Showpass unveils a new concert series in hotels, while Vivaticket teams up with digital payments firm Skrill and Cirque du Soleil cuts almost 3,500 jobs…

Hotel concert

Event platform Showpass has unveiled a new concert experience amid COVID-19, which uses pool decks and courtyards as stages and hotel room balconies as box suites.

The ‘Staycations’ series, which launched last week in Calgary, Canada, was approved by the Alberta Health Services, the health authority for the Canadian province.

Showpass chief executive Lucas McCarthy said: “The goal of this project is to get as many folks in the music industry – from musicians & crew members, to agents & promoters -back to doing what they love and most importantly, getting paid to do it.”

The event company said that the hotel layout provides a safe social distancing environment with individual bathrooms, room service capabilities, contactless check in and check out, and a room to stay the night in, alleviating drinking and driving concerns and complying with all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Rob Cyrynowski, of Livestar Entertainment Canada/ Hotels Live, added: “Hotels Live is proud to collaborate with Showpass to bring live music back to the world. By providing a truly exclusive entertainment experience, we know this hotel balcony series will be our first of many to come.”

Showpass said it has partnered with hundreds of hotel concert venues and is actively partnering with additional artists, festival and venue operators, promoters, and agencies to bring more events to reality.

Vivaticket

Vivaticket has partnered with leading digital payments firm Skrill.

Under the agreement, Paysafe-owned Skrill will be available as a payment option at the checkout for customers buying tickets for events and venues.

It will be used at sporting events such as golf Ryder Cup matches, theatres across the world, and live entertainment such as upcoming concerts from Andrea Bocelli, Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne and Aerosmith.

Luca Montebugnoli, executive chairman of Vivaticket, said: “As an increasingly popular payment option, we are delighted to be able to offer Skrill as a way for customers to purchase more types of tickets and experiences. A convenient and smooth experience at the checkout is a vital part of our customer journey, and offering multiple payment methods is central to this.”

Serie A football club AC Milan recently announced Skrill as its official global payments partner. The team’s fans will have the option of using Skrill’s digital wallet when buying match tickets and other AC Milan experiences through Vivaticket.

In addition, via Skrill’s Quick Checkout solution, Vivaticket customers will be able to pay by online bank transfer using Rapid Transfer, a bank transfer solution that allows merchants to receive funds in real-time from consumers in 19 countries.

Lorenzo Pellegrino, chief executive of Skrill, NETELLER and Income Access at Paysafe, added: “We are excited to be working with Vivaticket more broadly, supporting the expansion and success of its business by enabling a new and convenient way to pay.

“Skrill offers choice at the checkout, allowing businesses to add multiple local payment methods with a single integration, and giving consumers the ability to use their preferred option to make quick and secure payments.”

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil has been forced to lay off around 75 per cent of its staff in order to avoid bankruptcy due to COVID-19.

The Canadian entertainment company, known for its circus shows in Las Vegas and around the world, will cut 3,500 jobs after its shows and tours were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Cirque du Soleil had to pause production of all of its shows, including six in Las Vegas, back in March when it announced “significant temporary staff reductions” and furloughed 95 per cent of its employees.

The firm said it aimed to rehire a “substantial majority” of the 3,480 employees once lockdown measures are lifted.

“With zero revenue since the forced closure of all of our shows due to Covid-19, the management had to act decisively,” said chief executive Daniel Lamarre.

The company said it had entered a deal under which its existing shareholders will take over its liabilities and invest $300m in the business. It will be used to support a restart, provide relief for Cirque du Soleil’s affected employees and partners, and assume outstanding liabilities, including with respect to ticketholders affected by the cancellation of the shows.

The agreement would see some $200m of this takeform of a loan from the province of Quebec, where the firm is based.

Festicket

Festicket Live sold 50,000 tickets for a paid livestream series at Amsterdam’s Het Scheepvaartmuseum.

The series, which ran in partnership with Dutch promoters Friendly Fire from June 17 – 21, saw each artist perform a live set and Q&A.

Each ticket-buyer receives a unique access code to watch the stream along with a form to submit a question to the Q&A. The video was accompanied by a live chat, which allowed fans to engage with others throughout the evening.

The series involved Kensington, Duncan Laurence, Danny Vera, Krezip and Ilse DeLange and tickets cost €13 each.

Festicket’s CPO and co-founder Jonathan Younes said: “This series was a lot of hard work but also a highly rewarding experience. Paid live streams are a new phenomenon for many, including us, but we tried to give ticket-holders the best user experience possible while continually learning from their feedback, and we’re now working with that to improve our technology to create an even more seamless online event experience.

“We hope that fans enjoyed the shows as much as we did, and seeing their enthusiastic responses in the live chat was an amazing feeling for us. I’m now also a massive Danny Vera fan.”

Image: Derek Key