NFT Ticketing: the benefits it can bring to the festival industry and beyond

Ryan Kenny

The global online ticketing system might be worth around $30 billion, but it has been in a state of increasing collapse for a number of years. Customers’ trust has long been dwindling, the security of ticket sales is ever more unsure and financial losses for both buyers and sellers are of increasing concern. Thankfully, the rise of NFT Ticketing and blockchain technology means that things are changing for the better, and fast. 

The most common complaint in the ticketing market for live music events, conferences, sports and anything else is that buyers worry about whether a genuine ticket or not. Unfortunately, 12% of people in a recent survey said they had been left in the cold after buying fake tickets from online stores that present a legitimate service. As well as losing money on fake tickets, there is huge disappointment at not being able to attend the event you hoped.  Part of the problem is that a small collection of companies have dominated the market which means that despite growing dissatisfaction nothing ever changes. Tickets are sold out in seconds only to reappear at double or triple the price on a resale marketplace. It leaves many genuine fans without a ticket. 

Ticket touts and scalpers are nothing new but they have gotten increasingly smart and devious in recent years. It has long plagued the industry and has caused genuine fans to pay more at the same time as jeopardising event security. Online ticket buying bots destroy the market by allowing cyber touts to buy tickets in bulk and resell them at hugely inflated rates. 

The resulting secondary ticket market – which in and of itself is not an issue – plans change, people get ill, baby sitters cancel, so tickets should be able to be transferred – but the current systems is susceptible to fraud due to the lack of a secure exchange system and oftentimes the original buyer’s personal information doesn’t reflect the details of those who actually old the ticket in the end. This means those promoting or organising the event have no idea who the real guest is, which itself is a security issue. 

Now though the greater understanding of the potential utility that NFTs have is beginning to become clearer and help improve things. Through the use of blockchain technology and the proof of authenticity and ownership that it provides, the industry is being transformed. What’s more, in the entertainment industry, NFTs are being used to enhance the experience for users and fans as Web3 technology is being exploited to make for a more immersive experience for all audiences. In particular, live event ticketing is experiencing a huge and positive disruption. 

With blockchain and Web3, there is a new opportunity to change the market from being in the hands of a few small companies who care only about profit, and not about bots and scalpers, to those who actually put on the live events. Blockchain technology is transparent and traceable and gives eyes on the journey a ticket makes at every stage. It means both artists and event organisers can identify their true fans rather than those buying speculatively to turn a profit.  
Using SeatlabNFT, tickets can be minted as NFTs which eliminates fraud as smart contracts are used to calculate royalty splits on secondary ticket sales. This will hugely reduce profiting opportunities for scalpers. On top of this,  artists can reward proper fans with air-dropped perks and rewards, which has already been shown to enhance the experience for live audiences. In these times where consumers are ever more prioritising experiences over possessions, this is a huge step forward for the industry and one that creates a closer, more trustworthy and direct relationship between fans and artists, while leaving touts and scalpers out in the cold.

In conclusion, the technology presents a vital opportunity for all industries to capitalise on, and the festival (and wider ticketing) market is one of the major sectors that stands to benefit greatly from it.

– Ryan Kenny is CEO of SeatlabNFT