Tag: January 2020

Festivals + Mega-Events: Setting Sail

CRUISE CONTROL: Kiss had everything shipshape in the fall for Kiss Cruise 2019, part of Sixthman’s schedule of events. (Will Byington) Cruise and destination concerts continue to draw, especially among older demographic Mega-events like Coachella and the Lockn’ Festival may be just the ticket for some concertgoers. For a substantial number of others, however, nothing compares to the shared passion, intimacy and access to artists available at a boutique destination event or cruise. Companies like Sixthman, StarVista Live, CID Presents, Cloud9 Adventures and others have served thousands with multiday cruises and destination events or some combination of the two. And it doesn’t stop at music. Sixthman, with nearly 20 years of themed cruises under its belt and a partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, will be producing its second Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea cruise — complete with a ring on the pool deck — Jan. 20-24, said […]

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Letter From Maureen: Room for Debate

Maureen Andersen, President and CEO, INTIX Two things are for certain and we can always bank on it: Live entertainment, ticketing and the industry is always changing, and it is never boring!   It seems that every year as we come into the annual INTIX conference, there is some big topic, big idea or buzzworthy conversation bon mot. And #intix2020 won’t disappoint — we will be all abuzz with conversations on how blockchain will change our reality, U.S. Department of Justice and congressional probes into multiple areas of the industry, the perennial favorite of mergers and acquisitions and, this year, scalping, bots, unfair practices and, what will become the great debate, the Viagogo–StubHub $4 billion deal. Millions of dollars will be spent to debate these things in court, committees and legislation, but even then we may not have a lot of answers. But we do have a lot of opinions, points […]

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INTIX Quarterly: Big Deals

TICKET TAKEOVER: Viagogo Entertainment is buying StubHub from eBay. (Getty Images) New developments hold the potential to greatly alter the ticketing business Live event ticketing saw more than its fair share of potentially game-changing news in the waning weeks of 2019 — a Dec. 13 report in The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. Department of Justice was preparing to bring enforcement action against Live Nation Entertainment Inc. over the company’s handling of its Ticketmaster subsidiary and the news less than a week later that a settlement had been reached with the extension through 2025 of a consent decree that allowed the companies to merge being just the latest. The late November announcement that Switzerland-based Viagogo Entertainment Inc. is moving to acquire StubHub from eBay for upwards of $4 billion is another major development if the deal gets federal approval. The merged company would create an international ticketing behemoth with Viagogo […]

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Washington Theater Takes a Big Step Up in Sound

The Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, Wash., recently underwent a $1.2 million renovation. (Courtesy Admiral Theatre) Over the past two years, the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, Wash., has received much-needed updates to the tune of $1.2 million. Formerly a 1940s movie house, the theater was renovated and reopened in 1999. “It has been 20 years since we did any work, so it was due for upgrades,” said Brian Johnson, executive director. This included a renovated lobby, new seats and tables and chairs on the main floor and a $500,000 sound system from Meyer Sound. “Before, we had more of a performing arts sound system, but we do a lot of concerts here, so it was fantastic to upgrade,” Johnson said. With the new system, the theater was able to host Trace Adkins, Lonestar, Phil Vassar, John Tesh, the Righteous Brothers and the Temptations. “We didn’t realize what we were missing with […]

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Pacific Northwest: High Season

MOORE ENTERTAINMENT: Rapper Common played the Moore Theatre in Seattle in July. (Getty Images) Things continue to look up as crowds keep arenas full THE CIRCUIT Favorites and feedback from Alaska down to Oregon and Idaho  Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash. Kim Bedier, director of Tacoma Venues & Events for the city of Tacoma How did you do last year? 2019 was an amazing year. Our big arena in Seattle is under renovation, so we picked up business we wouldn’t have had otherwise. As a result, we had a very strong year. Big shows We go from one show to the next, so we’re only as good as our last event. One highlight was Michelle Obama, who was amazing. Jimmy Kimmel interviewed her, and no one moved the entire time. We’ve had great concerts, too. The standouts were ELO and Queen. Post Malone did rehearsals here, and he was so appreciative of […]

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New York State of the Art

NEXT STAGE: A rendering shows the reimagined David Geffen Hall. (Courtesy Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic) David Geffen Hall and The Perelman chart fresh paths for New York City performing arts New York City has no shortage of iconic theaters and performing arts centers. But not all of them are on the cutting-edge of design and technology — which helps explain a recent spate of renovated and brand-new facilities for the Big Apple’s swankiest programming. Uptown, Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic are reimagining David Geffen Hall, the performance space that has hosted the symphony orchestra and other acts since 1962. In December, the venue shared plans for its first substantial renovation since 1992, following years of delays and nixed projects. “Renovations for this space have been talked about since – if you can believe this – 1996,” said Deborah Borda, president and chief executive of the […]

