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The Great Refund Debate

With fans still sitting on event tickets that they bought as long ago as 2019, the industry is facing a dilemma when it comes to who merits a refund and who does not. And as Covid becomes endemic, should refunds remain obligatory for ticketholders who test positive? James Hanley investigates.

The race to contain Covid-19 outbreaks and variants over the last 24 months has been likened to a game of Whac-A-Mole. But as the international live music business begins to emerge from the horror of the pandemic, it will need its own mallet at the ready to combat the litany of fresh problems popping up day-to-day.

One of the more mundane but contentious debates to be sparked in recent months surrounds the matter of refunds. The issue was brought to the fore by Dead & Company and promoter CID Presents’ Playing in the Sand destination festival, which was set for Mexico’s Riviera Cancún over two weekends in January this year.

Amid the omicron surge of late 2021, organisers opened a 48-hour refund window for fans having second thoughts about attending (all ticketholders were ultimately refunded when the event was pulled at the 11th hour due to a spike in infections). However, CID declined to repeat the offer for its other January festivals: Crash My Playa and HootieFest: The Big Splash.

“If, at any point during the two weeks leading up to a particular event, the CDC Risk Assess- ment Level for Covid-19 for the Quintana Roo (Cancún) region of Mexico rises to a Level 4 or Mexico designates the area unsafe to hold an event, we will be offering full refunds to those not wishing to attend the particular event,” said a statement by the promoter. “We continue to recommend buying travel insurance, which may help protect against the risks of Covid-19 and travelling internationally during the pandemic.”

It was a similar situation at Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky “concert vacation” in Mexico, also in Janu- ary, produced by Cloud 9, The Bowery Presents, and Higher Ground Presents, which stressed its no-refund policy and encouraged festivalgoers to purchase travel insurance. “A refund, or the ability to hold one’s spot for a rescheduled date, will be available to purchasers if the event were to be postponed,” Cloud 9 told Billboard.

But far from limited to sun-drenched getaways, the refund question is pertinent at all levels of the industry, in every market across the globe. “There is a set Live Nation policy across the board,” explains Barnaby Harrod of Mercury Wheels, part of Live Nation Spain. “When an event is cancelled, you get an automatic refund. With reprogramming, the original tickets are, of course, valid for the new dates. However, if some- body can’t make the new show, or doesn’t want to, they have 21 days to ask for a refund, and that has been applied across the pandemic.”

Certain events and promoters also offer refunds or a voucher for anyone who is unable to attend due to testing positive. Harrod advises that every claim is assessed on its own merits.

“For exceptional refunds, which are requested outside the established timeframe, we work on a case-by-case basis,” he says. “So in the current climate, where the government has restrictions in place for people who have Covid, if somebody can certify that they have Covid, then they should be entitled to a refund.”

Elsewhere in Europe, AEG Presents France GM Arnaud Meersseman points to France’s “very protective” consumer laws, which allow customers to claim refunds up to five years after the event.

“Obviously, if a show is rescheduled or can- celled, it’s an automatic refund and there’s no discussion there whatsoever,” he tells IQ. “As for no-shows, as of today, they can warrant a refund. But we’ve seen in practice that it’s not really the case, as a lot of people don’t ask for them.

“The last big show I did was December at the Zenith Paris, and out of 6,000 tickets, we had 20% no-shows. The only other big shows I had be- tween September and December were two nights of Nick Cave, but they were seated shows at 2,000- cap each, and we had almost zero no-shows.

“Over here, what most people have done in practice is wait out a month in terms of refund requests, and if those refund requests haven’t come in during that time, we settle off the show basically. But that’s not really the law, I mean, people can ask for refunds after five years. But we’ve noticed that essentially, past one month, there’ll be the odd refund request here and there, but it’s really rare.”

DEAG executive Detlef Kornett says it is difficult to make general statements due to the fragmented nature of the German market but suggests most promoters have maintained a flexible approach to refunds.

“We have demonstrated a lot of flexibility and offered customers the opportunity to re-book their ticket if and when possible, use it for a different show, get a voucher, or in certain instances, even reimburse the ticket value,” he says. “That was true also if they were unable to attend due to Covid.”

