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2019 in review: May

In May, supporters’ groups from Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea joined forces to condemn UEFA’s “disgraceful” treatment of fans during the lead up to its European club finals.

The four Premier League clubs’ fan groups slated the governing body for several issues over ticket allocation and the cost of traveling to the Champions League final in Madrid and the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust and Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankly group suggested a ticket price cap and increased transparency over allocation. The fan groups saw flights to Madrid skyrocket by up to 840 per cent.

Liverpool and Spurs were allocated just 16,613 tickets for the final in Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium, which has a capacity of 68,000

Meanwhile, Ticketmaster introduced identity-based product SafeTix, which was deployed across the NFL throughout 2019.

The feature provides ticket-holders with a unique and identifiable mobile barcode that automatically refreshes every few seconds. This process of encrypted barcodes is designed to combat fraud as it means people cannot screenshot or copy the barcode data.

If a ticket is sold or transferred, a new digital ticket is sent to the buyer and will be linked to the recipient’s account and mobile phone, with the barcode refreshment process continuing.

The month also saw Eventbrite launch Ticketing on Facebook, allowing event organisers in the US to sell tickets within the social media platform via its Events page.

Facebook users can set up an event and sell or issue tickets without leaving the platform. In order to engage the ticketing feature, administrators can choose to ‘Create Tickets’ in the initial set-up.

Pat Poels, senior vice-president of platform at Eventbrite, said at the time of the launch: “700 million people use Facebook Events each month and partnering on this initiative is our effort to better serve the people responsible for bringing those events and gatherings to life including small businesses and entrepreneurs whose core business is not throwing events.”

Also in May, a report from cloud-based ticketing platform Spektrix revealed that only 15 per cent of arts organisations sold one or more wheelchair accessible seats online.

The report stated that, “there appears to be considerable unmet demand for wheelchair accessible seats available for online booking”.

The data also revealed that only four per cent of bookings for audience members needing wheelchair access occurred online, as opposed to over the phone or in person.

The Spektrix Insights Report 2019 analysed transaction data from 343 arts organisations across the UK, predominantly theatres, and more than 25 million items purchased across the system in 2018.

Click here to see the June 2019 review and here to see the April 2019 review.

Image: Tuga M

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