CTS Eventim has announced that it will be deploying its new EVENTIM.Pass system to combat otherwise legal ticket resale on upcoming Ed Sheeran tour dates in Europe. The technology is specifically designed to limit consumer rights on tickets they have purchased, making it possible to lock the tickets to the proprietary system where the ticket vendor and promoter have full control over its use.
Similar to Ticketmaster’s SafeTix system, EVENTIM.pass works by creating a walled garden for ticket access – in this case, the Eventim smartphone app. The app is the only place where the consumer can access their purchased tickets, with the QR code that needs to be scanned withheld until the time of the event. Consumers ability to transfer or sell tickets using the EVENTIM.Pass system can presumably turned on or off at the behest of the event operator by Eventim, but are further limited by only being eligible for Eventim’s proprietary fanSALE resale system, making them – in the words of Eventim, “fully traceable.”
“We are delighted to be able to offer fans even more protection against unauthorised sales thanks to EVENTIM.Pass,” says Alexander Ruoff, Chief Operating Officer at CTS Eventim. “This proprietary solution underlines our ambition to use cutting-edge technology to ensure that ticket sales are fair.”
Ed Sheeran’s tour is the launch of the platform, and the promoting and ticketing company touts that it has already sold more than one million tickets using the proprietary technology. Sheeran has been a vocal foe of legal ticket resale, despite a documented history of his promotors moving his own tickets through resale marketplaces to benefit from higher than face-value sales, and a wide array of fan complaints over the resale restrictions causing them major issues on his last tour, where tickets were price-fixed and restricted to one proprietary platform, which simply deleted resale listings when there were tickets remaining on the primary market as the show neared. This was in addition to his promoters’ ongoing attempts to eliminate viagogo as a competitor by cancelling valid tickets strictly because they were resold through the marketplace and then selling the same tickets back to those consumers, who then had to seek a refund from the reseller.
Many states in the U.S. have taken steps to protect consumers from such anti-competitive behavior on the part of concert promoters and ticket vendors. States including New York, Connecticut, Colorado, and Virginia have required ticket vendors to offer consumers the option of a freely transferable ticket type at the point of sale in order to prevent such restrictive practices being put in place. But even with such laws in place, consumers have faced major issues as event operators have taken to using COVID-19 safety as an excuse to use proprietary ticketing systems anyways.
Sheeran’s tour begins in April 2022 with shows in Ireland and is scheduled to run through September 2022. Dates for other legs of the tour have yet to be announced.