Murielle Gonzalez

Online Content Editor

Shared VR: The real experience

Shared VR at Somerset House, London

Shared VR experience at Somerset House, London

Geodesic domes have been used as pop-up venues for events for quite some time now, but Igloo Vision has taken the concept to a whole new level.

The Shropshire-based company has developed a technology that enables laser projection to be displayed on the domes’ 360-degree screen helping create an immersive experience. But that is not all. Igloo’s in-house software engineering team works on a real-time engine that allows the visuals to be controlled by an operator as opposed to displaying pre-rendered video content – Igloo Vision does that too.

James Sheridan, Igloo Vision chief technical officer, explains: “What we do differently to others in the marketplace is that we create real-time immersive experiences that immerse groups of people in a shared VR environment.”

Igloo Vision has been in operation for over 10 years. The company’s business areas range from construction and real estate firms to event organisers and brand awareness. One of Igloo’s first clients used a 21m dome as the festival’s pop-up venue with success.

Create an illusion

The company now operates with cylinders and domes ranging from 6m (12 people); 9m (35 people); 12.5m (220 people); and 21m (750-1,000 people), with the latter being popular with festival organisers.

“These are geodesic domes built in aluminium, and for the 21m the structure features a negative pressured inflatable screen. Like a giant inside-out jumping castle,” says Sheridan. He points out that it means the team gets a really nice screen to project on. The structure is something that they can just pop-up in a day.

Sheridan says that the company tends to use between five and 15 projectors rigged on the dome’s structure to create an extremely high-resolution 360-degree image. “This helps us create the illusion that the visuals are real. You can get transported to another environment be that microscopic worlds, space, underwater or even an abstract representation.”

The system offers people an immersive experience without the need to wear any device, such as the Oculus. Igloo Vision calls it “shared VR”. Sheridan explains: “You don’t need to be hooked up to anything and people can look each other in the eye and have a natural conversation with each other.”

In the festival space, Igloo Vision works with the likes of Funktion-One, the UK sound systems manufacturer, and Bowers & Wilkins. Outside of festivals, the company works with many businesses. Charities, venues, and brands of all sorts have chosen the concept of shared VR as a means of storytelling.

3D mapping projection

The latest innovation comes in the field of 3D mapping. In 2013, Igloo Vision teamed up with Alan King of Rockin Horse – the lighting and video company – and the art collective that runs Block 9 at Glastonbury. The partnership has seen the company provide the visual effects to the Genosys stage. Sheridan says the team is looking forward to the next outing.

Block9 at Genesys stage, Glastonbury

Block9, Genosys stage, Glastonbury

“People really have to look at it for a long while to know where reality ends and the visuals begin,” says Sheridan. “The aim was to blend the physical, lighting and projection seamlessly, so you don’t know where one ends and the next starts.”

Sheridan says the aesthetic and synchronicity with the music makes people question what it is they’re looking. “Everyone always comments on how it brings the stage to life and feels like a cohesive whole, not like the visuals are just bolted on.”

Igloo uses a real-time games engine for the projection mapping, and that makes its technology stand out from others in the marketplace working with video projection.

“Traditionally people use tools from cinema or from the motion graphics industry to render the visuals, and that’s what it is, you can speed it up or slow it down, but it never changes,” Sheridan says.

“It is a movie that plays in a loop over and over,” he adds. “But what you see at Block 9, for example, is that every time there is a beat the projection responds to that, so it is in real time. You can also use tablets and control surfaces to play it like an instrument.”

UK-based, Igloo Vision employs 40 people and has just opened an office in Los Angeles and New York in the United States, and Toronto in Canada.

According to Sheridan, the business is booming both in the UK and abroad and Igloo Vision will be starting a new branch in Australia in the coming months.

HM Scotland launches at King Tut’s

Help Musicians UK, the independent charity for those working in the UK music industry, has announced the launch of its permanent new Scottish operation.

Scottish band Idlewild will be playing an exclusive acoustic set at King Tut’s to mark the occasion.

The intimate gig in the iconic venue will take place on 1 February 2018 – the same day as the official opening of the Help Musicians Scotland (HM Scotland) operation in Glasgow.

Set to perform a live set alongside Idlewild’s acoustic performance are Scottish musicians Be Charlotte, Indigo Velvet and SKJØR – all of whom have received support from the charity in the past.

Rod Jones of Idlewild commented: “Idlewild are absolutely thrilled to support the launch of Help Musicians Scotland at one of our favourite venues. We’ve played some really special gigs at the venue, the first 21 years ago and a five-night stint in 2008, so it’s truly an honour to return for such a great cause.

