When things go bad, people like to look for a villain.

Ticketing professionals are competitors in a very competitive marketplace. Most people know of my opposition to a lot of Live Nation policies, because I am very vocal about it. However, we should give them credit for their integrity during the past month and the impossible task of sorting through all of the show cancellations and postponements in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The current situation is something that they have very little control over, just the same as the rest of us. With the exception of non-transferable tickets – which both they and airlines must stop if they want to avoid driving at-risk people to events despite the risk of spreading this and other communicable diseases to avoid financial loss – but that is an argument for another day.

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I believe most of the people in the ticketing and live events business are here because they love it and this is what they want to be doing. It’s more a calling than a job. You see that in Live Nation CEO Mike Rapino buying large volumes of his company’s stock to help stave off panic-selling, and then foregoing his salary to help stabilize costs.

Leadership like he is showing will help us all get through this event. We saw something similar with Live Nation President Joe Berchtold’s uplifting interview on CNBC. We should all be proud of this – now is the time for professionals in this industry to band together rather than point fingers. Live Nation’s leadership is showing that they love this business, and want to do what they can to help fans continue to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime shows. I know many other folks who love this industry and the fans who come through the doors. Whether it is David Fay at the Bushnell or Robert Wagner with the Schubert Organization, they are concerned with the customers.

The point is, we are all in this together. Promoters, venues, ticketers, teams, and agents need to work together to find a way back to live events that is safe and sustainable. There are government entities right now that are working to define how live entertainment and events with crowds will look in the future. But we – those of us already involved in this ecosystem – need to put out our own plans for how that’ll look and get buy-in from all involved – government officials, scientists, and health care professionals.

We are doing what we can at TicketNetwork to help start that conversation. We have made sacrifices to keep our staff employed, and able to serve our customers while we figure out these next steps. I invite others in this business to join us in that conversation.

Those who know me, reach out to me if you want to be a part of this process. Others, we have launched a LinkedIn group to share ideas and generate discussion. Join it and be a part of the conversation as we share plans and documentation to bring live events back and let fans take part in these events that are such a big part of how we enjoy our lives.

LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12398121/

Lets get through this together,

Don Vaccaro,
CEO, TicketNetwork