Music impresario Pete Shapiro to be honored at Celebrate Brooklyn

We’ve got some awesome people in our ‘fly fam. Our very first partner, Pete Shapiro, is one of them, though we’re not the only ones who feel that way about the music impresario.

Pete Shapiro

Pete will be honored for his many contributions to the music world on June 8 during the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival Opening Night Gala, which kicks off the 38th season of the free concert series. Pete’s impressive resume includes opening famed venues such as Brooklyn Bowl and The Capitol Theatre, founding the Lockn’ Music Festival, publishing Relix Magazine, producing various music films, and promoting last year’s “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” concert series. Continue reading

Bay Area’s historic UC Theatre flourishes again

UC Theatre_Credit Sterling Munksgard

A historic Bay Area venue is revived, thanks to veteran concert promoter David Mayeri. A former movie house—where German auteur Werner Herzog famously ate his shoe in 1979—the 99-year-old UC Theatre in Berkeley, Calif. is pulsing again. This time, with live music.

Now known as The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, the space underwent a $6 million renovation with Mayeri and his nonprofit Berkeley Music Group at the helm. Mayeri was contacted in 2007 by the City of Berkeley’s economic development team to help consult on the project. That’s when a vision popped into his head.

“When I first walked in the theatre, it had already been closed for eight years. It was dark, musty, and run down,” Mayeri tells Ticketfly. “What I saw in my mind is what you see now—a multi-tiered, 1,400 capacity live music venue with great sight lines, with a full bar and kitchen, chandeliers, and state-of-the-art Meyer Sound sound system.”

Since its March unveiling, the 1,400-capacity theater has already hosted national acts such as NOFX, Deerhunter and Los Lobos, with M. Ward, The Psychedelic Furs and Ani DiFranco, and more scheduled to play in coming months—all powered by Ticketfly. Ticketfly’s platform was the obvious choice, Mayer says.

“Ticketfly offers independent music venues the same cutting edge technology, analytics and social/email/web marketing tools that larger concert promoters enjoy,” Mayeri says. “What I found exciting about Ticketfly is their passion to think about marketing and selling tickets as a promoter would, and reinvent ticketing to improve both the customer and venue/promoter user interface experience.”

Mayeri hopes to not only present 150 diverse shows a year but also deliver the best customer and artist experiences. He’s already on the right track as the theatre is becoming as popular as Bay Area peers The Fox Theater in Oakland and The Fillmore in San Francisco.

“The reviews we are getting from audiences and artists alike are quite remarkable: ‘Best live sound of any music venue in the Bay Area;’ ‘Gorgeous elegant room with beautiful chandeliers and a great vibe;’ ‘We found a new home in the Bay Area and look forward to playing here every year,’” Mayeri says.

More than just an incredible concert experience, The UC Theatre plays an active role in the community. The theatre offers a concert career pathway education program for youth ages 17-25 where students learn the technical, creative, and business aspects of event promotion through free workshops and paid internships. Youth education and mentorship is near and dear to Mayeri as he himself got his start at 16 interning for Bill Graham Presents at the Berkeley Community Theatre. He stayed with Bill Graham Presents for 35 years, working his way up to Chief Operating Officer.

“I was paid $10 cash to unload the truck, set up the stage, usher the show, tear down the stage, and repack the truck. It took 16 hours and I would have paid $10 to do it,” Mayeri recalls.

The Berkeley Music Group is also partnering with community organizations to host events at The UC Theatre that strengthen the Bay Area’s vibrant nonprofit arts scene.

“If we were a for-profit, we would have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize the return to investors, whereas as a nonprofit we can have the education program and be more community friendly. The community is where we maximize our returns,” Mayeri says. “The idea is to combine the best practices of a for-profit with the heart of a nonprofit.”

With that in mind, the Berkeley Music Group and The UC Theatre are actively fundraising in order to support the nonprofit and continue renovations. To find out more about how you can help, visit www.theucthearre.org/support.

Meet Ticketfly’s new brand

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Today, we’re unveiling a bold new brand designed to bring everyone we serve closer to the live event experiences they love. The moment the lights go down before a set. The moment you hear the first beat of your favorite song. The moment you realize there’s a second encore. In these timeless moments, there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.

