Blackburn Helps Launch Ingresso

Former See Tickets non-executive chairman Nick Blackburn is back in the ticket-selling business and has joined the board of Ingresso Group, a new venture launched with funding from Oakfield Capital Partners.

The new company has already purchased global distribution system TicketSwitch from Seatem Group and recruited some of that company’s key staff to its management team.

They include Seatem founder and former chief exec Paul Burns, who joins the Ingresso board alongside Blackburn. The other board members are from Oakfield Capital.

TicketSwitch provides the world’s most efficient event ticket sales and distribution technology, channeling tickets from live inventory directly to the client or customer. It’s already served 5.5 million tickets for thousands of events, using a network of several hundred affiliate websites.

Blackburn left his role at See Tickets in September and hasn’t taken long to fulfill his promise to soon find a new challenge in the ticket business.

Having run See Tickets for 10 years and seen it change hands twice within a year, he quit amid rumours that he wasn’t happy with the way the company’s Dutch owners ran its UK operation.

See Tickets was sold to Joop van den Ende’s Dutch-based Stage Entertainment in January 2008. Ten months later Stage picked up about £250 million by selling 60 percent of the business to ING Group, the Dutch investment and financial services company.

Blackburn joined Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group in 2002, a year before it started See Tickets by buying the Nottingham-based Way Ahead ticket agency for £13 million and combining it with its own Really Useful Tickets.

He previously spent 13 years as sales and marketing director for Ticketmaster.

He also represented the ticketing business in discussions with the government when former culture minister Tessa Jowell was looking at outlawing the secondary market. He remains a fierce and outspoken opponent of ticket touts.