Forget tickets – Ticketmaster seeks to use facial recognition for concert entry

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Everyone hates to wait in line. Oftentimes, queues for concerts can wrap around the block, leaving ticketholders standing around aimlessly for their turn to get into the venue.

Hoping to alleviate this problem is Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. They’re looking to partner with a facial recognition company called Blink Identity to cut down on lines and let concertgoers into shows much quicker by scanning their faces instead of presenting tickets.

In its first quarter financial report, Live Nation reported that Blink has “cutting-edge facial recognition technology, enabling you to associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show.”

While this would no doubt be useful in a perfect world, facial recognition technology is still being developed and is far from perfect. There’s also the issue of privacy. If Ticketmaster keeps a bank of the facial recognition data, there’s a risk of hackers accessing the information and customer payment methods.

As facial recognition technology gains prominence on platforms like Google, Amazon and Apple, we’ll have to see if Ticketmaster will be able to assert itself as the next major player in the game.

H/T: Engadget

Featured photo: TechEmergence

Live Nation details Festival Passport expansion for 2018-2019 season

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Last year, Live Nation successfully launched its Festival Passport program, granting 1,000 lucky fans across the world access to over 90 of the company’s festivals at just one flat fee. The ticketing and events behemoth has announced the return of its one-of-a-kind access pass for the upcoming season, now with a major expansion in territory and new VIP option.

2,500 GA passes will be sold at $999 with just 100 VIP passes priced at $5,000. Though the GA price includes a $200 increase from last year, purchasers will now have over 100 of Live Nation’s unique festivals to choose from.

Both GA and VIP passes will be granted access to any of over 100 participating festivals worldwide, including Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy Carnival, Governors Ball, Sasquatch!, and Lollapaloozas in Germany, France, and the US.  New additions to the roster include Australia’s Sydney City Limits, China’s Creamfields, UAE’s RedFestDXB, Poland’s Impact Festival, and the UK’s Edinburgh Summer Sessions.

This year, in an effort to avoid scalpers and ensure that Live Nation is only accommodating fans’ needs, purchasers will have to pre-register through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform with their full legal names and photo ID. Registration is open now through April 12 at 11:00 PM ET/10:00 PM CT, with sign up here. Tickets are on-sale beginning April 17 at 8:00 am EDT, but be aware, Festival Passports sold out in under 24 hours last year, so purchasers must act quickly when the time comes.

As Federal Investigation Begins, Is Live Nation Trump’s Next Anti-Trust Target

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As President Trump attacks Amazon for potentially violating anti-trust laws and tax evasion schemes, another monster monopoly has come under scrutiny from the federal government, and this one has a real impact in the world of live music. Live Nation the massive conglomerate merged with Ticket Master in 2010, despite the outcries of many to

The post As Federal Investigation Begins, Is Live Nation Trump’s Next Anti-Trust Target appeared first on EDM Sauce.

The US Department of Justice pins Live Nation as potential monopoly

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When the Justice Department allowed a merger of the music industry’s two most dominate companies — Live Nation and Ticketmaster — critics feared the worst.

A merger between the world’s biggest concert promoter and live entertainment’s leading ticket provider would, essentially, “create an industry monolith, one capable of crippling competitors in the ticketing business,” according to the New York Times.

The merger was granted back in 2010, with federal officials reassuring skeptics that the terms of the legal settlement would block monopolistic behavior by Live Nation and ultimately bolster market competition.

Eight years later, and the newer, more bloated Live Nation has a hand in nearly every aspect of the live concert world. Not only that, according several complaints filed to the DOJ, the company has become the biggest bully on the block. The most damning evidence came from Live Nation’s biggest competitor, AEG, that claims emails between venue managers and Live Nation representatives suggest venues were bypassed by Live Nation tours after adopting AEG’s ticketing program, AXS.

Live Nation dismissed AEG’s complaints as tactical mischaracterizations: “You have a disgruntled competitor that is trying to explain their loss around the boogeyman that there were threats made that nobody can document,” said Daniel M. Wall, Live Nation’s antitrust lawyer.