DEAG’s UK subsidiary Kilimanjaro Live returned to action in August 2021, staging two arena dates by Gorillaz at The O2 in London. Kili CEO Stuart Galbraith attempts to sum-up the story so far.

“We never get 100% attendance – between 3% and 5% of people indoors and up to 10% outdoors buy tickets and then just don’t come – but we were back up at 95-97% attendance rates all the way through September, October, and November,” he says. “Then as omicron started to come into play and we headed into Christmas, those rates started to drop again to as little as 70% on some occasions.

“When we came back after Christmas, almost instantly, those attendance rates went back up to 95-97%, and that’s where they’ve been ever since. But what was very interesting is that virtually none of the customers who didn’t attend the shows before Christmas asked us for refunds. They’d just decided they weren’t going out and would take it on the chin.”

He continues: “The analogy I’ve used over the last couple of years is that, if you had an EasyJet flight booked that cost you £20 to £40, in my personal experience, I haven’t bothered to ask for a refund on that because I can’t be bothered. It’s just one of those things. However, if I’ve got a transatlantic flight, which is worth several hundred quid or thousands of pounds, I do want a refund on it. And I think that tickets and concert tickets fall into that EasyJet category – I don’t think people can be bothered to ask for the refund, to be quite frank.”

“People have almost been treating a ticket like something they bought off Amazon and saying, ‘Oh, we don’t really fancy that now,’ the day before. And at that point, what do you want the festival organiser to do about it?”

Paul Reed, CEO of the UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), reveals the organisation took legal advice with regards to refunds last year on behalf of its 90 members – and reached a definitive conclusion.

“The fact is a consumer is not legally entitled to a refund if they’re isolating and not allowed to travel, in the same way as if they were unable to travel for any other reason,” asserts Reed. “The view was that, ultimately, the customer is not due a refund, but I think it’s a decision that has to be up to the individual event. It is entirely at their discretion and there is no obligation. But from speaking to others in the industry, my sense is that it is being assessed on a case-by-case basis, irrespective of the legal situation.”

Reed adds that some AIF members have ex- pressed concerns that a “refund culture” has seeped in among punters.

“Perhaps it’s understandable, but people have almost been treating a ticket like something they bought off Amazon and saying, ‘Oh, we don’t really fancy that now,’ the day before. And at that point, what do you want the festival organiser to do about it?” he sighs. “You’re not due a refund, but I think that mindset has permeated a little bit more throughout festivals and live experiences – customer expectation shifting – and people feeling more entitled to a refund when it is more complicated than that.

“When you buy a ticket, it is binding, and that is all very clear in the Ts and Cs. I think customers need to understand a little bit more about what they’re committed to when they buy a ticket, so I don’t know whether some education is needed around that.”

Fans no longer able or willing to attend events are encouraged to sell on their tickets via face-value resale sites.

“Specific insurance is also available to the customer as a voluntary upsell, and I believe some travel insurance policies also cover it,” says Reed.

Guy Dunstan is MD, ticketing and arenas for Birmingham-based NEC Group, which manages five of the UK’s leading indoor venues including Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena and Utilita Arena, as well as national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory. He tells IQ the company has been proactive on the issue by offering ticket insurance with Covid cover included.

“I know that some venues and ticketing companies have been hit harder than others with regards to the refund situation,” says Dunstan. “We’ve been offering ticket protection insurance to customers for a significant period of time, so the refunds we’ve given have been pretty minimal because we’ve been able to point customers to the fact that they were offered the insurance at the time when they purchased the tickets.

“We were able to get that as cover quite early on in the pandemic through the ticket insurance provider that we work with, and it’s been of real benefit to us. So our sense is that we’re well protected from that moving forward.”

Down under, Live Performance Australia (LPA) administers the ticketing code of practice for the entertainment industry that outlines consumers’ rights to a refund. First released in 2001, the trade body reviewed and updated the code in 2020.

“While the impetus for the most recent changes was the Covid-19 pandemic, LPA was conscious to ensure any updates have a life beyond Covid-19,” says the group’s CEO Evelyn Richardson. “The ticketing code was widely used by the industry pre-Covid and will continue to be the go-to resource about refunds as Covid-19 moves to becoming endemic and beyond.”