“Help Musicians Scotland do amazing work to support musicians at all stages of their career. We’re planning a special acoustic set for the evening and fans should expect a fitting set-list to mark a landmark moment for the Scottish music industry.”

HM Scotland is the new regional dedicated office from HMUK and has been created to empower Scottish musicians and those in the Scottish music industry who require help, advice, opportunities, even health and welfare support grants.

With nearly a 100 year history of helping musicians, HMUK has identified Scotland’s music industry, with its rich history of Scottish talent and growing music scene, as needing further targeted investment to sustain its future.

HM Scotland will provide bespoke programmes and campaigns to provide opportunities and support for those in the Scottish music scene.

All of the funds raised in Scotland will stay in Scotland to help support the industry and its needs.

Regional presence

The opening of the dedicated office, resources, programmes and team in Scotland follows HMUK’s successful launch of the first office in Northern Ireland in 2016.

The charity has an ambition to have a regional presence by 2021 in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland and the North of England.

Claire Gevaux, director of HM Scotland, commented: “After a year of listening and reflecting on the needs of the Scottish music scene, I’m excited to see HM Scotland launch in a few weeks. I look forward to sharing more of our ambitions at the launch on 1 February 2018 when we will set down our permanent roots across the whole of Scotland.”

Richard Robinson, Chief Executive of Help Musicians UK, added: “Following a successful launch in Northern Ireland in 2016, this marks HMUKs second permanent regional operation. We are wholly committed to being an impactful national charity, and our new Scottish operation will aim to support and enrich the musical landscape of Scotland by taking an entrepreneurial and proactive approach to programming, supporting and giving.”

HM Scotland told Access that Rooted in Scotland events will be announced in Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh and Dumfries. These events aims to demonstrate HM Scotland’s commitment to maintaining a presence across the whole of Scotland, not just in Glasgow.

HM Scotland is with a number of partners, including:

  • SMIA
  • Creative Enterprise Office
  • 23rd Precinct
  • Music Business School
  • Born to be Wide
  • Expo North
  • Dumfries Music Conference
  • Perth College
  • Bee Productions
  • Scottish Music Centre
  • Independent Venue Week
  • St Cecilia Hall, Edinburgh

The charity said it is still currently looking at specific events sponsors for the King Tut event.

​PwC partners with Sport Tech Hub

Sport Tech Hub has added professional services firm PwC to its strategic partnerships roster.

Owned and operated by London Sport, Sport Tech Hub is London’s first tech incubator dedicated to supporting the growth of early-stage start-ups that can make a positive contribution to participation in physical activity and sport.

Alex Zurita, specialist advisor – technology, London Sport, said: “Signing PwC as Associate Partners for Sport Tech Hub will bring huge benefits to the start-ups involved in the Sport Tech Hub programme and, critically, to the entire SportTech industry. PwC’s strategic and business expertise is world-renowned, and their guidance will play a vital role in the future of SportTech innovation.”

The tech incubator initiative aims to spark a digital revolution in consumers’ relationship with sport, exercise, and fitness. Sport Tech Hub’s inaugural cohort includes start-ups focused on a range of areas from mass participation and active travel to social engagement, at-home fitness, and immersive experiences.

The new partnership between Sport Tech Hub and PwC will see the advisory firm take associate partner status for a 12-month period, during which time they will receive direct access to all Sport Tech Hub start-ups and a platform to influence the strategic direction for SportTech, FitTech and HealthTech in the capital.

Ollie Phillips, director digital transformation at PwC, commented: “At PwC we’re always looking to help businesses and individuals foster innovation through the use of technology which can help make a difference to society and meet human needs. This includes helping nurture the starts- ups involved with the Sport Tech Hub.

“It has the added bonus of hopefully helping those ‘knowledge-rich, time poor’ individuals who have difficulty carving out time for exercise and sport. If an initiative like this can kickstart greater activity and buck that trend, then all the better.”

The new partnership sees PwC join fellow associate partner Fieldfisher and launch partners London & Partners, Crowdcube, RLC Ventures and Sponge Marketing, and media partner Sport Industry Group alongside programme founders London Sport.

TicketCo: new kids in town

 

L-R: Junkyard Golf Club CEO Chris Legh and TicketCo founder Carl-Erik M. Moberg

TicketCo, a Norwegian ticketing company, has launched operations in the UK and it has already made waves in the events industry. Tore Totland, TicketCo chairman, commented on the future of the sector following our feature on paperless ticket and said that ticketing is dead.

