Irish ticketer Tixserve lands Twickenham deal
Mobile, white-label ticketing platform Tixserve has announced a multi-year partnership with London’s Twickenham Stadium.
The ticketing company will now deliver all tickets for Rugby Football Union (RFU) matches at the stadium.
The partnership follows a trial period that tested the compatibility of Tixserve software with existing ticketing infrastructure at Twickenham, provided by Ticketmaster and Fortress.
The Tixserve system prevents the unauthorised resale of tickets and provides customers with maps and directions, match or show day real-time updates and targeted mobile marketing. The service also collects data for venue operators.
Tixserve managing director and co-founder Pat Kirby says he is “delighted” to have secured RFU as a flagship client.
“We can provide the best secure digital ticketing solution for the RFU and its clubs, as well as concert promoters and music fans”
Kirby adds that the “close working relationship” between Tixserve and RFU “means that we can provide the best secure digital ticketing solution for the RFU and its clubs, sponsors and supporters, as well as concert promoters and music fans who also use the world-famous Twickenham Stadium.”
Twickenham presented its biggest-ever live music programme last summer, with shows from the Rolling Stones and Eminem.
“This is an important strategic agreement for the RFU as more and more fans now expect the convenience of being able to use their mobile devices to access events,” says RFU commercial officer Simon Massie-Taylor.
“We believe this service will greatly enhance the experience at Twickenham Stadium.”
Tixserve partnered with Ireland’s largest independent ticketing company, Tickets.ie, in April 2018. According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, Tickets.ie processes more than 2.7 million tickets annually for over 6,000 events.
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Huge summer shows are music to Twickenham’s ears
London’s Twickenham Stadium is gearing up for its biggest-ever summer of live music, as the home of England Rugby stakes its claim as a must-visit concert venue for some of the world’s biggest acts.
The Rolling Stones’ announcement earlier this week that the UK leg of its No Filter tour would include a stop at Twickenham is testament to the stadium, owned by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and which has a concert capacity of 55,000, fast becoming a major contender in the hotly-contested London stadium concert market.
Alongside the 19 June Stones gig, Twickenham will this July host two dates by Eminem – and RFU head of ticketing, music and new events Richard Harris reveals the venue is already in negotiations with artists touring in the next few years.
“This year we’ve filled up all our available slots,” he tells IQ, “but we’re already in talks for 2019 and even 2020.”
While Harris says Twickenham Stadium is still “very much focused on being a world-class rugby venue – that’s our bread and butter, our core business”, as well as serving as a London venue for the increasingly popular NFL American football league, stadium bosses have “ambitions” to grow its music programming after putting a temporary hold on concerts while the stadium prepared for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Music returned to Twickenham last July when U2 played two nights at the stadium as part of their Joshua Tree tour.
“I joined RFU in January 2016 as head of ticketing,” he explains, “and in 2017 I also took on the new events business. Our new chief exec, Steve Brown, is a huge music fan, and it was his vision to get music back in the stadium.”
The Rolling Stones haven’t played in the UK since 2013, and haven’t visited Twickenham since 2006 – what, then, was the process of securing that all-important 2018 date, IQ wonders?
“We’re focused on what we have: a brilliant venue for music”
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a hard one to get to London,” Harris explains. “The band weren’t even certain they were going to tour, but we went over to see them in Paris on a speculative trip in October last year and met up with [Sensible Events’] Andrew Zweck and AEG and said it would be great if the Stones could come ‘home’ to Twickenham. After all, they started out in Richmond…”
Initially, however, the Twickenham team were introduced by an unlikely figure, says Harris: the stadium’s head groundsman Keith, who met a key contact for the band while he was “giving a lecture in Devon about how to grow grass!”
Both Eminem’s Revival tour and the Stones’ No Filter are notably skipping Wembley Stadium – historically the go-to venue for stadium shows in London, but which has scaled back its live music programming slightly following the departure of former biz dev chief Jim Frayling. It does, however, still have both Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift this summer – is Harris conscious of competing with Wembley (as well as newer rival London Stadium, in Stratford) to secure shows, or is the market strong enough to accommodate everyone?
“It’s definitely a big enough market,” he says. “I used to work at Wembley, so I know the appeal. But we’re focused on what we have: a brilliant venue for music.
“The acoustics are great, the crowd are closer and the stands are steeper, so there’s a better connection with the audience…
“We’re in really good shape, and we’re really excited about the future.”
Eminem to play first Danish show at Roskilde 2018
The European leg of Eminem’s comeback Revival tour, announced today, will include a stop at Roskilde Festival – the American rap superstar’s first-ever show in Denmark.
Eminem will headline Roskilde on Wednesday 4 July – the US’s Independence Day – with other European shows including Norway’s Oslo Sommertime Festival, Switzerland’s Frauenfeld Open Air, arena dates in Stockholm, Milan, Hanover and the Netherlands and two nights at London’s Twickenham Stadium (80,000-seat) on 14 and 15 July.
“Eminem is one of the biggest artists of his generation, and we are absolutely thrilled to finally get him to Denmark,” says Anders Wahrén, Roskilde’s head of programming. “We have wanted him at Roskilde Festival for so many years, and I must admit I almost shed a tear of joy when I got the confirmation.
“Eminem’s importance can’t be overstated. More than anyone else, he has brought hip hop to new audiences. His Reading show last year served as proof that he can conquer a festival crowd, and we can’t wait to see him on our iconic Orange stage.”
Eminem (pictured) joins around 175 acts playing Roskilde Festival 2018, including headliners Bruno Mars, Gorillaz and David Byrne.