The Astroworld tragedy overshadowed everything else in a dark month for the industry.
Ten concert-goers died, with the victims ranging in age from nine to 27 years old, and 300 were injured in a catastrophic crowd crush that will undoubtedly have implications for all of the event’s stakeholders and spectators – and the industry as a whole – for many years to come.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott swiftly announced plans to form a concert safety task force to stop a tragedy such as this from happening again, but a barrage of lawsuits will keep Astroworld in the headlines well into an uncertain future.
In other news, Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory and investment company for sports and live entertainment sectors, completed its acquisition of venue management and hospitality provider Spectra. OVG counts the recently opened Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in New York and Co-Op Live, which will open in Manchester in 2023, among its clientele.
Meanwhile, a new trend that seemed to gain traction in 2021 was digital collectibles – namely non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Live Nation announced it would be offering fans the chance to collect NFT ticket stubs, called Live Stubs, at a select number of its North America shows. The question here is: Are NFTs the next big ticketing disruptor? We might find out in 2022.
However, not all ticket-holders are ready to embrace Web 3.0 – or even mobile ticketing, for that matter, as explained by Everton’s senior manager of ticketing Georgia Bekyra to TheTicketingBusiness.com.
Bekyra said that the club had not seen persuasive evidence that fans were fully ready for physical cards to be scrapped, even though the adoption of mobile ticketing had expanded across the sporting world during the pandemic.