Access reached out to the company to learn more about its background in a move to understand how it dares to make such bold statement.

It all started with two rather frustrated festival organisers in Norway a few years back. Kaare Bottolfsen and Carl-Erik Michalasen Moberg couldn’t find the simplicity they needed in any of the existing ticketing solutions available and decided to create their own ticketing system. TicketCo was born.

Starting from scratch meant huge workloads, but it also meant they could skip all the old age complexity their competitors dealt with, and build an easy self-service solution.

With a firm belief in customer-driven innovation, TicketCo soon grew to be opponent to market leader Ticketmaster in Norway. Through close collaboration with their customers TicketCo founders realised that fragmentation was a huge pain point for most organisers, and their ambitions grew from dealing with ticketing to establish a unified platform for any kind of event-related sales.

Along this way they also engaged iZettle, the financial technology company for small businesses, to offer cashless terminals to all clients and integrating the two systems.

TicketCo also teamed up with Amedia, a major Norwegian media group, offering advertising packages to organisers and building strong connections between the organisers, their local media and their local subscribers and readers.

Game-changer

TicketCo also started to make strategic moves towards highly profiled Norwegian investors with first-hand experience from internationalization.

Last summer TicketCo’s unified platform was ready to be launched, and this was done with success at Tysnesfest, one of Norway’s largest festivals.

Tysnesfest is a rural festival that takes place on the island of Tysnes with a population of some 3,000 inhabitants. TicketCo sold approximately 30,000 tickets.

TicketCo user at Tysnesfest

The festival also sold port space for boats (such as cabin cruisers, day cruisers etc.), several types of accommodation, transportation, merchandise and food and beverages.

The sales operation was handled by TicketCo’s unified platform with success. The festival reported an increased turnover of 28 per cent over the pervious year.

TicketCo was launched in the UK in September 2017. The company hosted an event at The Norwegian Embassy in London and presented its technology and platform to partners and upcoming partners including iZettle, Event Merchandise, Junkyard Golf Club and Kygo.

Since then, TicketCo has signed contracts with venue operator Junkyard Golf Club. The contract demanded time slots as an added feature to their offering. This new partnership has been operative since 1 January 2018.

The company has also inked contracts with Event Merchandising, and has told Access that several new customers are in the pipeline.

This week David Kenny, former director at Freemans Event Partners, was recruited as TicketCo’s country manager in the UK. With this recruitment, TicketCo now employs five staff.

“You may call us the new kids in town, or you may call us the crazy Norwegians. Either way, we’re here to make a difference,” the company says.

Robe secures UK contracts

Ian Brown of Robe UK and Rob Myer of Light Fantastic

L-R: Ian Brown of Robe UK and Rob Myer of Light Fantastic

Technical production specialist Light Fantastic Production Services and Colour Sound Experiment, a lighting and video rental company, have made a large investment in the latest Robe moving light technology.

The purchase comprises 25 x MegaPointe and LEDBeam 150 moving light fixtures plus a selection of Pointes, Robin 600 LED washes and DL4X Spots in a custom white bodied finish.

These units will join the Robe Pointes already in Light Fantastic’s inventory. The total investment value is over £250,000, and the kit will be used to service Light Fantastic’s action-packed ongoing project schedule and dry hire requirements.

Based in Elstree just north of London, UK, Light Fantastic services a wide range of projects providing lighting, audio, video and scenic services. The company also provides extensive dry hire services to other industry clients.

The company, founded by Rob Myer, made its first Robe purchases around 2012 and now almost exclusively stocks Robe intelligent fixtures.

Myer said the choice of MegaPointe was based on the power and multi-functionality of the fixture and the belief that it will become a “totally rider friendly luminaire just like the Pointe”.

Commenting on the features, he added: “It’s a very versatile, well built, robust all-in-one fixture and a perfect choice for the diverse nature of Light Fantastic’s work.

Light-Fantastic-Robe

Robe lights and flight cases at Light Fantastic warehouse

Myer also pointed out that, the service and support from Robe UK is a major consideration that underlined the purchase decision.

Touring rig

Colour Sound Experiment has also invested in new Robe equipment. The latest purchase includes MegaPointe moving lights, Blackmagic video control technology and new pre-rigged trusses, all of which is out on the current 2CELLOS tour playing arenas in key capital cities around Europe.