Richardson says the LPA expects its members to treat ticketholders fairly if shows are forced to can- cel or are postponed due to government mandates.

“Whether ticketholders are entitled to a refund, exchange or other remedy will depend upon the ticket terms and conditions applicable when tickets were purchased,” she states. “Many companies have a Covid refund and exchanges policy, which sets out if ticketholders will get a refund, exchange or credit note if they are un- well with Covid symptoms, unable to attend the event due to contracting Covid, awaiting test results, [have been] in close contact, or [due to] border closure.”

With the world slowly emerging from the pandemic, the conversation turns to how flexible the live industry will be as things return to something like normal. Richardson indicates there could still be room for a little leeway.

“Ordinarily, if a ticketholder is unable to attend the event because they are unwell or other personal circumstance, they are not entitled to an automatic refund under Australian consumer law,” she says. “However, event organisers always have discretion to provide a refund or other remedy, if they wish, even though there may not be a legal requirement to do so.”

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has already announced the ‘Living with Covid-19’ plan, which has put an end to the legal requirement in England to self-isolate after a positive Covid test. Free testing has also been scrapped, although that isn’t an issue everywhere.

“They’ve never had free Covid tests in Spain,” testifies Madrid-based Harrod. “You would always have to go to the chemist to buy one.”

For Galbraith, however, the ramifications for the sector’s refund policy are obvious.

“Realistically, now that Covid has no legal status over and above any other disease, then that’s it, life is back to normal from an event organiser’s point of view,” he offers. “If somebody has flu, chickenpox, mumps, or whatever, and they can’t go to the show, then, unfortunately, that’s just part of life, and I think the same will be true of Covid.

“In the last two years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of customers taking out personal insurance on their tickets. For a very small percentage of the ticket cost, you can insure your ticket in the way that you can a holiday or anything else. That insurance, in many cases, does actually give you illness cover. So I think that is an easy customer solution going forward.”

“Now the isolation rules have changed, and you don’t have to isolate, then I think it just becomes like any other illness,” agrees Dunstan. “We all have to take a sense of responsibility to make sure that we’re healthy and well [enough] to be going to events. But as for venues and companies that have been offering refunds if you can demonstrate you are Covid positive, I can just see that going away.”

On that point, there appears to be something approaching a consensus.

“Once it is endemic, Covid would most likely not be a reason that entitles you to a refund as such anymore,” muses DEAG’s Kornett.

“At the end of the day, if somebody has gastroenteritis or common flu, or gets grounded by their parents because they have bad grades, do you refund them?” concludes Paris-based Meersseman. “At some point, there is no law in this, it’s going to be commercial practice. Once this virus becomes endemic and breaks out of the pandemic stage, I don’t see us offering refunds for people who have Covid.”

 


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Live Nation unveils NFT ticket stubs

Live Nation is collaborating with artists to launch digital collectable NFT ticket stubs.

Trumpeted as an “industry-first”, Live Stubs will mirror the unique section, row, and seat of each ticket purchased and will be included with tickets on select Live Nation shows in North America, beginning with the upcoming Swedish House Mafia: Paradise Again tour.

Fans will be able to view, share, gift, trade, and resell their Live Stubs on Livenation.com, opening up new avenues for artists to engage with ticket-holders before, during and after live events. The NFTs are designed to be collector items and will not replace the digital tickets needed to physically enter the show.

Live Stubs bring back the nostalgia of collecting ticket stubs while also giving artists a new tool to deepen that relationship with their fans

“Our Live Stubs product brings back the nostalgia of collecting ticket stubs while also giving artists a new tool to deepen that relationship with their fans and we can’t wait to see what the creativity of this community dreams up as it grows,” says Michael Rapino, Live Nation president and CEO. “Special thanks to Swedish House Mafia for kicking it off for their upcoming tour.”

Minted on an eco-friendly blockchain, Live Stubs will automatically be given for free to fans who purchase a primary ticket to Live Nation-promoted shows as well as in venues powered by Ticketmaster.

