The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Secondary Ticketing - Ticketmaster is closing its secondary ticketing websites Seatwave and Get Me In in a bid to combat touts. The sites, which allow you to offload unwanted tickets, have frequently been exploited by so-called professional sellers who hike up the prices. "We know that fans are tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit on secondary websites, so we have taken action," said Andrew Parsons, head of Ticketmaster UK.
In their place, people will be allowed to sell tickets directly on Ticketmaster, where a simple click will release tickets back into the market. Unlike the current system, users will only be allowed to charge the original price or less - though there will be a 15% surcharge on every ticket to cover booking fees paid by the seller (£7.50 for a ticket that costs £50).
Ticketmaster has also vowed to be transparent about the difference between "new" and resold tickets. When selecting seats for a concert, theatre or sporting event, the seat map will show standard tickets in blue and second-hand tickets in pink.
The decision to shut down Seatwave and Get Me In comes a month after the Irish government backed a bill that would ban the resale of tickets for more than face value. At the same time, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority is conducting an investigation into the secondary market and has said it is considering legal action against the Swiss-based firm Viagogo.
Fresh Claims - The collapsed operator of Peterborough’s Broadway Theatre has been hit with fresh claims that it owes tens of thousands of pounds to producers and former contractors. The theatre’s management, Performance Art Ventures, announced last week that it had gone bust amid allegations by producers that they had not received more than £10,000 in box office income they claim they are owed. It was also revealed that the theatre owes £68,000 to the local council in business rates.
Festival Blues - Edinburgh International Festival director Fergus Linehan has been criticised for programming just three performances at the city’s Playhouse Theatre, with BECTU claiming its members have been left “hunting for alternative work”. The union’s theatre members in Edinburgh are calling on the city council to place “robust obligations” on Linehan, to demonstrate a serious commitment to the 3,000-seat Playhouse when seeking future funding.
This year, the festival is staging three one-night shows at the Playhouse – the Grit Orchestra’s performance of Martyn Bennett’s album Bothy Culture, and concerts by musicians St Vincent and John Grant.
BECTU said its members were “outraged” that such a large venue was being ignored by Linehan, and said the programme had left “many members hunting for alternative work at a time when every theatre worker is usually working flat out”. Responding, Linehan said: “The International Festival has the utmost regard for the Edinburgh Playhouse and the team that work there. Each year our venue usage is shaped by the requirements of the programme, the types of work available to us and our budget constraints.
Sound Bytes - Thomas Dolby will deliver the keynote address during the opening ceremonies of the AES New York 2018 International Convention. With the title The Conscious Sound Byte, Dolby’s address will focus on next-generation sound technologies, in particular adaptive/non-linear music and audio for games, VR/AR, “hearables” and other new media platforms. “A big difference between ‘real’ and ‘electronic' sounds is that electronic sounds have zero awareness of each other,” shares Dolby. “Sound bytes blindly follow orders, and fire off (usually) as instructed by a human. Yet musicians playing ‘real’ instruments listen, resonate, and respond to the music, the room, and to each other, in a matter of microseconds.”
(Jim Evans)
14 August 2018

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