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Pandora and Ticketfly join forces to create the world’s most powerful music platform

I hope y’all are sitting down…I am pleased to announce that Pandora will be acquiring Ticketfly! The largest and most powerful recorded music company and the fastest growing live events technology company are coming together to create the definitive online music platform for venues, promoters, artists and fans. Pandora’s entry into live events is a watershed moment for the music industry.

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Pandora is massive. I didn’t realize just how massive. Nearly 80 million people use Pandora each month, most of them on their phones. The Pandora app is the single most-used mobile app in the world (more than Apple, Google and Spotify). Eight billion stations have been created on Pandora. Pandora is the #1 radio station in 36 U.S. markets.

The combination of Ticketfly and Pandora will be game-changing for our clients. Ticketfly and Pandora will be a marketing and event discovery powerhouse, giving our clients unprecedented access to a massive and targeted audience of nearly 80 million music fans. We will solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora’s enormous audience to events they’ll love. This will enable promoters to sell out more shows, and will strengthen the bond between artist and fan.

Pandora and Ticketfly are both deeply data-driven. We will harness our combined data to improve recommendations for fans and create new tools for artists and promoters. Pandora also recently joined forces with Next Big Sound, the leading provider of online music analytics. The coming together of Pandora and Ticketfly, plus Next Big Sound, will create the most powerful fan analytics platform in the world for venues, promoters, and artists.

I had a feeling that it was just a matter of time until one of the big music tech companies made its entree into live events. The live music business is booming. North American concert ticket sales grew at 22% last year. Artists earn roughly 80% of their revenue from touring. Live events are a natural extension of the Pandora platform.

Pandora has done a number of tests recently in the live events space and the results have been pretty overwhelming. When Pandora recently streamed Jack White’s concert from Madison Square Garden, 720,000 people created stations (that’s 38 times the number of people who attended the concert) on Pandora to listen to the show. Pandora live-streamed Mumford & Sons from our partner venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion, which resulted in more than 1 million people creating the live-stream station in two weeks – nearly double the number of people that follow Mumford on Twitter!

And it doesn’t stop there. Pandora has recently been testing the sale of tickets and the results are impressive. With its ability to identify and target specific fans, Pandora sold out 55,000 tickets for the recent Rolling Stones tour in 24 hours. Their ability to sell tickets for lesser known acts is equally impressive. A Pandora pre-sale for ODESZA (an up-and-coming EDM act) blew through 26,000 tickets, including for Ticketfly venues such as the 9:30 Club and Union Transfer, in minutes. Safe to say, Pandora is about to become a major player in ticketing.

So, how did all of this come to be? We have known the folks at Pandora for some time now. In fact, we met them thanks to this journalist – Rocco Pendola – a guy with some big and what we used think were pretty nutty ideas. You can read some of his musings here. But the more we chatted, the more we realized that Pandora and Ticketfly are a perfect fit. We share a common goal of wanting to the make the end-to-end experience better for all participants in the music ecosystem. We have similar values. We are both ridiculously passionate about music, and want to make music and live entertainment a bigger part of people’s lives. And it just so happens that we like each other. Anyone who knows Ticketfly knows that we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t like the people involved.

I had heard some of the noise in the marketplace about Pandora’s relationship with the music industry, so I dug deeper and what I found was a company and a founder – Tim Westergren – deeply devoted to the success and well being of artists. When Tim and I first met we talked for hours about various bands and venues we have in common. I quickly realized this is a guy with whom I could work. He was a touring musician and when he saw how hard it was to make a living he founded Pandora to help artists of all sizes to make a career out of music.

Everything that everyone loves about Ticketfly will not change. We’re still the same company working toward the same goals. Pandora loves our scrappy, independent nature and doesn’t plan to do anything to change that.

And what about our non-music clients? Well, we love our non-music clients the same as our music clients and we and Pandora plan to continue to support them enthusiastically. Our non-music clients will also be able to tap into Pandora’s marketing might, which will be a great asset for them, as well. In fact, I saw a Pandora commercial on Monday Night Football the other night, if that tells you anything.

Selling your baby is never easy and I would be lying if I didn’t say that it’s bittersweet, but I trust my friends at Pandora and believe that they have Ticketfly’s best interests at heart and won’t do anything to change what makes us so special.