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Ticketing Star Awards: Steve Weydig

Senior vice president of client support, Ticketmaster North America. (Courtesy Steve Weydig) Face of SafeTix Steve Weydig, a 21-year veteran of Ticketmaster, was the point man for the rollout of SafeTix in NFL stadiums this year, an undertaking that involved more than 300 employees on 35 internal teams. More than 3.5 million fans have used SafeTix to enter NFL games this year, thanks to Weydig, who was instrumental in developing the product to the specifications of Ticketmaster’s clients.  “I was the conduit for taking that feedback and discussion points and bringing it to our product development team,” said the Buffalo-based Weydig, who was at the forefront of the product’s mapping, helping design it in order to take it to market. “We wanted to create efficient entry practices for both the fan, the gate staff and the venue operators.” SafeTix was developed as a way to reduce fraud, offering a more […]

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Ticketing Star Awards: David Simpson

David Simpson, director of ticket sales and service, Fox Theatre, Atlanta. (Photo courtesy Fox Theatre) The Grand Opener  Every day at the Fox Theatre is a different puzzle to solve for David Simpson. He learned that ticketing is all about solutions at his first job in the industry, as box office manager for the Harrisburg Senators, a minor league baseball team that plays at FNB Field in Pennsylvania.  It was a new venue called Metro Bank Park when Simpson got the job. His first crisis was days before the ballpark was to open, when he walked in and realized that the seats were not numbered 1-10 as the manifest called for. They were numbered 10-1, meaning people who paid for a better seat weren’t going to get it.  “We were out there with crowbars changing the numbers around,” said Ryan Miller, director of ticket operations for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, who […]

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Ticketing Star Awards: Said Sattout

Said Sattout, ticketing manager, Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney. (Photo courtesy Qudos Bank Arena) Where he’s meant to be  Said Sattout lives 15 minutes from Qudos Bank Arena. It is situated in Sydney Olympic Park, where it was built for the 2000 Summer Olympics.  “Every day I’d drive past and I’d say to myself. ‘I’m going to work there one day, I’m going to work there one day.’” He’d caught countless acts at the ASM Global-managed 21,000-seater. The most memorable was Madonna — “the production, the costumes, the lighting, all fantastic,” he said. After working at Ticketek in various roles for 13 years and as ticketing manager at Star Entertainment Group for close to four years, he joined Qudos Bank Arena in November 2017 in the newly created role of ticketing manager. Under venue General Manager Steve Havern, Sattout restructured ticketing to provide quicker turnaround of information for touring acts and anchor […]

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Ticketing Star Awards: Tyler Hubbard

Tyler Hubbard, director of ticket operations, Washington Nationals. (Photo courtesy Tyler Hubbard) Winning in many forms  From the time Tyler Hubbard started his first ticketing internship with Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals in 2005, he has worked to make the team a top-flight ticketing destination. Then, in 2019, as the team’s director of ticket operations, he realized a dream as the team won its first World Series championship, as he used new technology to keep the club’s ticketing moving forward.  “The last two seasons have been just insane,” Hubbard said, from hosting the All-Star Game in 2018 — a “huge undertaking” that condensed everything he has learned into three days’ worth of ticketed events and festivities — to setting the stage for the postseason run in 2019.  “We’ve always said here internally that if we ever got to the World Series, this town would go crazy,” he said. “We got to […]

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Ticketing Star Awards: Jacque Holowaty

Jacque Holowaty, vice president of client experience and ticketing, Spectra. (Photo courtesy Spectra) Born to innovate  Jacque Holowaty is not the type to color between the lines. A 15-year veteran of Spectra, she’s seen a lot of changes in ticketing over the years and she’s rolled with the punches and adjusted to the times.  The venue industry was in her blood; Holowaty’s aunt was the director of finance for Global Spectrum (which was rebranded as Spectra in 2015). Holowaty was in college at Colorado State University in Fort Collins when her aunt asked whether she wanted to make some money as a part-time box office ticket seller at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo. “Who knew it would turn into a career?” she said.  For Holowaty, it’s not just a career, it’s a passion.  “I give the box office a voice to allow the creativity to come out,” she said. […]

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