reassurance to safely present the event with the number of people attending, stages and crowd movement,” reads a statement from Download Sydney organisers.

“Patron safety is our number one priority, and to ensure the best possible experience, the event needs to be moved from Parramatta Park”

“Patron safety is our number one priority, and to ensure you have the best possible experience, the event needs to be moved from Parramatta Park.”

All current Download Sydney ticketholders will be able to use their tickets at the new venue, with further information available on the Download Australia website.

Tickets to both Download Australia events are available here, with general admission tickets costing AU$189 (US$127) plus fees.

Live Nation’s Download festival franchise has spawned previous sister events in Japan, France and Madrid.

Tickets for the 2020 edition of Download’s flagship UK event, which takes place from 12 to 14 June with headliners Kiss, Iron Maiden and System Of A Down, are available here.

Photo: Stuart Midgley/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


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Major moves: consolidation sweeps the ticketing sector

The past 12 months have seen big-money deals by global firms who have been expanding their reach through buying up existing companies.

Eventim’s major expansion into the €800 million French live music market will see it establish a joint venture with the retailer by the end of 2019. Under the proposed new structure, Eventim would acquire 48% of France Billet, with an option to increase its holding to a majority stake over the next four years. It is folding its Eventim French business into the partnership, and the established brands – which in addition to Francebillet.com include Fnacspectacles.com and Billetreduc.com – will remain in operation.

This move will be a blow for Paris-headquartered multimedia conglomeration Vivendi, which owns the local company Digitick and was the third-largest competitor behind France Billet and Ticketmaster.

Leapfrogging its rivals, Eventim has secured the top position in the ticketing space. However, it currently does not have a promoter presence in France, unlike Live Nation or Vivendi, the latter of which owns the venues L’Olympia (1,996-cap.) and Theâtre de L’Œuvre (326-cap.) in Paris, as well as Olympia Production, the operator of a number of French festivals including Les Déferlantes (12,000-cap.) and Garorock (45,000-cap.).

In 2017-18, Eventim bought three significant promoters in Italy – Vertigo, Friends and Partners, and D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi) – solidifying its brand TicketOne as the dominant ticketer in the country after Ticketmaster opened operations there in 2017.

On the other side of the world, Live Nation Entertainment’s (LNE) $480m decision to buy a 51% stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the largest promoter in Latin America, and owner of Ticketmaster Mexico, is noteworthy.

Promoting about 3,100 shows a year, Ocesa reportedly sold 3.8m tickets in 2018. Ticketmaster Mexico is comfortably the country’s biggest ticket seller, with around 37m tickets sold each year.

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership through touring, festivals and the Ticketmaster brand, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint.

It demonstrates LNE’s growing confidence in the Latin American market and will likely lead to an increasing number of tours by international talent to the continent, and potentially further acquisitions of promoters, ticketing companies or venues.

What impact it will have on Ticketmaster in the US, where the second language is Spanish, remains to be seen. The Spanish- language market in the US is arguably currently underserved, and this could be seen as an internal growth opportunity for the global behemoth.

But more importantly, this could be part of a wider move by LNE into Latin America, where the firm historically has no major presence. Last year it acquired one of Argentina’s top promoters, DF Entertainment, while earlier in 2018, it took a stake in one of the largest music festivals in the world, Rock in Rio (100,000-cap), recently increasing its holding to 60%, which could be a sign that Ticketmaster is preparing to make a move into Brazil. Does this indicate a strategy of expansion across the region? We’ll have to wait and see.

LNE-owned Ticketmaster also bought Australia and New Zealand’s most significant independent ticketing company, Moshtix, in February, further expanding its presence in a market where it competes fiercely with TEG’s Ticketek.

Although it’s not likely to shift the balance of power, Ticketmaster’s move will add another indie brand to its suite of ticketing platforms.