The West London-based lighting and video rental specialist is providing lighting, video, rigging and crew, working closely with lighting designer Crt Birsa and production manager Chris Griffiths.

The UK performance was a roof-raising extravaganza staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall with the band accompanied by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

They played out some of 2CELLOS hugely dynamic repertoire which went from the decorum and refinement of assorted film scores to the raucous rock-out mayhem of AC/DC and the Rolling Stones covers.

Robe-Colour-Sound-2CELLOS

The 2CELLOS tour features MegaPointe moving lights, Blackmagic video control technology and new pre-rigged trusses

The lighting is all toured in the pre-rigged trussing for convenience and to speed up the get-ins/outs. The main touring rig features three 14 metre long overheads trusses – front mid and back, with one more added for the Albert Hall.

These moving lights – 26 x MegaPointe, 20 x Spiider LED wash beams and five BMFL Spots for key lights – are distributed across all trusses with eight of the MegaPointe on the floor.

Colour Sound Experiment explained that these lights do most of the work, creating “subtle and beautifully composed looks” for the first section of the show, augmented with 2-lite and 4-lite blinders for audience illumination, alongside with strobes on the mid and upstage trusses which kick in later in the set.

Robe manufactures moving lights and digital lighting products out of its 55,000 square metre facility in the Czech Republic. The company employs over 600 staff, and the products are exported via a worldwide distributor network to over 100 countries across all continents.

Sir Paul McCartney backs bill to prevent venue closures

Sir Paul McCartney.

Sir Paul McCartney. Photo as seen on Facebook

Leading figures from the music industry have come together to launch a parliamentary battle to save music venues from closure. Over the past decade, 35 per cent of music venues across the country have closed.

Free Trade Hall, Roadhouse and Sound Control are some of the venues that have closed its doors in Manchester. Equally, Liverpool’s Kazimier, Sheffield’s Boardwalk, and potentially Bristol’s Thekla are at risk of closure.

UK Music’s campaign for a proposed new law has attracted cross-party support from politicians and music stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Brian Eno, Chrissie Hynde, Nick Mason, Sandie Shaw, Nadine Shah, Ray Davies, Imogen Heap, Billy Bragg, Feargal Sharkey and Craig David.

Sir Paul McCartney said: “Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different. If we don’t support music at this level, then the future of music, in general, is in danger.”

The campaign to get the “Agent of Change” principle enshrined in law to protect venues has the backing of at least 75 MPs and peers including former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, as well as organisations including the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union.

The proposed legislation would mean developers would have to take account of the impact of any new scheme on pre-existing businesses like music venues before going ahead with their plans.

That could mean, for example, the developer of new flats takes responsibility for soundproofing to avoid the risk of new neighbours complaining about noise from a music venue.

The proposed new law is being brought forward by Labour MP and former Government Minister John Spellar who will table his Planning (Agent of Change) Bill in the House of Commons.

MP John Spellar, said: “Fewer venues mean less work, less opportunity to develop talent or even find out that you are not going to make it in the industry, but also to move up from amateur to part-time, to full-time, to national or even international stardom. If the present situation does not change, we are in danger of taking away the ladder that has served individual musicians and the Music Industry so well for so long.”

“We are delighted that a Bill has been introduced in Parliament to protect music venues and stop the rapid and ever-increasing threat of closure,” said Richard Dyer, co-founder and director of ticketing company Skiddle.

Dyer continued: “The fact 35 per cent of music venues have closed in the past decade is truly shameful. This often comes down to greedy building developers who have no regard for the UK’s cultural spaces, and are only interested in lining their own pockets by knocking down these vitally important venues. But all this can change. With cross-party support and backing from a host of big-name artists, campaigning organisations and venues, we are confident that our rich and vibrant music scene can be protected, nurtured and encouraged before it is too late.”

The presentation of the bill coincides with Independent Venue Week, the week-long festival taking place at live music venues across the UK.

Venues at risk

Among the venues that had to fight closure threats in the past are London’s iconic Ministry of Sound and the 100 Club. Other venues that face similar threats today include Bristol venues, the Fiddlers and the Fleece.

Campaigners are also battling to protect the Womanby Street music quarter in Cardiff from developers.

The Free Trade Hall in Manchester saw the Sex Pistols play one of the most important gigs of all time in 1976. The venue, which also hosted Bob Dylan, was demolished and replaced with a hotel.

The Boardwalk in Sheffield saw the debut of The Clash and the Arctic Monkeys breakthrough before shutting in 2010.