Fans can share links to view their Live Stubs on social media, with more features and offerings to be announced closer to the concerts. Artists will also be able to work with the Live Nation team to integrate special experiences and rewards.

 


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Free entertainment event tickets for unpaid US federal workers

Organisations across the United States are offering free event tickets to furloughed government workers, in a show of solidarity with employees who have not received paychecks since the beginning of the government shutdown in December.

Over 800,000 federal workers are going without pay as a result of the shutdown which began on 22 December, making it officially the longest in US history.

In response, live music venues, cinemas, sports teams and museums across the country have offered tickets to events free of charge.

Exhibition basketball team Harlem Globetrotters are offering complimentary tickets to any government employee currently on furlough. The offer includes any ticket to the team’s 2019 Fan Powered North American tour and will remain valid for as long as the shutdown continues.

“As the Ambassadors of Goodwill, we want to show our support to all those government workers whose paychecks, and by extension their families, are directly impacted,” said Globetrotter president Howard Smith.

“We want to offer our friends the happiness that live music and the performing arts can provide”

Symphonies around the country are similarly doing their bit to help the workers. The Spokane Symphony Orchestra in Washington is among those offering free tickets to shows.

“We are sorry for the hardships our federal workers have had to endure during the shutdown. We want to offer our friends some wonderful music and entertainment to give them the happiness that live music and the performing arts can provide,” announced symphony executive director Jeff vom Saal.

Orchestras in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Boston have also made tickets available.

A disagreement in Congress initiated the shutdown after president Donald Trump refused to approve the federal budget unless it included US$5.7 billion towards the building of the Mexican border wall. Democrats rejected the request, placing the government in deadlock.

US rapper Cardi B spoke out against the shutdown in an Instagram video posted yesterday. The video, in which the rapper refers to the country as a “hellhole”, has so far received over 12.5 million views.

 


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Promoter warns fans over fake tickets scam

Promoter Peter Aiken issued a warning to fans about only buying tickets through official channels, after over 90 people bought fake tickets to two concerts in the last week.

He says more than 60 people who bought tickets for ZZ Top at Dublin’s 3Arena were denied entry because of fake tickets, while 30 had counterfeits for a Brian Wilson gig at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in the city.

The Irish Times reports one man spent €1,000 on two tickets to see Brian Wilson, but had to be turned away when it was discovered they were false because the show was sold out.

In a statement, the promoter warned: “Following the ZZ Top and Brian Wilson Concerts in Dublin last week, Aiken Promotions would like to warn fans once again against purchasing tickets from secondary websites.

“At ZZ Top on Friday, at least 60 people turned up at the venue who had bought tickets through secondary websites. These tickets were not valid which caused distress and disappointment to these fans. Unfortunately it is not likely these people will get the money they paid refunded.

“As a promoter, it is extremely frustrating to see people being exploited like this and I would like to emphasise once again that fans should not purchase tickets from ANY secondary sellers.”

 


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See Tickets CEO on tackling touts and competition

It’s a boom time for See Tickets. The company had a record year in 2016 and results for 2017 are well ahead of that. The company recently launched Fan-to-Fan, an ethical re-sale platform as well as a peer to peer marketing service, and has made some significant inroads into the US market. Index spoke to CEO Rob Wilmshurst about battling the touts, and being in one of the most competitive sectors of the live music industry.

You recently launched your own face-value ticket resale site, and you’ve been in parliament to give evidence on secondary ticketing – how important is it to you to minimise ticket touting? 

It’s important to our clients, the artists and our mutual customers so it has to be important to us. Fan-to-Fan was our response to the problem. The take-up has been significant and a recent survey we ran showed that customers like the option to sell at a fair price and welcome the integrated nature of our solution within our site – it’s a couple of clicks to list at the market’s lowest fees.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’re facing right now?

Nothing that is causing us to lose too much sleep. We cannot control the market but we feel we are in a great position to continue to evolve our position. We have a great mixture of team, full service, experience, technology, cash (no debt, funding rounds or other start-up negatives that should cause clients concern), marketing assets and ideas to remain more than relevant in the medium to long term.

Where do you see opportunities?

There are lots all over the place. I won’t lie, we are being highly aggressive towards the competition and if we feel we can offer a client (of a competitor) a better deal, better service and give their customers the same then we are not going to leave it alone.

