Festicket CEO and co-founder Zack Sabban has told Music Week he is optimistic the live business can rebound from its current slump once the coronavirus crisis is over.
Speaking in last week's issue of Music Week, which explored the impact of the pandemic on the ticketing sector, Sabban (pictured) said sales slowed in the second week of March, and have continued to decline since.
"The virus is reaching its peak in Europe as the festival and events season should be hitting its own, and the general uncertainty over the near future is causing a drop in customer confidence and ticket sales," he said.
"There are positives to take as well, however, with the vast majority of fans being very understanding of cancellations or postponements and a real sense of industry togetherness emerging. We’ve been approached by numerous partners that are keen to open up lines of dialogue, discuss ways and means of helping the industry and work together to better the situation and hit the ground running when things improve."
The outlook amongst the industry despite these challenging circumstances remains overwhelmingly positive
Festicket partners with festivals including Coachella, Reading & Leeds, All Points East, BST Hyde Park and Tomorrowland to provide travel packages combining tickets, accommodation and transfers.
"The outlook amongst the industry despite these challenging circumstances remains overwhelmingly positive," added Sabban. "We believe if the correct measures are taken by everyone now, and the goodwill that has shown from all corners of the industry is carried forward, we will see a very fertile period for fans to enjoy themselves at a huge array of parties."
Sabban said he was fearful that some companies would not be able to survive the crisis.
"We anticipate that some businesses may be forced to close their doors," he said. "We hope these losses to the industry can be kept to a minimum and this makes supporting campaigns that promote health and well-being and industry support even more important.
"We also hope that stimulus packages announced by governments including the UK and Australia will prevent nations falling into recession. Downturns in the economy, as seen in 2008, hit customers in their pocket and this limits their ability to go out and enjoy events."
Festicket has launched a new initiative, FlexTicket, to help customers in the current climate.
"Under the scheme, customers can book tickets to their favourite events and cancel no questions asked, without paying any penalties - even if the event is still going ahead," said Sabban. "We hope that under the FlexTicket initiative, fans can book tickets and put something on the horizon to look forward to, safe in the knowledge they can receive a full refund should they not feel comfortable to attend the event.
"We’ve seen a lot of people reach out in recent days for support or partnerships on various campaigns. We hope that by coming together through this period we can protect promoters from the worst of the economic effects whilst ensuring society as a whole is protected as best as possible, and we can get back to normality quickly."
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