The Square in Harlow, which hosted the Coldplay, Blur, Supergrass and Muse when they were starting out, closed last year as a result of a planning dispute.

Thekla Pop Confessional

Bristol’s Thekla is one the venues at risk of closure due to new development project launch in its neighbourhood

UK Music said that if the closures continue, “they will severely impact the music industry’s ability to grow the huge contribution it makes to the UK economy”.

UK Music chief executive, Michael Dugher, commented: “The UK music industry contributes more than £4 billion to our economy and brings pleasure to millions of people at home and overseas. It’s time for the Government to get behind the legislation and help save the venues that are such a crucial part of the music industry.”

Commenting on the campaign, American musician Chrissie Hynde, said: “When I heard of the impending threat to small venues, my heart skipped a beat. It isn’t talent shows on television or theatre schools that propagate great music; it’s small venues. They’re the setting of everything great that’s come out of the music scene in this country, from the Beatles to Oasis and beyond.

“England has long led the world of popular music; the rest of the world follow England. If small venues shut down, so will England’s unique creative output. It will be like locking up playgrounds at schools. The whole world will suffer, not just England.”

Losberger De Boer names new CEO

Arnout de Hair

Arnout de Hair to spearhead Losberger De Boer 

Losberger De Boer has announced that Arnout de Hair, currently chief operations officer, will be appointed its new CEO. De Hair will take on the role on 1 February 2018. He will succeed Berndt Zoepffel who will be stepping down as CEO and will be joining the supervisory board of directors of the company.

“Losberger De Boer has undergone an impressive development under the leadership of Berndt Zoepffel since he joined the company in 1996,” the company said.

The merger with De Boer Structures in May of 2017 was an important milestone in a period of strong internal and external growth.

“The merger between Losberger and De Boer is a major step in becoming a leading provider in temporary space solutions and we are on the threshold of a new phase in the further development of our company,”  the supervisory board of directors said in a statement.

“We came to the conclusion that in the coming years, strong emphasis will be placed on the further integration of the various companies that were acquired during the last few years to fully benefit from all the available capabilities. Arnout de Hair has shown strong leadership during the transition of De Boer into a strong and profitable company. We are convinced that with him we have a very good candidate to fulfil that future role at Losberger De Boer.”

Peter Rijkoort, current chairman of the supervisory board of directors of the Losberger De Boer Group, will be appointed chief operating officer of Losberger De Boer, effective 1 February 2018. Rijkoort will then step down from his position in the supervisory board of directors.

 

Eventim targets fans with new ticket resale platform

FanSale is a new online ticket resale platform launched by Eventim UK. The fan-to-fan, fair value ticket resale platform, has been launched in a bid to help ensure tickets get into the hands of genuine fans. Tickets are verified against Eventim UK’s ticketing system and cannot be resold at a highly inflated price.

Dale Ballentine, Eventim UK’s director of development: commented: “FanSale is about Fan First Thinking, we want to make sure fans get tickets for a fair price. We know that sometimes fans cannot attend their event as planned. FanSale will help solve these problems, and ensure tickets are not sold at an extortionate price, making events more accessible for the real fans.”

According to Eventim UK there are occasions where genuine fans can no longer attend the event they’ve purchased tickets for, and previously there wasn’t a fully integrated platform that would verify the tickets as legitimate. FanSale facilitates this to ensure tickets sold are genuine, and that there’s a fair deal for the seller and buyer, protecting both parties.

In addition, FanSale has teamed up with UPS to enable the tracking of tickets from the sellers preferred pickup point, to the delivery address.
Fans will also be able to see the exact location of the seat they are purchasing, including the block, seat row and seat number.

“In a marketplace where more and more artists are taking steps to protect their fanbase, Eventim UK’s validated fair price solution offers a trusted platform to purchase secondary tickets,” Eventim UK said.

Commenting on the launch, Adam Webb of FanFair Alliance, said: “Research commissioned by FanFair last year highlighted that the majority of music fans would like a mechanism to resell their tickets if they can no longer attend an event.

“They don’t want to profit, just to recoup their costs in a safe and efficient environment. It has been hugely positive to see a growing number of responsible ticketing companies, like Eventim, listen to consumers and move in this direction – and we hope more will follow in 2018,” he concluded.

Eventim UK is part of CTS Eventim, an international provider of ticketing services and live entertainment. More than 150 million tickets for over 200,000 events are marketed annually using the company’s systems.

ADE confirms 2018 dates

The next Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) will take place on 17-21 October 2018. The organisers are expecting around 400,000 national and international visitors for the 23rd edition.