You recently bought Flavorus from SFX – is the EDM market a key target for See?

The acquisition was not about EDM although we acquired a basket of contracts in the EDM sector. We needed some mass in the US as it was moving too slowly for us, so when the opportunity came up we took it and the business is developing well. We rebranded the business to See Tickets, put in our own management team and are using all of the attributes mentioned earlier to evolve our position. It’s a tough market but that’s OK with us. 

The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of ticket agencies. What are you doing to make sure See Tickets retains its strong position in the market?

Nothing different to be honest. There has been an explosion, yes, but an implosion too: Yplan, Songkick, being sold off for far less than went in as investment. And there will be more casualties and fire sales. It’s not easy to stay relevant but having the aforementioned experience, tech, marketing and cash makes us an easy option for clients. If you were a promoter would you put your revenue collection in a business that loses cash hand over fist and is heavily in debt? Good luck with that if you do.

 


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AXS and Eventbrite ink deals with Spotify

Ticketing platforms AXS and Eventbrite have agreed separate deals with music streaming giant Spotify that will allow the companies to promote their concerts and music festivals to Spotify’s audience of more than 100 million music fans. By leveraging Spotify’s music and concert discovery algorithm, the partnerships will help music event producers connect with the fans most likely to attend their shows.

Spotify will now recommend Eventbrite and AXS events to listeners based on their music preferences and alongside their favourite artists and albums, in addition to emailing an artist’s followers when new tour dates are posted. These personalised recommendations will also help listeners discover new music and relevant concerts on Spotify’s Concerts tab.

According to Eventbrite research, 42% of people discover new artists and bands through streaming services like Spotify

Under the new pact, Spotify listeners can complete their ticket purchase on Eventbrite in two quick taps, without the need to login. Since every additional step costs 10% in conversion on average, Eventbrite believes this simple checkout experience will reduce overall drop-off and dramatically increase ticket sales for artists and promoters.

According to Eventbrite research, 42% of people discover new artists and bands through streaming services like Spotify, and half of these fans go on to purchase tickets to see those artists live.

The partners claim their combined power can help independent music venues and festivals continue to grow their businesses, citing Spotify’s success in helping numerous independent artists grow their fan base.

In addition to Spotify, Eventbrite currently has distribution partnerships with Facebook, Bandsintown and Songkick.

 


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Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

The 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will close forever in May after battling with a decline in attendance and high operating costs, amongst other factors.

The event was named in Pollstar’s top 100 tours of Q1 2016, taking ninth place with 252,571 tickets sold. However, that isn’t enough to sustain the legendary circus. Due also to changing public tastes and prolonged conflict with animal rights groups, the show’s management have decided to close for good.

The company broke the news to circus employees Saturday night after shows in Orlando and Miami. “There isn’t any one thing,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.”

“Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.”

A message from Feld online reads: “Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.”

Ringling has been targeted by activists who say forcing animals to perform is cruel and unnecessary. In May of 2016, after a long and costly legal battle, the company removed the elephants from the shows and sent the animals to live on a conservation farm in Central Florida.

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses this season and will perform 30 shows between now and May. Major stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.

The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged the Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967.

Some 500 people perform and work on both touring shows. A handful will be placed in positions with the company’s other, profitable shows — it owns Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Marvel Live, amongst others. Juliette Feld said the company will help those who aren’t placed elsewhere with job placement and resumes, as well as housing relocation.


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Twickets eyes global launch after £1.2m funding

Face-value ticket exchange website Twickets has ended its crowdfunding campaign with £1.2m of investment – over 70% the original £700k it asked for – and founder Richard Davies is gearing up for international expansion.

The crowdfunding campaign launched in November last year with the aim of raising cash to help the business grow by bolstering its technology team and undertake its first marketing campaign. That campaign will focus on providing incentives for users of the service to help spread the word, with outbound marketing activity aimed at capturing new users coming next, Davies tells IQ. He’s currently looking for a head of marketing to oversee the project.

