Weshowup.io, the largest digital pay-after-the-experience platform for arts, culture and entertainment, has announced a move to virtual admission for digital events as the live events industry copes with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Weshowup.io model allows people to make a reservation, see the event (in person or online), and then pay what they’d like afterwards, all from their device. It also has the option of free admission as well, and provides the artist, company or organiser with access to their audience data.

Kahlil Ashanti, the company’s founder and chief executive, told TheTicketingBusiness: “This has all happened so quickly as the artists (like me) scramble to make the most of our situation while still abiding by social distancing rules.

“It is clear that no industry will emerge unscathed from these unfortunate circumstances, and virtual events have a good chance of rising in popularity.”

The platform allows artists and event hosts to make money virtually during these trying times, without alienating those who cannot pay.

Ashanti added: “We were already seeing rapid growth in the B2B brick and mortar space, but the ability for our application to accommodate ‘virtual admission’ for the B2B and B2C virtual event and live streaming markets means we are open for anyone who wants to give it a go.

“The thing we’re most proud of is we empower you as an organiser to provide a more diverse and inclusive atmosphere for reaching all audiences without price being a barrier.”

Virtual events that have already registered on the platform include a virtual music festival, a theatrical solo show and a stand-up comedy festival in LA, with the first event scheduled for Saturday.

Ashanti continued: “A recent study by the Wall Street Journal mentioned that 60% of the concert ticket revenues in 2017 went to the top 1% of artists. That leaves a lot of us needing to find ways to expand our audience and sell tickets, and virtual events provide unlimited reach with a lot less overhead.

“Virtual and live streamed events also provide a welcome reprieve from stringent and out-dated ticketing models that many feel they are ‘stuck’ with.

“For artists and promoters, they provide an unlimited number of ‘seats’ because it removes the barrier of location. For fans, they can enjoy the event from the comfort of their home and device.

“Nothing will completely replace live performance, but there is a limit to how many people can fit into any given space. This opportunity could provide the best of both worlds for live venues, with Weshowup.io uniquely placed in our ability to handle that admission with minimal tech savvy on the part of the user and a way for new audiences to take a risk on something new.”

Writer, actor and coder Kahlil Ashanti will be joining us as a guest speaker at this year’s TheTicketingBusiness Forum.