Outbox Technology, instantly the nation’s second-largest primary ticketing company following its deal with AEG, signed a multi-year ticketing deal this week with the Blackcreek Summer Music Festival, a 14-week event in Toronto that will feature Plácido Domingo, James Taylor, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett and other major acts.
Taking on the annual multi-concert festival, which will be held at the Rexall Centre on the campus of York University from June to September, is an easy task for Outbox because the company has vast experience with ticketing shows for Cirque du Soleil, in addition to events at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre and the Bell Centre in Montreal, such as the Montreal Canadiens, U2, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, the Black Eyed Peas and Justin Bieber.
Outbox’s “white label” ticketing solution powers the festival’s Web site to allow the festival to sell its own tickets, thus controlling prices, fees and its own branding. The sophisticated system lets fans click on interactive seating maps that show available tickets and pricing information in real time. The festival will feature stars of opera, jazz, Broadway and classical music, and will include spoken-word performances by award-winning actors James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons and Dame Helen Mirren.
Fred Rosen, co-CEO of Outbox and the former head of Ticketmaster, said in a statement that he is excited about adding the festival to the company’s roster of clients.
“Our system will provide patrons with secure, reliable and easy access to all of the great concerts that have been assembled for the inaugural season, as well as for those in the years to follow. With Outbox, the transaction resides with the venue; and the venue is the destination and the brand. It’s the best customer service experience that can be offered and we look forward to forging a long-term relationship with the client,” he said.
Since announcing its deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Outbox has generated loads of press coverage, but the company is quick to remind the industry that it was a successful, scalable ticketing alternative to Live Nation’s Ticketmaster division well before teaming up with AEG. The partnership will make Outbox the primary ticketer for more than 100 AEG venues, making Outbox second to only Ticketmaster in size and scope.
Ticketmaster knew AEG would one day bolt due to the conditions imposed by the U.S. Justice Department’s in its approval of the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger. But, the company nonetheless was clearly flustered by the defection of its largest client, prompting Live Nation Chairman Irving Azoff to draw battle lines against Outbox by unsuccessfully trying to delegitimize Outbox and the other white label ticket solution providers, which are growing in rank.
Rosen likens the move away from Ticketmaster’s middleman approach to ticket selling to global warming.
“Ticketmaster is the big glacier, but with AEG leaving, that’s like a continent fell off. Now, more icebergs are beginning to fall off,” Rosen told TicketNews.