The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 11 October 2022
Ticketing Issues - A new Ticketmaster pricing system, which alters the price of tickets based on demand, is being criticised by both fans and industry experts. Called dynamic pricing, it has been used in the UK for recent sales by Harry Styles, Coldplay and Blackpink. The system is regularly used in the US, where the resale market is a lot bigger, and touting is more prevalent. Ticketmaster say it is being used to try to stop touts, and to give more money to artists. But fans say they are being priced out of concerts, with some tickets doubling in price.
On the Ticketmaster page for Harry Styles' tour, a notice explains: "These tickets vary in price driven by demand from fans, similar to airline tickets and hotel rooms. We give fans an opportunity to safely buy official tickets for the events they love, right up to the date of the show."
The pricing system means Ticketmaster does not publicise ticket costs ahead of time - as they will change constantly, based on demand. Adam Webb is a campaigner for the FanFair Alliance, a group that aims to stop ticket touting in the UK. He said "there's a whole bunch of issues" with trying to price tickets based on demand.
In Ireland ticket touting - selling tickets above face value - was banned last year. But tickets for Harry Styles's 2023 gig at Slane Castle are being sold for more than double their original face value on Ticketmaster - €195 instead of €97.
Cashing In - Organisers of next year's Eurovision Song Contest have warned visitors not to book accommodation at over-inflated prices during the event. Liverpool was announced on Friday as the host of May's competition. Shortly after, accommodation was being advertised from £450 to £8,000 a night.
Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said details of other options would be released later this week. He added they may "involve cruise ships or a campsite". Many of the city's rooms have already been booked, with the cheapest option on the night of the 13 May Eurovision final now priced at £1,000 on the Booking.com website. One house is being advertised at just under £8,000 for the same night.
Some people who had booked accommodation before Friday's announcement - in some cases months before - reported their reservations had been cancelled, before the rooms were then relisted at much higher prices.
South Bank Christmas - An outdoor winter festival will be hosted by London’s National Theatre for the first time this year, featuring a temporary covered performance space. The NT is seeking planning permission to host a winter festival in an "open-sided awning" that would include an internal stage and seating as well as food kiosks. It would run from 24 November until 8 January 2023. According to the planning application to Lambeth Council, the winter festival – which would be in Theatre Square, directly outside the theatre – follows previous summer offerings outside. The NT has held 25 summer festivals, with music and performance, since 1997.
Cultural Funding - Those behind Coventry’s time as UK City of Culture are requesting a £1m loan from the local council to help it "manage its short-term financial position". Coventry City Council said the "temporary cash-flow support is being sought to enable the Coventry City of Culture Trust to manage its short-term financial position".
"This was adversely affected by the Covid pandemic and has become more difficult in recent months with the timing of a number of payments due to the trust," it said. The money would enable the trust to continue with its plans for the legacy phase of Coventry’s time as UK City of Culture, which ended in May. It will see it continue to commission new activities with "cultural, educational and community organisations across the city".
Coventry City of Culture Trust plans to invest more than £5m in creative and cultural programmes and has promised to support more than 50 freelance artists and cultural workers.
(Jim Evans)
11 October 2022

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