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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: James Murphy, See Tickets

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Maxie Gedge, Keychange project manager in the UK here.


James Murphy
He/him/his
Chief operating officer North America, See Tickets
Los Angeles, US
jim@seetickets.us

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Convincing Clear Channel Radio, a very conservative, Texas-based media company, to engage with the LGBTQ community in the late 90s/early 00s. That engagement included supporting local event producers and community-based organisations, culminating in providing more than $2million (€1.7m) in direct support to the local community over a ten-year period.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Always be your authentic self in all aspects of your life. Take measured professional risks in advocating for our community. Being true to yourself will allow you to openly enlist allies and advocates inside your company. Connecting how your business operates in the broader community directly improves lives, including the lives of the business’s employees.

“Being true to yourself will allow you to openly enlist allies and advocates inside your company”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Finding the right mix of inclusion and “business success” is oftentimes seen as unrelated objectives. My view is that success and a fair and inclusive work environment are connected, as that type of environment creates the best atmosphere for employees to thrive and deliver. Similarly, convincing partners that a diverse event production and ticketing team will lead to better cultural sensitivities and better service results are equally as connected.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Realising that diversity in your workforce and better service results are connected. When your customer base sees or hears a person “like them” at an event or on the phone they immediately feel heard. Alternatively, that diverse workforce is more empathetic and your customer will feel that empathy…

A cause you support.
I’ve been actively involved in two local LGBTQ organisations over the past 20 years – APLA Health and Wellness, and The Trevor Project. Both organisations are committed to the health and wellness of our community’s youth. As a past board chair and treasurer, respectively, I was able to influence substantive community change and direct much-needed local resources to both charities. Their amazing work continues.

“[The industry] needs to realise that diversity in the workforce and better service results are connected”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Covid has provided the industry with an amazing opportunity to reopen safely and deploy technology in unique ways. Virtual experiences or events with a mixed virtual/live offering can provide producers and attendees with safe alternatives until vaccine rates are high enough for attendees and staff to feel safe. Requiring customer compliance with Covid safety protocols as well as offering rewards to vaccinated and/or recently tested customers with benefits should be part of every producer’s offering.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
Safety first, through the deployment of smart and effective technology. I’m hopeful that the industry will focus on local programming and artists as well as local partnerships – for instance, partnering with neighbourhood restaurants that may have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. In addition, the industry should act to reward those that have been vaccinated/tested with benefits that reward productive behaviour with early access to shows, etc.

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2021: This year’s queer pioneers revealed

IQ Magazine’s highly-anticipated LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – the first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – can now be revealed.

The landmark list is the jewel in the crown of IQs first-ever Pride edition, which was published on Monday (28 June) and followed by our Loud and Proud agency-curated playlist.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

The inaugural cohort comprises agents, promoters, COOs, CEOs, event producers, wellness specialists, tour managers and more, all of whom identify as LGBTIQ+ and, in the face of adversity, have made enormous contributions to their respective sectors.

“IQ received an unbelievable amount of heartwarming testimonials”

In no particular order, the LGBTIQ+ List 2021 is:

Steven Braines, co-founder, He.She.They (UK)
Sean Hill, director of tour marketing, UTA (UK)
Zoe Williamson, agent, UTA (US)
Will Larnach-Jones, managing director/head of bookings, Iceland Airwaves (IE)
Raven Twigg, promoter assistant, Metropolis Music/founder, Women Connect (UK)
Nadu Placca, global event & experience architect, The Zoo XYZ (UK)
Maxie Gedge, Keychange project manager, PRS Foundation (UK)
Mark Fletcher, CEO, Manchester Pride (UK)
Maddie Arnold, associate promoter, Live Nation (UK)
Lauren Kirkpatrick, promoter assistant, DF Concerts (UK)
Laura Nagtegaal, guitar technician and tour manager, MsGyver (NL)
Joanne Croxford, wellness + diversity specialist/ live touring/ tour assistant (UK)
James Murphy, chief operating officer North America, See Tickets (US)
Guy Howes, music partnerships executive, CAA (UK)
Doug Smith, SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster (UK)
Chris Ibbs, agent, CAA (UK)
Rach Millhauser, coordinator, Wasserman Music (US)
Austin Sarich, director of touring, Live Nation (US)
Daniel Brown, event producer/programmer, Birmingham Pride (UK)
Rauha Kyyrö, head promoter, Fullsteam Agency (FI)

“I never imagined I’d be so thrilled to see my inbox soar into triple digits – that is until we opened nominations for the LGBTIQ+ List 2021,” says IQ staff writer Lisa Henderson, who guest edited the Pride issue. “We received an unbelievable amount of heartwarming testimonials from across the business but, thanks to the help of our revered steering committee, we’ve ended up with 20 exemplary individuals who continually prove that diversity is the industry’s greatest strength.”