“Now Department of Justice officials are looking into serious accusations about Live Nation’s behavior in the marketplace,” a New York Times article reports. “They have been reviewing complaints that Live Nation, which manages 500 artists, including U2 and Miley Cyrus, has used its control over concert tours to pressure venues into contracting with its subsidiary, Ticketmaster.”

The report continues, “The company’s chief competitor, AEG, has told the officials that venues it manages that serve Atlanta; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Salt Lake City; Louisville; and Oakland were told they would lose valuable shows if Ticketmaster was not used as a vendor, a possible violation of antitrust law.”

Other DOJ complaints are investigating possible Live Nation threats aimed at venues in Austin and Boston.

The live music business has historically been a collaborative effort, with multiple parties coming together to put on a show, including promoters, talent agents and managers, venues, and ticketing companies. But Live Nation now runs all of them.

Worldwide, it operates more than 200 venues; last year, it promoted upwards of 30,000 shows and sold 500 million tickets; and, since the merger, it has acquired Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, as well as gobbling up smaller promotional and ticketing companies from all over the US to Europe.


With the help of Ticketmaster, the behemoth company has engorged the competition: “Ticket prices are at record highs. Service fees are far from reduced. And Ticketmaster, part of the Live Nation empire, still tickets 80 of the top 100 arenas in the country. No other company has more than a handful.”

Ticketmaster president, Jared Smith, responded to the NYT article, defending the legality of its practices,

The New York Times article suggests that any benefits of being a vertically integrated company are, in and of themselves, anticompetitive   They insinuate that we “condition” content. That we “retaliate” when Ticketmaster is not selected as a venue’s ticketing partner. In short, they say we have stifled competition.

The reality is that none of these things are true. It is absolutely against Live Nation and Ticketmaster policy to threaten venues that they won’t get any Live Nation shows if they don’t use Ticketmaster. We also do not re-route content as retaliation for a lost ticketing deal. Live Nation is the most artist-focused company in the world, and misusing our relationship with artists to “settle scores” with venues would be both bad business and counter to our core beliefs.

No official statement has been released from Live Nation’s CEO, Michael Rapino. The company has just settled a $110 million lawsuit with Songkick over rights to ticket sales.

H/T: Consequence of Sound |Via: New York Times

 

VELD Music Festival announces 2018 lineup

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VELD-Music-Festival-NickLee-BestofToronto-2014-003

The annual Canadian dance and hip-hop music festival has announced its full 2018 lineup. Held at Downsview Park in Toronto, VELD Music Festival is run in partnership by Ink Entertainment and Live Nation, with this massive sponsors including Bud Light and Hennessy.

The event will take place August 4 and 5, with headline performances by DJ Snake, Marshmello, Martin Garrix and Migos. Supporting acts include a diverse array of sounds from the likes of Habstrakt, Jauz, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Benny Benassi, REZZ, NGHTMRE, Lil Xan and more. Check out the full lineup below and purchase tickets here.

Live Nation settles Songkick lawsuit for $110-million

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Live Nation’s Ticketmaster subsidiary has settled its two-year legal battle with Songkick, the ticketing start-up that began out of a Brooklyn loft, despite the fact that the case’s trial was set for later this month in federal court.

Live Nation has subsequently agreed to pay Songkick’s owners $110-million in exchange for the company’s remaining assets.

The settlement’s closing arrives two years after the original legal battle began between the two companies, in which Songkick’s argument originally hinged on their rights to ticket sales. They’d believed Live Nation’s blocking of presale tickets and demanding fees on the sale of tickets was anti-competitive behavior. Eventually, Live Nation countersued, arguing they had given respective venues the right of determining how presale block tickets were to be sold.

