Ticketmaster UK MD Andrew Parsons Picks 2018 Highlights & Trends For 2019

Ticketmaster UK MD Andrew Parsons
– Ticketmaster UK MD Andrew Parsons
Experienced one of the busiest summers in company history

Ticketmaster UK has had a very successful year. Pollstar asked managing director Andrew Parsons to pick a few highlights, as well as trends for 2019.
Parsons said, “2018 was huge for us. The summer was one of the busiest we’ve ever had, with 176 box offices deployed around the country, a phenomenal undertaking. Starting with The BBC Biggest Weekend in May across four UK sites over four days – easily one of the biggest events of the year.
“Stadium and outdoor tours kept everyone busy with Jay Z and Beyoncé, Eminem, Ed Sheeran and Little Mix to name but a few. And then we finished the year off with the Spice Girls, our busiest ever sale on record.” 
More than 700,000 fans were queuing for tickets for the Spice Girls reunion tour in the UK next year, which caused promoters SJM and Live Nation to add more dates.
Parsons said, he was particularly proud of the hard work that has been undertaken by the Ticketmaster UK team. “Without them and their dedication none of it would have happened,” he said.
According to Parsons, more fans than ever bought and carried their tickets on their mobile phones in 2018, the year Ticketmaster experienced the highest percentage of mobile sales in company history.
Four Tet’s shows in October were a highlight for us, as we powered four 100 percent mobile gigs at the O2 Academy Brixton,” he said.
Spice Girls
– Spice Girls
Caused Ticketmaster’s busiest sale ever

Mobile is a trend that is only going to continue in 2019. “It’s what the fans want and expect,” Parsons said, adding that “our team, from the user experience designers right through to the developers, all lead with mobile in everything they do. From buying a ticket through to gaining access to an event, it’s all mobile-first.” 

The biggest change at Ticketmaster UK in 2018 was the closure of its resale platforms Get Me In! and Seatwave, which were replaced by Ticketmaster’s in-house Ticket Exchange. It allows fans that cannot make a gig to sell their tickets on at face value or less.
Parsons said, “closing down our secondary sites and creating a ticket exchange on Ticketmaster has always been our long-term plan.”
He emphasized, that “our number one priority is to get tickets into the hands of fans so that they can go to the events they love. We know that fans are tired of seeing tickets being snapped up just to find them being resold for a profit on secondary websites, so we have taken action.”
The Ticket Exchange is fully live in the UK, the roll out across mainland Europe will take place next year.
One change Parsons would like to see in 2019, is the industry uniting behind the topic of accessibility to venues. “Every fan has the right of equal access to live entertainment,” he said. 
“We have been looking to the charity Attitude is Everything who are doing great work in this space with their Ticketing Without Barriers campaign, and I implore everyone do the same. Together as an industry we can make a real change.”
Parsons also shared his favorite live gig of 2018: Biffy Clyro‘s MTV Unplugged at the Roundhouse in London.
“The strictly no phone policy was a bit of a struggle for us obsessives,” he said, “but made for an incredibly intimate and unique experience. Everyone present and in the moment – and a really amazing interaction between band and fans. Very special.”