The UK Government’s COVID-19 roadmap allows for larger events to start from this week (17th), and from the 21st June it is possible all restrictions could be gone. This roadmap has given hope to eager fans looking to enjoy live events over the summer months and beyond. However, localised outbreaks will remain a persistent threat to the staging of sporting events, concerts and other live performances.
Managing Director of viagogo, Cris Miller, says this is one of the many reasons why ticket resale platforms play a vital role in the UK event industry’s pandemic recovery.
It comes as the viagogo platform experienced a 23% rise in UK ticket sales in April.
The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for the events industry. A report by UK Music estimated that 85% of live revenue was lost in 2020 and events will continue to be cancelled and postponed in the following months and years with the cautious reopening.
Furthermore, venues who are opening this week, or in June, may have to wait some months to fill up their schedules due to the significant lead in time for tour dates.
The flexibility and protection that resale platforms offer fans who want to resell their tickets will be critical as the industry remains volatile. It will also help fill up events more quickly and maximise revenues for struggling venues. Because of this, viagogo is calling for increased collaboration between industry players to ensure the successful recovery of the live events sector.
Cris Miller said:
“We are excited that the UK’s world-leading vaccination programme has put the economy in a position to restart events in time for the summer. We’ve already seen a jump in activity on our site which suggests fans are just as excited.
“For venues and artists to survive, we need to ensure there is maximum fan attendance at every event. That can only happen with a dynamic and collaborative industry, something that is needed now more than ever.
“We feel strongly there is a need for more effective cooperation within the industry. The recovery is an opportunity to strike a better balance. A more cohesive market can help ensure events are sold out, reduce ticket fraud, increase revenue for artists and venues, and improve overall fan experience.
“We recognise our place in the live events industry and the responsibilities that come with that. We are determined to take a leading role as the UK emerges from the pandemic.”
During the pandemic, viagogo has provided all customers with the option of a refund or 125% voucher for cancelled events and set up a dedicated COVID-19 team to ensure safety protocols are articulated to buyers and sellers using its platform.