The case only continued to deepen over time, wherein Songkick accused Live Nation of antitrust violations. Allegations arose when news leaked that a former Songkick employee was hired by Ticketmaster to monitor Songkick’s internal business, sales, and clients. Court documents reportedly show that Ticketmaster did indeed view Songkick as a competitive threat and stated: “that the company could possibly disrupt the exclusivity system in North America that allowed Ticketmaster to have a dominant marketshare.”

While it’s unsure at the moment what the direct ramifications of this settlement will be, Ticketmaster’s acquisition of Songkick could lead to a major shift in the current landscape of their ticketing commerce platform, as the company has gained access to Songkick’s anti-scalping algorithm, their API applications, and patent portfolio.

H/T: Billboard

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HARD Summer moves forward despite Gary Richards departure

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When Gary Richards (aka Destructo), father of HARD Events, announced his plans to leave parent company Live Nation after 2017’s HARD Summer, ambiguity surfaced over the future of the festival, which was then celebrating its 10th anniversary. To make matters worse, HARD had been receiving hefty backlash over the controversial 2017 installment of its HARD Summer trailer, which for years has been a staple of the imprint, hosting Porter Robinson and Dillon Francis‘ announcement of the fictitious Spoon Ü.

Nonetheless, HARD Summer is set to move forward into 2018 without its divine leader, scheduled for Aug. 4-5. Unsurprisingly, as it has run through seven locations in its 10 years running, HARD has yet to report where exactly the festival will take place.

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Coachella 2018 sells out both weekends in record time

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Coveted tickets to Coachella Music Valley Music & Arts Festival’s 19th annual event officially went on sale yesterday, Friday, Jan. 5, and have sold out in record time. Weekend One general admission passes, which go for $429, were gone within 35 minutes, with Weekend Two passes selling out within a matter of hours, according to The Desert Sun.

The 2018 edition of the Golden Voice and Live Nation-produced event, which boasts headliners The WeekndBeyoncé, and Eminem, will take place April 13-15 and April 20-22 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Travel packages are still available online.

H/T: The Desert Sun

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Live Nation VP arrested for filming up women’s skirts with pen camera

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The Vice President of Finance and Strategic Initiatives at Live Nation Entertainment, Andrew Macrae, has been arrested following the discovery that he routinely use a pen camera to take photos up women’s skirts on his daily London commute.

A Live Nation employee since 2004, Macrae was caught capturing the illicit images by an off-duty Metropolitan Police officer after he was observed “acting suspiciously.”

Macrae would obscure the camera by placing it partially inside of a laptop bag and then place the bag on the ground between the victim’s legs. Macrae drew the attention of the officer by “changing the angle of the bag, which he had placed between the legs of a blonde female wearing a red summer dress.” Macrae was promptly arrested and escorted to a south London police station.

Prosecutor Angela Mehadio has since informed the court handling the case that Macrae had “admitted his intention was to film up skirts for personal and sexual gratification.”

Officers have uncovered 49,000 additional images after searching Macrae’s home in Redhill. Authorities determined that Macrae had not only been filming unsuspecting victims on the train, but a female neighbor and house guest as well. Macrae has pleaded guilty to seven counts of voyeurism for the filming offences conducted from his home over a three-year period, further admitting to one count of outraging public decency between Clapham Junction and Vauxhall stations on July 19.

A married father, Macrae did not enter pleas on two additional counts of outraging public decency. Macrae is set to appear in court on November 7 for his sentencing.

Macrae has been relieved of his duties at Live Nation Entertainment.

The company has since released a statement on Macrae’s actions: “This matter is still before the courts and as such we are unable to comment on the case. We can confirm that these charges have been made against the individual personally and that he was terminated by Live Nation Entertainment in July 2017 following his arrest. Live Nation strongly condemns Macrae’s acts and is outraged by his offensive and criminal behavior which has no place at our company, city or the world at large.”

H/T: Evening Standard

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Live Nation VP of Finance and Strategic Initiatives Arrested for Using a Pen to Film Up Women?s Skirts

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Not only was this Live Nation VP, Andrew Macrae, filming up unsuspecting subway riders skirts but also secretly filming his female neighbor and house guest!