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Greek ticketer Viva expands marketplace into Europe

Viva Online Services, Greece’s largest ticketing retailer since 2010, is opening up its marketplace to organisers across Europe in a bid to capitalise on the platform’s success in the domestic market.

The company, which is owned by pan-European neobank Viva Wallet, was established in 2005 and has generated more than 11 million orders and €230 million in ticket revenue in the last 10 years.

Viva’s platform and services are now available to organisers in 23 countries, in all European languages and currencies.

In order to start selling tickets, organisers will be required to set up a Viva Wallet Business Account, which will enable them to receive money from pre-sales in real-time.

Viva’s platform and services are now available to organisers in 23 countries, in all European languages and currencies

Organisers will benefit from a low commission, based on IC+2,06%, which includes the credit card acquiring fees.

All event presale pages and streaming pages are customisable and can be embedded into the organiser’s website. Bonus features include customisation, loyalty cards, donation and merchandise add-ons and ad-pixel tracking.

The ticketing platform is compatible with Viva Streaming, which launched in November 2020 and has already hosted more than 300 livestream events by organisers in Greece and Cyprus.

According to Viva, more than 195, 000 tickets (unique streaming access codes) have been sold for livestreaming events.

 


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Promotional difficulties

Since 2010, Viva has sold more than 46 million tickets, providing services for over 35,000 events organised by nearly 2,000 promoters. Among such a large portfolio of successful events, there are bound to be cases where things do not go as planned.

Recent concerts by Bryan Adams (18 November) and José Carreras (24 November), as well as two shows by Maluma due to take place in March 2020, are four such cases. Shortly before the Bryan Adams concert, the promoter of the shows, Art BG, informed Viva that due to “financial difficulties” it would be unable to fulfil its obligations and pay for the cost of the shows. The promoter then promptly disappeared, causing the loss of thousands of euros from the sale of two shows’ worth of tickets.

This left Viva, acting as the intermediate ticketing provider, with two options. The first option, and the most straightforward based on the business terms that govern ticketing, was to announce the cancellation of the events and advise the furious ticketholders to request refunds directly from Art BG.

The second option was for Viva to try to salvage the events, becoming responsible for all costs and losses, to avoid cancellations and keep ticketholders happy, no matter the price.

This decision was the only way to … protect the reputation of Greece’s live music business

Given that a new but experienced organiser, Gazarte, stepped in to help with the organisation of the events, Viva swiftly decided to follow the second option, assuming the full cost of the shows, which then went ahead as planned.

This decision was the only way to honour the more than 8,000 customers who had already bought tickets to the shows, and to protect the reputation of Greece’s live music business in the eyes of international promoters and artists.

Viva also issued 2,500 free tickets online, with an optional donation of €7 per ticket for the charity Together We Can (Oloi Mazi Boroume), which cares for poor families across Greece.

Viva is now pursuing legal action against the promoter, which has also been at the centre of controversy elsewhere in Europe in recent weeks, resulting in the cancellation of Enrique Iglesias shows in Croatia, Belarus and Latvia.

In the end, the organisational capacity of Gazarte combined with the high-speed reaction of Viva led to two hugely successful events in Athens, with two more to follow in March 2020.

 


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Greek ticketer threatens legal action against Art BG

Greek ticketing company Viva is pursuing legal action against promoter Art BG for the return of almost €740,000 in ticket sales for events it claims the promoter “did not end up organising”.

According to an extrajudicial statement filed by Viva and obtained by IQ, Art BG sold 13,080 tickets to four concerts through Viva’s platform, collecting a total of €737,659.

On 11 November, ten days before the first scheduled date, the promoter informed Viva that, due to “financial difficulties”, it would be unable to pay for the cost of the shows.

The ticketing company states that the promoter then “literally disappeared” and has not responded to phone calls or written communications since.

In order to avoid cancellation of the first concert – Bryan Adams at Athens’ Oaka indoor arena (21,000-cap.) on 18 November – Viva “decided to bear the costs” and the show went ahead as planned.

The ticketing company states that the other affected events – Jose Carreras at the Oaka arena on 24 November and Maluma shows at the Paok Sports Arena (10,200-cap.) in Thessaloniki and the Peace and Friendship Stadium (14,940-cap.) in Piraeus on 11 March and 13 March respectively – will “be performed as planned”, in conjunction with new promoter Artway.

Viva is pursuing legal action against promoter Art BG for the return of almost €740,000 in ticket sales for events it claims the promoter “did not end up organising”

Viva expresses “strong disapproval” for what it terms “totally unprofessional and abusive behaviour” on behalf of the promoter.

Art BG has been at the centre of controversy elsewhere in Europe in recent weeks. As reported by IQ, CAA recently cancelled three Enrique Iglesias shows in Croatia, Belarus and Latvia, stating the promoter had “not fulfilled their contractual obligations”, whereas Latvian ticketing company Bilesu Serviss asked the police to investigate “possible fraud” on behalf of Art BG.

The promoter’s social media page has been deactivated. No response has been made to IQ’s request for comment.

Update: Viva announced today (21 November), that it is fronting all the costs for the Carreras concert this weekend, with organisational support from Gazarte Group Company. Viva will issue new, zero-value tickets to the 3,200 customers who paid to go to the show, as well as providing a further 2,500 free tickets online, with a suggested donation of €7. All proceeds will go to social and environmental development charity Together We Can (Όλοι μαζι μπορουμε).

 


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