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Eventbrite boosted by live events ticket surge in May

Eventbrite saw paid ticket volume increase 33 per cent from April to May this year, indicating green shoots of recovery after the COVID-19 shutdown of live events.

In a company update released yesterday (Tuesday), the San Francisco-headquartered ticketing firm said the boost was led by a 67 per cent month-to-month increase in paid ticket volume for live, in-person events, with a 17 per cent rise in paid tickets for online events.

Local municipalities in the US began reopening venues and allowing people to engage in small gatherings last month, which has translated to a demand for tickets and a boost for Eventbrite.

“We are encouraged by the early improvement in event activity and ticket volume on our platform,” said Julia Hartz, co-founder and chief executive of Eventbrite.

She continued: “These early positive signals support our view that the need for live experiences endures. No matter the shape of the letter of the recovery pattern, Eventbrite is the platform that will empower independent creators to rebuild the live experience economy.”

While the numbers are moving in the right direction, ticket sales in May 2020 were down 82 per cent year-on-year, while April was down 88 per cent from 2019.

Eventbrite’s advance payout (APO) balance has been reduced by $26m since early May with creators funding approximately 98 per cent of advance payout refund volume to date, and stands at approximately $267m as of June 8.

The firm also pointed out that creators with advance payouts have returned $87m in ticket refunds since the APO program paused in early March.

Consumer-initiated chargebacks were $3.2m as of early June 2020 compared to $2.5m as of early May 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely decimated the global live events industry, forced Eventbrite to lay off 45 per cent of its employees to save $100m for the year.

In mid-May, the company also secured $225m in new financing from Francisco Partners after reporting a net loss of $146.5m during Q1.

Last year, Eventbrite helped creators manage over 300 million free and paid tickets to 4.7 million events.