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Festicket CEO Zack Sabban provides Access with some predictions for the future of ticketing, which he says will be permanently transformed by Covid-19.

The live entertainment industry will bounce back, but the pandemic will leave its mark. It’s imperative that industry players come together to adapt to this ‘new normal.’

The live entertainment industry is one of the greatest and most exciting industries in the world, with a market size of more than $25bn per year.

But it is currently under immense pressure. The coronavirus pandemic is putting a huge strain on industry players, who are struggling to cope with event cancellations, evolving laws and regulations, high fixed costs and consumer pressure for refunds. Now more than ever, the industry needs to come together to show unity, strength, presence and stability.

In our view the coronavirus crisis will reset the live entertainment industry, and the following permanent changes are to be expected:

  • More emphasis on hygiene and health with new rules imposed on festival organisers;
  • More emphasis on security than ever before;
  • More rules and controls on maximum capacity with appropriate distancing space for festival-goers;
  • Increase in cost of cancellation insurance with new rules and regulations in place to protect consumer rights
  • Decrease in financial support from ticketing companies, including sponsorship and advances;
  • Increase in level of chargebacks;
  • A more consolidated market with less independent ticketing companies and fewer festival promoters;
  • Artists will lead the post-crisis revolution, keen to reunite with their fans and make back lost revenue;
  • Full end-to-end B2B product and strong marketing B2C offering will have significant deal opportunities as independent music promoters have fewer resources available to sell, promote and deliver their events;
  • Consumer expectation on customer service will sharply increase, which means ticketing companies will have to invest more than before in customer service infrastructure;
  • Possible creation of new types of promoters with an expected increase in live steam and “from-home” entertainment, creating new forms of online events, conferences, etc.

The recessions of the past have always shown that once a crisis has passed, strong acceleration follows. We’re therefore confident that the live entertainment industry will bounce back. Festival culture will prosper again and event experiences will continue to be the key feature of millennial’s social and cultural life. So while it is critical to focus on the short-term, it is still important to think and act with a long-term strategy.

While the current pandemic is a time of immense pressure, it is also a chance to reflect and adapt to a “new normal” for live events. If we do so effectively, we firmly believe that once we’ve battled through these turbulent times, we’ll emerge as a better and stronger industry than ever before.