Meanwhile, TEG grew its Asian reach by buying the Philippines-based ticketing company TicketWorld. This adds to its existing interests in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. As well as major international tours by the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Katy Perry, TicketWorld has a strong presence in the local theatre market, and provides ticket services to Philippines’ venues including Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, BGC Arts Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further

“We see great opportunities in many Asian markets and our strategy puts us on course to becoming a truly pan-Asian promoter,” said TEG CEO Geoff Jones at the time.

While not strictly new acquisitions, DEAG continued its policy of wholly owning companies by completing the purchase of the MyTicket platform, which going forward will be powered by the Secutix SaaS solution, while Eventim completed its takeover of German online movie ticketing platform Kinoheld and Scandinavian ticketing solution Venuepoint.

So what’s next? In the fast-moving world of ticketing, it’s hard to say.

India’s BookMyShow sells some 20m tickets a month, mainly in the cinema sector, but is looking to grow further into live entertainment. In 2018, COO of non-films at BookMyShow Albert Almeida told the Economic Times the firm wants to increase its revenues from non-cinema events from 30% to 50% by 2020.

It is one of the ticketing partners at the newly opened Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and is addressing a lack of infrastructure in its home country by building its touring venues and producing its own shows. At a recent fundraising round, the company was valued at $1 billion, and there is still huge potential in the country of 1.3bn people. But maybe it will look to acquire in new markets, or further consolidate its position in the Middle East.

Another interesting area is the growing trend of Chinese companies taking an interest in Western music companies (for example, Tencent acquired a 10% stake in Universal Music, with an option to take another 10% in a year). Could we see a Chinese firm take an interest in a ticketing company outside of its homeland?

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further.

For more insight into the state of the global ticketing industry, read IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.


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Report: Bluesfest 2019 attendance, spending up

Byron Bay Bluesfest increased attendance by almost 10% and contributed over AU$83 million to the New South Wales economy in 2019, a new report has shown.

The report, commissioned by the Bluesfest Group and conducted by Lawrence Consulting, documents the economic impact of the 30th edition of Bluesfest, which took place from 18 to 22 April 2019.

Speaking to IQ ahead of this year’s festival, director Peter Noble noted that all ticket sale records had been broken for the sold-out anniversary edition. More than 105,000 fans attended this year’s Bluesfest, a 9.2% increase on the previous year.

Findings show that spending by attendees increased by almost 19% this year, with an average daily expenditure of $304. As a result, festivalgoers brought over $35.5m to the local government area of Byron Shire, contributed $59m to the region of Northern Rivers and a total of $83.4m to the state of New South Wales.

Spending by promoter Bluesfest Services was up 38% in Bryon Shire at $2.6m and increased by 24% across the rest of the Northern Rivers at $1.9m. Overall, annual expenditure on Bluesfest was approximately $18.4m, including around $1.6m in wages to 15 full-time staff.

“Bluesfest has become a pinnacle event in the calendar of Australians and music fans overseas”

The Bluesfest Group this year hired a record number of 1,454 people in NSW alone.

“I’m thrilled to think that from its humble beginnings as the East Coast Blues Festival, Bluesfest is now such a critical contributor to the local economy in the tropical surrounds of Byron Bay,” says Noble.

“Over the 30 years of its existence, Bluesfest has become a pinnacle event in the calendar of Australians and music fans overseas. I’m excited to see where the next 30 [years] will bring us as a festival in relation to the Byron, Northern Rivers, NSW and Australian economies.”

Tickets for Bluesfest 2020, which will take place from 9 to 13 April, are on sale via Moshtix. Tickets are priced at $600 plus fees for a five-day pass and $420 for three days. Single day tickets will become available in December.

Acts confirmed for the 2020 event include Dave Matthews Band, Patti Smith, John Butler and Frank Turner.


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Biggest sell-out ever for Splendour in the Grass

The 19th edition of Australia’s Splendour in the Grass Music and Arts Festival today celebrated its largest on sale to date, selling out a record 42,500 tickets in six hours through ticketing partner Moshtix.

