Resale Royalties, Instant Payouts & No Fraud: Talking NFT With Exit’s Dušan Kovačević

Dusan Kovacevic

Pollstar caught up with Exit founder and CEO Dušan Kovačević to ask a few questions about the festival’s new NFT partnership launched this year. He broke down the ways in which NFT tickets outperform regular tickets, and what to expect from the new €10,000 ultra VIP offering.

See: Exit Festival Expands NFT Offering

Pollstar: Can you break down the benefits of an NFT ticket for ticket buyers, who have no clue about blockchain and digital assets?
Dušan Kovačević: There are many different benefits to an NFT ticket. The first and most obvious is that you get a digital piece of art, making you an ‘owner of forever’, and with this digital asset festival-goers receive admission to the event. They get a direct purchase with no middle man, with fair prices, solutions against fraud, reselling, and secondary markets, which is not always possible with regular tickets.

But this is just the beginning of the story. Exit’s philosophy for NFT and the Metaverse is to experience digital worlds only to enhance everything that’s extraordinary about festivals in real life, so that people can really taste the best of both worlds. That’s why our NFT collections and tickets open doors to some incredible real-life festival experiences that few have come across so far. Exclusives may include access to the stage and backstage area, hanging out with global stars, secret parties at hidden locations, and many other surprises, including the possibility of music superstars playing digitally at their private party!

What are the benefits for the festival promoter? Does it also offer any new customer data previous tickets did not?
No one can counterfeit NFT tickets, it’s mathematically impossible. The process is transparent, and the fees are minimal. There are safeguards in place to prevent scalping and other abuses. Whoever sells the ticket gets a lifetime royalty on resales, which is not possible with regular tickets. NFT tickets are unique, collectible pieces of art, perfect for the nostalgic. Payouts happen instantly, via smart contracts.

You’ve already introduced NFT tickets a year ago and also won the Innovation award at the 2022 UK festival Awards. What were the most important learnings from year one?
Last year we made an important step towards the, fairly unknown, merging of tech and festivals, and along the way we discovered a myriad of new possibilities that we had yet to discover. We were the first festival along Coachella to create NFT collections and the first one to introduce NFT tickets.

We’ve created three NFT collections in collaboration with global music stars and celebrities, that all sold out in record time. We partnered with NFT-TiX to create and sell NFT tickets, enabling the purchase of VIP Gold and VIP Infinite Experience tickets on this decentralized ticketing platform, and for this project we have won the Innovation Award at the UK Festival Awards.

So, the biggest takeaway is that we should continue exploring as we’re obviously doing something right!

See: EXIT Festival Launches NFT Collection With Maceo Plex

EXIT mts Dance Arena
Exit Festival’s famous Dance Arena. Holders of the ultra VIP tickets will have access to all sorts of special zones on site.

The latest VIP offering for €10,000 sounds like quite the steep price point. Can you break down what users get for that money, to put it into perspective?
These passes will provide fans with a unique ultra VIP festival experience. It starts with a luxury airport transfer, accommodation in a historical five-star hotel, located at the fortress where the festival is held, and a personal host on the ground. It grants access to the most prestigious VIP gold, diamond and platinum zones, onstage passes, entry to the Infinite Lounge with drinks and food. The cherry on top is the possibility to hang out with some of your favorite music stars. Last, but definitely not least: 50% of ticket price goes to humanitarian causes.

What are some of those humanitarian causes?
We have partnered with the world’s number one tennis player, Novak Đjoković and his foundation, for the common goal of building more kindergartens across Serbia. €5,000 from each of these exclusive NFT tickets will be going towards achieving that goal. We are planning on adding more causes each year, and letting the ticket buyers choose which cause they want to support.

Video Interview With EXIT Festival Founder & CEO Dušan Kovačević: ‘What Happened Exceeded My Wildest Expectations’

What other highlights/new additions/changes to Exit in 2023 would you like to highlight?
Last year we organized and held 26 events in 10 different countries, with more than 500,000 attendees in total, becoming one of the largest independent festival organizations in the world. It was indeed a year to remember and this time around we want to go a step further.

Our season this year has already begun, and we are looking forward to our takeover of one of the leading tech gatherings in Europe, TMRW CONF [in Belgrade], together with Paul Kalkbrenner, who will be playing Belgrade Arena, one of the biggest indoor venues on the continent.

The highlight of course will be our flagship event Exit festival, three-time winner of the Best Major Festival award at the European Festival Awards. Aside from some of the biggest global music stars, the audience will be able to experience our premium VR festival zone, which we first presented at Expo 2020.

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