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Vancouver-based startup offering bot-free option for concert ticket sales

Last Updated Apr 21, 2019 at 8:45 pm PDT

FILE - Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, Calif., on May 11, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Paul Sakuma
Summary

Fans in British Columbia could benefit from legislation recently passed by one U.S. state

Bassanese says they're trying to put a dent in the market monopoly currently held by Ticketmaster and Live Nation

This system is capable of catering to smaller clients like art galleries and charities

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A love of music combined with the fear of missing out has led to the creation of a Vancouver-based company promising to make buying concert tickets less stressful and more fair.

EventChain CEO and co-founder Ashton Addison says their secure SmartTicketing system is born out of frustrations encountered as promoters and as fans.

“We bought some tickets that ended up being fake and we weren’t allowed in the venue and we didn’t get a refund either,”  Addison says. “But also, there’s just been an outcry from artists that are getting ripped off.”

He adds this system is capable of catering to smaller clients like art galleries and charities, including Kids Up Front.

“We have an exclusive contract with the Pamela Anderson Foundation to ticket all of their charity events, so we’re really open to helping events of small and big size, but it does help the most where there is a lot of predatory ticketing practices right now.”

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Addison says that includes primary providers accused of making secret deals with secondary sellers to heavily drive up prices.

EventChain co-founder and President Dino Bassanese says they’re trying to put a dent in the market monopoly currently held by Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

“Who heavy-handedly get into long term, exclusive contracts with venues and artists and their managers, so we’re just trying to break into the industry to expose event organizers and creators to the technology to implement anti-counterfeit and scalping measures,” Bassanese says. “We’re looking to give power back to the event creators to have more control over their inventory.”

He says the company uses blockchain technology to track every sale, so tickets can’t be snapped up by bots and the system is also safe from counterfeiters.

While he welcomes consumer-friendly legislation tabled earlier this month by the provincial government, Bassanese admits he’s worried that may not go far enough.

He tells NEWS 1130 fans in British Columbia would benefit from legislation recently passed by one U.S. state.

“In Hawaii, you can no longer have exclusive rights to a venue. That’s one of Ticketmaster’s tactics. Almost anybody who has gone to an event has felt the squeeze from that predatory practice,” he says. “I know that when Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged there was a lot of fear, and rightly so. They’ve made record profits this year off of their fees. At some point, something’s gotta give.”

Under the new Ticket Sales Act, long-awaited changes to event ticket sales include a ban on bots, but no caps on prices.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says proposed legislation includes refund guarantees, clear disclosure of prices and secondary sellers clarifying they are not the original provider.