Full profiles of the individuals on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021 will appear online in the coming weeks. However, subscribers can read the entire feature in the Pride edition (issue 101) of IQ Magazine now.

Click here to subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 


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Eventim UK appoints Martin Fitzgerald as MD

CTS Eventim has appointed Martin Fitzgerald as managing director of Eventim UK, its London-based ticketing company.

Fitzgerald joins Eventim UK from his role as chief commercial officer at Vivendi’s See Tickets, where he spent 18 years.

He will begin the new role at Eventim UK on 30 March, working alongside John Gibson, who joined the company last year.

“Martin’s appointment reflects Eventim’s continued investment in our commitment to the UK, a core market for CTS Eventim”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, founder and CEO of CTS Eventim, says: “Martin’s appointment reflects Eventim’s continued investment in both our people and our commitment to the UK, a core market for CTS Eventim. I have no doubt that Martin and John will make a formidable team, creating new and exciting strategic partnerships.”

Fitzgerald says: “As our industry starts to recover, it’s an exciting time to join one of the leading providers of ticketing services and live entertainment. My philosophy has always been to work in partnership with clients, to deliver innovative technology solutions and services on behalf of the event organiser and a seamless and intuitive experience to the fans.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with John and the rest of the UK team to introduce new clients to Eventim’s impressive portfolio of ticketing technologies and trusted services.”

 


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See Tickets appoints new Benelux managing director

See Tickets has appointed Marijke van den Bosch as managing director for the Benelux region, effective 1 March.

Van den Bosch has worked for See Tickets since 2011, and is currently CCO. In the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), See works with events and companies including Tomorrowland, ID&T, Dour festival, Amsterdam Dance Event, Dutch Design Week, Vrienden van Amstel and Studio 100.

Commenting on her promotion, van den Bosch says: “I certainly see it as a crowning achievement on my 10th work anniversary. The coronavirus crisis has dominated the past year – a challenging yet educational period for the company, in which we will ultimately come out stronger. The turning point is now in sight and I am looking forward to the future plans with great enthusiasm.”

“Marijke has our full trust as the new sole managing director in Benelux to exploit the significant assets and expertise of the See Tickets family”

Van den Bosch says See has used the year-long shutdown to make new investments in other sectors, including the museum and attractions market, “which is a segment which we are currently focussing on internationally,” she continues. “Our offering is also being expanded with new products such as a CRM tool and more marketing solutions to constantly improve the needs of our clients and their fans.”

Rob Wilmshurst, group CEO of See Tickets, says: “As an international company, we know that local support, resources and services are absolutely essential in developing successful client partnerships. Marijke has our full trust as the new sole managing director in Benelux to exploit the significant assets and expertise of the See Tickets family to serve our valuable clients, and their customers, in the Benelux region.”

See Tickets, owned by French conglomerate Vivendi, expanded its presence in the Benelux market in 2018 when it acquired Netherlands-based Paylogic.

 


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Ken Frank named MD of See Tickets Switzerland

See Tickets Switzerland, formerly Starticket, has promoted Ken Frank to managing director, effective from 1 October.

Frank has been working for Starticket for over 17 years, serving originally as COO and then chief product officer and deputy CEO since 2016.

He will succeed Christof Zogg, who is leaving the company, and will report to Karim Ayari, CEO Continental Europe at See Tickets.

“With Ken Frank, we have found an ideal internal successor as managing director,” says Rob Wilmshurst, global CEO at See Tickets.

“With Ken Frank, we have found an ideal internal successor as managing director”

“We are delighted that he will continue to bring his experience and network to our new company. At the same time, we would like to thank Christof Zogg for his outstanding work – especially during the last few months, which have been very challenging due to the Corona crisis and the simultaneous transition.”

See Tickets acquired Zurich-based Starticket earlier this year, bolstering the UK-based ticket seller’s presence on the continent and expanding its footprint to a ninth European market.

Starticket was formerly owned by TX Group, Switzerland’s largest media company and was the country’s second-biggest concert ticketing platform, behind CTS Eventim’s Ticketcorner, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.

As a result of the merger, Vivendi-owned See sells nearly 30m tickets a year for 10,000 clients, including Glastonbury Festival, the Château de Versailles, L’Olympia in Paris, Garorock and Tomorrowland (pictured). Its presence in the US means it is active in ten markets worldwide.

