Ticketpass Is on a Mission to Power Ethical Ticket Sales — and Resales

Ticket scalping has long been an issue with event ticketing, with Ticketmaster most recently coming under fire when BTS tickets were seemingly snatched up by scalpers before the sale of tickets opened up to the general public. New approaches to dealing with this problem are being developed, including NFT and blockchain technology, and ticket subscription services like FanRally.

UK-based ticketing platform Ticketpass, founded in 2016 by Rodrigo Bautista, was also developed with the goal of enabling ethical ticket resales. Bautista was shocked at the prices of event tickets on secondary platforms when he first moved to London from Mexico City, and he decided to build a platform that would only allow for the reselling of tickets at face value. In addition, he wanted to allow fans to easily pass tickets on to someone else if they ended up not being able to attend the event.

Ticketpass Content & Partnerships Manager Russ Cook explains that the journey to this vision of the platform was a bit windier than intended. As Bautista obtained the interest and support of several investors from the US, “they were very keen to see him develop the primary side of the business as well,” says Cook, but even as Bautista went on to develop the primary ticketing platform, “he was very conscious of trying to make it ethical.”

The way he did that was to partner with Global Giving and pursue a giveback element whereby a portion of the booking fees charged on the platform would be donated to charities, which is a unique proposition in this business.

In addition to donating half of all its booking fees, Ticketpass caps its fees at £5, regardless of the ticket price, to prevent the possibility of having exorbitant fees like those sometimes charged by other platforms. “Obviously, we are aware that we may need to account for inflation and increase it at some point,” says Cook, “but we will always have a cap in place.”

Event organizers who sell tickets to their events through Ticketpass can select a charity or charities of their choice to donate their event’s booking fees to, or they can leave it up to the attendees to choose when they purchase their tickets. According to Cook, the latter option is particularly popular among music promoters, and makes the booking fees a bit easier to swallow for attendees. He also shares that to date, Ticketpass has impacted 302 charities and Global Giving projects across 27 countries.

Once the primary ticketing platform had been up and running for a couple years, Bautista and the team renewed their efforts to get the resale component of the platform off the ground, which officially launched back in October.

“It’s very early days,” says Cook, “but it will grow as we continue to partner with larger events, and the ethical side of it is being very well received.” He shares that in 2022, Ticketpass will be working with a number of independent festivals in the UK and is also working to bring on more independent record labels and promoters.

In the current climate of uncertainty, a fair and easy to use resale platform has never been more needed. “I don’t foresee a situation for a couple of years at least where Covid isn’t going to be factoring into people’s considerations when it comes to shows,” says Cook. “Having a resale platform is probably going to be the biggest part of what we offer over the next couple of years, and that's why it took precedence in the past couple of months and we decided that now's the time to launch it with live events starting to pick up again in the UK.”

Cook notes that Ticketpass is doubling down on the UK market for the next year or so as it continues to grow its platform and user base, but that it has its eye on a US expansion at some point in the relatively near future, so fans stateside can look forward to a more ethical way to buy tickets that’s designed to prevent scalping and outrageous fees. It can’t come soon enough!