Fast-growing digital ticketing fulfilment company, Tixserve, enabled HMV to issue secure and interactive digital tickets for its exclusive Ed Sheeran gig, in celebration of HMV’s 100th birthday.

Ed Sheeran took to the stage at HMV Empire, Coventry on August 25th to mark the celebration of HMV’s centenary along with the grand opening of the HMV Empire concert venue. Around 700 fans, who had won tickets in a competition run by HMV, attended the gig featuring the singer’s first in-person live performance of his latest chart-topping single, ‘Bad Habits’.

Earlier, Ed Sheeran said: “Very happy to say that I’ll be performing for HMV’s 100th birthday in Coventry. HMV is a store that I spent a lot of time in growing up and a place where I discovered lots of new music, so I’m looking forward to celebrating this milestone with them.”

The Tixserve-powered HMV Tickets App was used for the live event to ensure that all tickets were securely delivered to the competition winners and could not be passed on, duplicated or sold on the secondary market. 

The sophisticated Tixserve self-service platform allowed HMV to disable the ticket transfer functionality for the high-profile gig and the QR code remained inactive until shortly before gates opened as a further security measure to prevent fraud and abuse. 

Each guests’ details were displayed on their digital ticket – including details of a companion attending with them – to ensure that those attending the event were in fact the competition winners. HMV also required photo ID from all guests upon entry to verify against the matching details on their digital ticket. 

Guests were also required to show proof of full vaccination or natural immunity before the event and Tixserve’s Covid-19 safe-ticketing features also supplied HMV with accurate track and trace capabilities in line with government regulations.

In advance of the event, HMV sent out in-app push notifications to all guests with various event-specific messages and updates that optimised fan engagement and created excitement for the upcoming gig. 

HMV used Tixserve’s newly enhanced high-speed Scanning App to validate all tickets at the venue so that fans could experience a safe and speedy entry process.  

Simon Winter, HMV Senior Events Manager, said: “The HMV 100th anniversary show with Ed Sheeran and Maisie Peters represented a big challenge, as we needed to provide a secure ticket solution that would ensure that none of the free tickets could be transferred or sold on, and that they remained with the original winners. Thankfully we could demonstrate that we had the ideal ticket solution in Tixserve, and it proved very easy to demonstrate to artist management that the integrity of this very special show would not be compromised by illicit ticket sales.”

Tixserve’s managing director, Pat Kirby, added: “Tixserve has partnered with HMV since March 2019, delivering digital tickets for live gigs, artists signings and meet-and-greet tours across the UK and Northern Ireland. Tixserve is delighted that our out-of-the box SaaS solution enabled HMV to satisfy the stringent security and public health requirements for this high-profile, prestigious Ed Sheeran concert and we are very excited by the HMV plans to expand their live music activities.”

At the gig (not pictured), Sheeran told fans: “I love having a crowd here, this is great. And getting to play rooms like this again, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve played something that has a roof, if that makes sense, and I really, really love it. This is where I spent so many nights of my life on my first album and second album, playing theatres and academies, and it is always the best buzz.”

HMV currently operates 107 stores across the UK and is marking its centenary year with exclusive vinyl releases, further store openings and a return to in-store signings and live performances from both top artists and local grassroots bands.

Image: Joe Hernandez on Unsplash