 


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Ticketing companies gear up for post-Covid-19 future

Ticket agencies and technology companies are preparing for the return of live entertainment by introducing new features and functionalities tailored to the post-Covid-19 world.

UK-headquartered See Tickets, which is also active in the US, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and, most recently, Switzerland, has developed a contactless access-control system that uses a standalone scanning point requiring no physical interaction from fans or staff.

Once the customer scans their ticket, venue staff can view the results from a distance, providing event organisers with “the safest possible way to manage entry”, says See.

Rob Wilmshurst, See Tickets’ global CEO, comments: “Like our clients, See are adapting to the challenges in the market and looking at safe ways to operate going forward. We’re already well equipped to build features like time-slot entry to limit event capacity, and our ‘zero-contact’ access control solution will complement this.”

Smaller venues and promoters will also be able to benefit from the technology via an upgrade to the See Tickets Access Control app that increases the range from which their device can scan tickets (when used with a stand).

“We are adapting to the challenges in the market and looking at safe ways to operate going forward”

Other companies offering contactless solutions include New York-based mobile computing firm Janam, whose GT1 device uses tap-and-go technology from Google and Apple to eliminate direct contact between fan and ticket-taker, and Texas’s SimpleTix, which is capitalising on the boom in drive-in concerts by providing its digital ticketing platform to venues experimenting with drive-in shows.

“With a viable vaccine for Covid-19 likely a minimum of 18 months away, we expect drive-in theatres to be big for at least the next two-to-three years,” says Lauren Javors, SimpleTix’s business development manager. “We look forward to being part of that growth.”

Down under, ticketing technology company Intix has developing a contact-tracing add-on for its platform that aims to help the Australian government with tracking the spread of the disease.

Alex Grant, the company’s CEO, explains: “We developed this add-on in the hopes that by assisting the government with contact tracing we may be able to cautiously help our customers open their doors and get events and gigs back up and running.”

“It’s clear that mass gatherings will not go ahead without some way to track who’s turning up in case they are later diagnosed with Covid-19,” Grant adds, explaining that the stems from the government’s own COVIDSafe App, which is intended to speed up contacting people exposed to coronavirus.

“This ticketing add-on we have developed should assist the government to reach more people”

“From what I understand, not everyone has downloaded the government app; however, this ticketing add-on we have developed should assist the government to reach more people.”

Festicket, meanwhile, is getting in on livestreaming, having announced the launch of Festicket Live, which gives promoters and artists the ability to host both free and ticketed live streams on YouTube or Vimeo.

The new platform allow artists or event organisers to set up their own customisable and unique streaming page, which will include the embedded live stream, webchat, links to social media profiles and the option to include a shop for donations, merchandise and more.

Festicket’s marketing director, Luis Sousa, says: “The past weeks and months have seen a dramatic shift to online streaming, with over 60% of our customers saying they had watched a live stream since the lockdown began.

“We see this trend continuing, and possibly even remaining once physical festivals and events begin to return. We therefore wanted to offer music fans a platform that allows them to engage with the artists and festivals they love, while also providing artists and promoters with a new revenue stream, considering the pressures the industry is currently under.”

 


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Eventim UK appoints John Gibson as MD

CTS Eventim has appointed John Gibson as managing director of its London-based British subsidiary, Eventim UK.

Gibson, who started his new role in January, joins Eventim UK from online marketplace Groupon UK, where he headed up the live ticketing business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The new Eventim UK MD previously held senior positions at SeatGeek, Vivaticket, Ticketmaster UK and See Tickets.

“I am delighted to have John on board in his role of managing director,” comments Eventim UK chairman Nick Blackburn.

“Gibson brings a wealth of experience with him, including an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of our industry”

“He brings a wealth of experience with him; which includes an in-depth knowledge, and understanding, of all aspects of our industry.”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, Eventim UK is one of a number of major international corporates operating in the UK ticketing industry, along with Ticketmaster, See Tickets, AXS and Eventbrite.

Read IQ’s special anniversary feature on CTS Eventim here.

Deutsche Courage: The rise and rise of CTS Eventim


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Bristol Ticket Shop closing after 30 years

Independent UK-based ticketing company Bristol Ticket Shop has announced it is closing down, citing overdue payments from a debtor.

Launched in 1987 as a concession in Virgin shops and then in record retailer Our Price, Bristol Ticket Shop later found its own home in the centre of the UK city of Bristol. With a focus on supporting the local music scene, Bristol Ticket Shop also sold tickets to events such as Glastonbury Festival and Download Festival.

“After more than 30 years being part of Bristol’s incredible music scene, Bristol Ticket Shop is sadly closing,” reads a post on the ticketer’s Facebook page.