Twickets is available in the UK and thanks to a tie-up with Neo Sala’s Spanish promoter, Doctor Music, will launch in Spain before the end of March. Sala invested in the recent round alongside a number of promoters in Spain and Switzerland. Davies wants to roll out Twickets in other European territories as well as Australia, where they’ve already appointed someone to head up operations, and New York State in the second half of this year.

A total of 12% equity in Twickets has been given to those who participated in the funding drive, with the start-up now valued at over £11m.  T-shirts, waived booking fees and tickets to parties and events were offered to funders as incentives.

“As a community-led business we felt crowdfunding was the most relevant way for us to raise funds. We have industry investors as well, but we felt it was important to allow our users to invest.”

“As a community-led business we felt crowdfunding was the most relevant way for us to raise funds. We have industry investors as well but we felt it was important to allow our users to invest,” Davies explained. Since launching in 2011, Twickets has achieved over £2.7m in ticket sales and 240k app downloads. Including the £1.2m, its total investment has topped £2m to date.

A premium service is in the works that will offer sellers “promoted tickets” at the top of the Twickets stream and a “waiting list” service that’s currently in trial will allow buyers to register for a ticket for automatic allocation once available. Twickets has been appointed as the exclusive resale platform for partners including Adele, Mumford & Sons, One Direction, QPR, Crystal Palace football club and promoter Kilimanjaro Live and parent company Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG).

Recent investors include Marcus Russell and Alec McKinlay of Ignition Management (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Catfish and the Bottlemen), Closer Artists (James Bay, George Ezra, James Morrison) and Twickets’ original founding board, which includes FanFair Alliance founders Ian McAndrew and Harry Magee, along with Richard Griffiths of Modest! Management (One Direction, Olly Murs), Chrysalis Records founder Chris Wright CBE, former EMI and BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth CBE and Crystal Palace FC’s owner and chairman, Steve Parish.
 


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Amazon names Lawrence Peryer director, tickets

Amazon has tapped former Warner Music Group exec Lawrence Peryer to lead its tickets operation in Seattle.

Peryer joins the tech giant as director, tickets, where he’ll help expand ticketing operations in the United States. The business is described as a “start-up with a vision of becoming Earth’s most customer-centric ticketing company. A place where event-goers can come to find and discover any ticket they might want to buy online.” It first launched in the UK in 2015. 

There are currently 19 jobs listed on Amazon’s job site for its tickets division, covering software development, strategy and business planning, based in Seattle and London.

Peryer joins after over 20 years in the content, commerce and community and technology sectors. His most recent role was at Warner Music, where he joined as CEO of the major label’s artist-to-fan division Artist Arena in 2012. Over the course of four years he was promoted to EVP of WEA’s Global Consumer Sales & Marketing Group, before leaving in May 2016.

Prior to Warner, Peryer spent over seven years at online fan club management and marketing services firm UltraStar Entertainment, where he was named president in 2005 prior to its acquisition by Live Nation.

 


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Bruce Springsteen tops 2016 tour charts

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s The River Tour 2016 was the highest grossing worldwide tour last year, earning $268.3m over 76 shows. The average ticket price was $111 across over 2.4m tickets sold, according to Pollstar’s Top 10 Worldwide Tours ranking.

Organised by BPB Consulting and the Creative Artists Agency, the tour was the first in two years for Springsteen and band, and was in support of his 2015 box set, The Ties That Bind: The River Collection.

Taking second place on Pollstar’s year-end lists was Beyoncé with The Formation World Tour—another CAA project. Over 49 shows, the tour grossed $256.4m, with an average ticket price of $114 and over 2.2m sold.

Coldplay take third place with the A Head Full of Dreams Tour, organised by Paradigm and X-ray Touring, grossing $241m. Over 2.6m tickets were sold across 60 shows, with an average price of $90.

Guns N’Roses’ Not In This Lifetime… Tour is fourth with $188.4m across 44 dates. 1.6m tickets were sold with an average price of $111 and UTA and ITB shared agency duties.

Rounding off the top 5 is Adele with her WME/ITB Adele Live 2016 dates that grossed $167.7m last year. 1.5m tickets were sold across 107 shows with an average price of $109.

Further down the list is Justin Bieber at sixth place, followed by Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, The Rolling Stones and Celine Dion.

 


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