Splendour, promoted by Live Nation-owned Secret Sounds, sold 7,500 more tickets than last year, after announcing an increased capacity for its permanent site in North Byron Bay Parklands, New South Wales. The festival also introduced an installment payment option for this year’s event.

Parklands, home to fellow Secret Sounds-run festival Falls, applied for permission to become a permanent 50,000-capacity festival venue in January, receiving approval in March. The site is now the permanent home for Splendour and Falls.

“We’re stoked to announce that we’ve sold a record amount of tickets this year after months of planning and hard work by our wonderful team,” say event producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco.

“We’re so grateful to see the continued passion and loyalty for Splendour in the Grass. We’re looking forward to sharing our forever home at the North Byron Parklands with more fans than ever before in 2019.”

The line-up for this year’s festival includes headline acts Chance the Rapper, Tame Impala and Childish Gambino, who are joined by Foals, Catfish and the Bottlemen, James Blake and the Lumineers.

“We’re so grateful to see the continued passion and loyalty for Splendour in the Grass”

Ducrou and Piticco also thank Splendour’s long-time ticketing partner Moshtix for “delivering a seamless on sale”.

“The continuity they [Moshtix] offer our fans makes things easier for everyone involved,” comment the event producers, urging those who missed out on tickets to utilise the Moshtix resale facility.

“For many years now, the [resale] platform has allowed us to minimise the potential for scalping and ensure that our true fans are treated fairly and given the best opportunity to secure tickets,” add Ducrou and Piticco.

Moshtix managing director Harley Evans says the company is “proud” to be able to provide an authorised mechanism for ticket resale that “does the right thing by the fans.”

“This is Moshtix’s 10th year working on Splendour in the Grass,” says Evans. “It’s been a great privilege working with Jess, Paul and their amazing team knowing they always put the fans’ interests at the forefront of everything they do.”

The International Ticketing Yearbook 2018 lists Moshtix as one of several significant independent ticketing companies operating in Australia. Ticketmaster acquired the ticketing provider in February 2019.

Fans that missed out on Splendour in the Grass tickets can sign up to the resale waiting list here.

 


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Ticketmaster acquires Australian ticketer Moshtix

Ticketmaster has announced the acquisition of ticketing provider Moshtix, expanding services for the growing live events market in Australia and New Zealand.

Ticketmaster says the acquisition provides Australian and New Zealand venues and promoters with a combination of Moshtix’s experience and technology for general admission ticketing, and Ticketmaster’s wide distribution and reach.

Launched in 2003, Moshtix has developed technology to cater for general admission and self-service ticketing, as well as providing white label solutions for event organisers.

The company has a reputation for servicing grassroots music venues and promoters. Moshtix now works with some of Australia’s most respected events and venues, including Canberra festival Groovin’ the Moo, Sydney venue Oxford Art Factory and horse racing venue operators, the Australian Turf Club.

Moshtix has “developed a reputation for being extremely hard-working and passionate about what they do,” says Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand managing director, Maria O’Connor.

“Moshtix’s mission to ‘make live easy’ by delivering a seamless connection between partner, fan and the artist is shared with us”

“Their mission to ‘make live easy’ by delivering a seamless connection between partner, fan and the artist is shared with us. We look forward to working with them to help fans discover, share and experience the live entertainment they love,” adds O’Connor.

Moshtix will continue to operate as a standalone business unit from its head office in Sydney, under managing director Harley Evans.

“Ticketmaster is undoubtedly the world leader in ticketing and is the ideal partner for us to take Moshtix to the next level,” says Evans. “We are confident that together we can deliver an incredible combination of industry-leading ticketing technology and locally-tailored services and marketing that will better serve the independent and general admission market.”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, Ticketmaster and Ticketek dominate much of Australia’s ticketing industry. Moshtix is one of several significant independent ticketing companies operating in the country, along with Eventbrite, QPAC, Ticketbooth, TryBooking and Ticketebo.

 


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