Eventbrite predicts strong sales for Australia’s summer music season
Online ticketing platform Eventbrite has reported strong post-lockdown consumer thirst for Australia’s summer live music season – particularly in Western Australia.
APAC general manager Josh McNicol cites Bar Pop’s Factory Summer Festival in Perth as an example of how well the platform’s Australian and New Zealand event creators are faring. Over 30,000 tickets were sold in the first week of sales, with a 350% rise in the number of Perth tickets sold compared to 2019.
“This shows us there’s a high level of consumer confidence in the ability of a seasoned events team like Bar Pop to deliver live events that prioritise attendee safety alongside an exceptional experience for fans,” he points out.
In Q3 2020, average daily paid ticket sales for WA music events increased fivefold compared to Q2 2020, by 56% compared to Q3 2019, and by 63% against pre-COVID levels in Q1 2020.
Interestingly, while both WA and Queensland began to see recovering and accelerating demand in Q3 2020, WA event creators were selling on average 2.4 times more paid tickets per day than their counterparts in QLD.
McNicol forecasted that Australian promoters will follow how quickly New Zealand’s live landscape changed.
“What’s important is that event creators equip themselves with the right tools and technology to ensure they are prepared for all scenarios,” he said.
Pictured: Eventbrite APAC General Manager Josh McNicol
These include COVID-safe procedures such as contactless check-in, rapid COVID testing at events, capturing attendee data and enhancing capabilities for contact tracing, real-time capacity controls, staggering patron arrivals, expansion of refund alternatives and upgraded ventilation for indoor venues.
Australian promoters are expected to increasingly diversify their events and focus on building an online global audience that’s as equally engaged as their offline community. Livestreaming music events will be a continued presence, as a ticketed option for gigs.
“This is where finding the right technology partners is critical; integrations with Eventbrite and Zoom or Vimeo make the proposition of hybrid events combining in-person and online seamlessly so much simpler,” McNicol advises.
This week, Eventbrite’s San Francisco HQ announced the platform hit a new milestone, powering 1 million virtual events worldwide in 2020. These weren’t just concerts and festivals; online dating, wedding and marriage events took off thanks to virtual first-dance lessons and vow writing workshops. In April alone, virtual marriage events on Eventbrite increased 30 times year over year.
In June, online yoga lessons increased by 50 times year over year while the AFL and NRL grand finals saw a three-time increase in virtual events on Eventbrite this year compared to last year.
McNicol revealed, “One trend that we expect to accelerate in the months ahead is Australians’ preference for intimate live music gigs over large concerts or festivals.
“Earlier this year we surveyed more than 6,000 Aussie music fans and found that close to two-thirds (57%) of respondents preferred smaller club and pub gigs over stadium shows.
“As venues prepare to reopen safely and with social distancing at top of mind, we anticipate that this trend will only continue to grow.”
The same survey found that one in two music fans (48%) bought a ticket to discover a new artist or experience a new musical genre in-person.
“That is exciting news for up-and-coming local artists who’ll likely find new, highly-engaged audiences right here at home this summer, as the pandemic continues to prevent international artists from touring in Australia,” McNicol said.
Eventbrite warns that, despite moves by promoters and music fans to re-embrace the physical live experience, current border restrictions and lengthy quarantine requirements remain a problem.
“The live sector also continues to operate on the knife’s edge of risk which is worsened without access to affordable event insurance for communicable diseases,” McNicol stated.
“In parts of our region that have reopened to large events, Eventbrite creators consistently ask the question of insurability of their events in order to protect their business and attendees.
“Federal government support and even intervention is needed to ensure a safe and viable return to live, and to give our industry confidence that there is not one small group carrying the entirety of risk as Australians begin to celebrate together in-person once more.”