“All the staff here are devastated. The list of incredible events we have supplied tickets for is overwhelming. There are so many regular customers, old and new, that we have really enjoyed talking to over the years and we will miss you all dearly.”

“After more than 30 years being part of Bristol’s incredible music scene, Bristol Ticket Shop is sadly closing”

The management team owes the closure to “news that a debtor owing a large amount of money was unlikely to be able pay in a timely manner”, as well as to the illness of the company’s owner, which has “had a large impact on the resilience of the business”.

The company states it is instructing a third party to negotiate with promoters in order to ensure that “there is as little impact to the customer as possible”. Although the ticketer aims “to honour tickets for future events”, it notes this may not always be possible, in which case refunds will be issued.

Bristol music fans have responded to the “sad news”, showing support for the ticketer, which formed a “huge part” of the local live scene.

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, the primary ticketing business in the UK is “incredibly competitive”, with major international companies including Ticketmaster, See Tickets, AXS, Eventim and Eventim taking a large share of the market.

Many local independent outfits, such as Manchester’s Ticketline, Birmingham’s the Ticket Factory, Leeds’ Ticket Arena and Nottingham’s Gigantic – now majority owned by DEAG – also perform well.

 


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See Tickets acquires Switzerland’s Starticket

See Tickets has acquired Starticket, a major player in Switzerland, bolstering the UK-based ticket seller’s presence on the continent and expanding its footprint to a ninth European market.

Zurich-based Starticket – formerly owned by TX Group, Switzerland’s largest media company – sells more than five million tickets annually, and is the country’s second-biggest concert ticketing platform, behind CTS Eventim’s Ticketcorner, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019. The acquisition by See comes nearly three years after a merger between Starticket and Ticketcorner was blocked by Swiss competition regulators.

As a result of the merger, Vivendi-owned See sells nearly 30m tickets a year for 10,000 clients, including Glastonbury Festival, the Château de Versailles, L’Olympia in Paris, Garorock and Tomorrowland (pictured). Its presence in the US means it is active in ten markets worldwide.

Samuel Hügli, head of technology and ventures at TX Group (formerly Tamedia) says: “With this acquisition by See Tickets, Starticket will become part of a leading international ticketing service provider that uses cutting-edge technology and has a huge network with numerous partnerships.

“We have long admired Starticket as a stand-out independent ticketing company in Switzerland”

“This will strengthen Starticket in international competition and allow See Tickets to benefit from Starticket’s many years of experience in the Swiss market.”

“I am delighted to welcome Starticket and its experienced management team into our group,” adds See Tickets’ global CEO, Rob Wilmshurst. “We have long admired Starticket as a stand-out independent ticketing company in Switzerland, and I know that together we will be able to further develop the quality and range of services to our clients and customers in the country.”

According to PwC, Switzerland is Europe’s eighth-biggest live music market, worth US$370 million in ticket sales in 2019, and the 13th-biggest globally. Read IQ’s latest Switzerland market report here:

Switzerland market report: positive signs

 


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Ethical ticket resales up 50% at See Tickets

See Tickets has sold 50,000 tickets through its ticket resale platform Fan-to-Fan in 2019 so far, 25,000 more than in the same period of last year.

Launched in 2017, Fan-to-Fan was the UK’s first integrated face-value ticket resale platform. The service allows customers to resell unwanted tickets at the price they paid for them or less.

“We were the first ticket agency to bring a truly integrated ethical resale site to the market and figures show the service is more in demand than ever,” comments See Tickets CEO Rob Wilmshurst.

“Buyers and sellers want a fair resale platform they can trust and because we only list tickets originally purchased on our site, we can vouch for everything being resold in terms of its validity.”

“Buyers and sellers want a fair resale platform they can trust and because we only list tickets originally purchased on our site, we can vouch for everything being resold in terms of its validity”

See Tickets launched a secure, non-transferable digital ticketing system earlier this year, issuing tickets with dynamically refreshing barcodes that are uniquely tied to the fan’s user account, mobile device and See Tickets app. The feature has been used on tours for artists including Declan McKenna and Bombay Bicycle Club.

See Tickets also created a paperless ticket for Ed Sheeran’s summer shows in conjunction with promoters DHP and Kilimanjaro.

Adam Webb, campaign manager for anti-tout group FanFair Alliance says: “See Tickets have been vocal about their opposition to exploitative secondary ticketing for many years and FanFair has welcomed the steps they have taken to eliminate touting and provide a better customer experience. It’s really encouraging to see ticket buyers embrace Fan-to-Fan in such numbers.”

 


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