ADE is the world’s largest club-based festival and conference for electronic music. The event continues to grow and develop each year, with last year’s edition featuring over 2,500 artists and 550 speakers in a record-breaking 160 venues. ADE is an initiative of Buma, the Dutch collecting society.

Last year, ADE attracted visitors from over 90 countries over five days featuring every conceivable aspect of electronic music culture.

ADE 2018 is set to feature a range of activities focused on South Korea. Director Richard Zijlma, explained: “The South Korean electronic music scene is growing rapidly, thanks to technological innovation and smart crossovers. During ADE we will focus on the very best the country has to offer across a wide range of festival and conference events.”

The organisers are committed to growing the day and night-time activities once again in 2018 through established partnerships with cultural institutions, and by adding new pavilions focused on countries.

“The addition of pavilions creates extra possibilities to meet and network for music industry professionals but also provides a means to show the innovative power of individual territories in front of an international audience,” Zijlma said.

The complete day and night programme will be announced over the coming months.

Ticketing society releases industry statistics

Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown, chief executive of STAR

The Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers (STAR) has warned that the number of reported incidences of ticket fraud, measured over a period of six months in 2017, is up nearly 38 per cent in comparison to the previous period. The society revealed the statistic as part of the launch of its ‘new-look’ website marking its 20th anniversary.

In 2015 STAR and Action Fraud released figures that revealed the number of reported incidences of ticket fraud, measured over a period of six months, was 2,885. The figures also included that the median value of loss per victim was £205.

Now, the two organisations have revealed that the number of reports, measured over the same period in 2017, increased to 3,973, up nearly 38 per cent in comparison to the previous period. The average of loss dropped to £195.

City of London Police statistic
Adrian Sanders, chairman of STAR, commented: “What these latest figures show is just how important it is to have an organisation like STAR in place. Sadly, customers are continuing to fall prey to deliberate fraudsters and therefore need to know exactly where they should purchase tickets from safely. Despite the considerable advances in ticket fraud prevention, some customers are still too easily being tricked.

“Purchasing from a STAR member ensures you are buying from a company that has signed up to the high standards of our Code. It also means you have somewhere to turn to in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.”

City of London Police’s National Coordinator for Economic Crime, Temporary Commander Dave Clark, added: “As the National Lead Force for Fraud, we are thankful to STAR for working with us to protect people from ticketing fraud. Whether people are buying tickets for the theatre, a festival, a concert or a sports event, they need to remain vigilant and be aware that there are fraudsters all over the globe trying to make money out of people’s desire to buy tickets quickly and easily online. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. We recommend that people buy from reputable ticket sellers who are members of STAR.”

DCI Gary Miles, from the Metropolitan Police FALCON Unit, said: “The MPS is committed to working in collaboration with external partners to protect people from becoming victims of fraud.

“The work of STAR over the last 20 years is a prime example of this aspiration being realised; ticketing fraud can have a significant impact on those people who find themselves suffering at the hands of callous and cruel offenders,” he concluded.

20th anniversary

STAR held its inaugural meeting in December 1997 and began its work in 1998 as the self-regulatory body for the entertainment ticket industry. For twenty-years, STAR has worked as a champion for ticket buyers through its self-regulatory role, consumer and industry education and dispute resolution.

Members of STAR, which include every major authorised ticket agent in the UK, agree and work to a strict Code of Practice.

The society has said that the UK’s live entertainment sector is the envy of the world with over one million tickets sold every week by STAR members alone.

Jonathan Brown, chief executive of STAR, said: “The ticketing industry has evolved enormously over the past twenty years, but the core values of what STAR was founded on remain unchanged. Customers deserve the very highest standards when it comes to purchasing tickets, and the work STAR has done, and continues to do, ensures that it’s members remain reputable and accountable for every transaction.”

To celebrate its birthday year, STAR has unveiled a new website, allowing customers faster and cleaner access to all the information and services STAR has to offer.

STAR has been providing a dispute resolution service for its members and their customers throughout the last twenty years. In May 2017, the organisation was recognised by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute as an official provider of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ensuring consumers have an opportunity to settle ticketing disputes with STAR members outside of the courts.

The society is also a voice for the ticketing industry in discussions with other sectors, law enforcement and government and hosts workshops and seminars on key topics. This has included consumer law, data protection, ticketing technology and cyber-crime.

STAR is also working with its members and other bodies such as Attitude is Everything to improve ticketing – including online purchases – for deaf and disabled ticket buyers.