Coachella has linked up with fan-to-fan ticket exchange Lyte in order to gain more control over its resale.
During high-demand events, fans can sign up via Lyte to be notified when a pass is returned or becomes available after a sponsor or rights holder releases them.
With Coachella, which was attended by 250,000 people and grossed $114.6m (£89m/€101.5m) in 2017, customers can exchange weekend one tickets for weekend two and vice versa via Lyte. Fans can also upgrade their passes if VIP or other sold-out packages become available.
YAYYYY, offficially going to Coachella weekend 1 – my ticket just got fulfilled on Lyte today ??????
— baRiRi ? (@luvvbarbz) January 19, 2019
“Coachella has always wanted to provide this. It’s not like we dreamed it up and brought it to them,” Lyte founder Ant Taylor told Billboard. “That’s what’s so fun about working with partners with that kind of scale. They tend to take your platform and stretch it out as far as they possibly can to do things that they need to have done.”
In the space of a year, Lyte has seen its festival portfolio skyrocket from six partners to 30. Several of those have even begun offering presale tickets to fans that previously used Lyte.
Taylor continued: “What we give our festival partners is control where those big gaps and a lot of the pain that we know as the secondary market has sort of crept in to the fan experience.
“For all partners on average, we’re doing 60 per cent of all transaction activity after the onsale. If you look at the festival space, we’re doing higher than that: 60 to 70 per cent.”
Lyte has also signed festival partners Electric Forest, Life is Beautiful and Afropunk, which in recent years have all begun to see the value in investing in the fan’s ticketing experience. According to Lyte, fans that use the platform return to festivals at substantially high rates.
“We see great longevity stats where our share of the secondary market grows from year one to year two to year three,” said Taylor. “Year one for Newport Folk Festival we did 67 per cent of aftermarket transaction and year two we did 76 [per cent]. Fans just continue to adopt and modify their behaviour once the promoters offer it to them.”
Lawrence Peryer, Lyte’s head of business and corporate development, added: “There is a deep affinity between these fans and these festival brands and it flows both ways. These festivals are treating their fans with a lot of respect. They think long term.
“It is a really interesting and unique position to be in as a live event producer when you can be programmatic and think in terms of multiple years, think about building a community.”
Peryer added that the primary ticketing and live events industry has typically been built around a one-way transaction with no refunds or exchanges.
He said: “Ticketing companies, at least when we speak to them, love this idea (of returning tickets), but it hasn’t been part of their mission. They have been about helping their event partners and sort of de-risking as quickly as possible.”
Taylor added: “People think primary ticketing is easy because it is made to look easy. Running concurrent processes at that scale that are different every time and making sure you get the tickets into the hands of the right fans is hard.
“We plug into and participate with the primary ticketing companies, the rights holders and the artists and we move 60 per cent of that $13bn (secondary) market back into their control on our platform.”
Image: Alan Paone