This combination will be transformative for the industry. Our clients will gain access to the largest and most powerful music marketing platform in the world, which will help them to sell more tickets and generate more revenue. We will tackle the problem of event discovery for fans and make live events a bigger part of people’s lives, which is why we all got into this crazy business anyway. I’ve worked in the music industry for the better part of 20 years and have been running Ticketfly for almost a decade, and at no time have I ever been more excited about our ability to deliver on our vision to reimagine live events than I am now, with Pandora as our partner. This is going to be an amazing journey.

Cheers,

Andrew Dreskin, co-founder & CEO
Ticketfly

Ticketfly Talent: Thomas Frongillo—Blackout Make Out

Blackout Make Out live at The Independent in San Francisco

Blackout Make Out live at The Independent in San Francisco

Clap your hands say yeah for the next entry in our “Ticketfly Talent” series, which shines a spotlight on the many folks at the ‘fly who make and play music outside of work. We’ve got loads of musicians, DJs, singers, and other artists of all types who are Flyers by day and rock stars by night (though we tend to think they’re rock stars 24/7). They’re awesome, and we want the world to know.

Today we’re sitting down with Thomas Frongillo, Sales Lead Gen Specialist, as well as a music producer, songwriter, and guitarist who tours SF with his act, Blackout Make Out. Here, he explains what it means to be a “bedroom producer,” how he talks to his audience, and why he’s regularly up at 2am on school nights.

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Pride at Ticketfly

Guest post by Kim Dupuis, Project Lead, Design & Development Services

Unless you were sleeping under a rock, it was hard to miss the various Pride festivities that were abound in San Francisco for the last few weeks. Inevitably, we wanted in on the action, and thus Ticketfly’s first annual Pride Happy Hour was born. The festivities were set for Friday, June 26 at our SF-based headquarters, where ‘flyers worked together to deck out our office in DIY rainbow decor. We even found creative ways to incorporate the theme throughout the party with rainbow fruit skewers, a Pride flag made out of jello shots, and two signature cocktails, the Cha Cha Queen and the Shady Lady.

Pride Jello Flag

Friends and family joined us for all the revelry, including some stellar and hilarious entertainment at our Lip Sync Battle. Contenders had one minute to show us what they were made of, performing their song of choice in front of a guest panel of three “celebrity” judges, including our front office fire-dancing fiend Vanessa, and our wheelin’ and deelin’ head of Corporate Development, Andy.

The surprise result? A tie! Two ‘flyers came out on top and for good reason—their performances were so unforgettable, they’re permanently engrained in our brains. Katiana, from our content curation team, did a rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain” in full costume and character (penciled-on moustache included):

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And Yrving, one of our product designers, salsa’d to Celia Cruz’s, “Quimbara,” while dressed as Carmen Miranda, complete with the famous fruit hat.

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They were both a sight to behold.

In addition to the Lip Sync Battle, we held a raffle and raised more than $800 for Maven, a local non-profit that hosts tech camps and educational summits for LGBTQ youth in SF, NYC, and ATX.

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Our raffle coordinators reminding us to be green with envy if we don’t win one of the awesome prizes

We had a blast incorporating this new happy hour tradition into the bucket of rad events here at the Ticketfly HQ, and loved being a part of showing the world that #lovewins. We’re already looking forward to next year’s celebrations! Check out more great photos over on Flickr.

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#FlyFam: Pete Shapiro’s greatest act—”Fare Thee Well”

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Time to get happy: legendary American rock band the Grateful Dead reunites this weekend for the start of their “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” concert series, the most buzzed-about reunion in music this year, and likely this decade. Phil, Bobby, Mickey, and Bill will be joined by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, who is stepping in to fill the shoes of Jerry Garcia.

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Partner Spotlight: Up close and personal with the people behind your favorite events

Welcome to Partner Spotlight, our new series getting up close and personal with the people behind your favorite events. We’ll criss-cross the country, putting some of the smartest, most creative, and most successful people in the industry in the hot seat to talk about everything from why they got into the business, to how technology has changed the industry, to the best acts they’ve ever seen.

First up is Kevin Arnold, founding partner of Noise Pop Industries, which has been putting on cultural events in the San Francisco Bay Area for 23 years (which means when he started, this was the #1 song in the country). Noise Pop’s marquee event is the Noise Pop Festival, a one-week celebration of music and independent culture around San Francisco. Noise Pop also co-promotes the Treasure Island Music Festival and 20th Street Block Party, along with some fresh picks joining its roster this year. Watch the video below to find out what inspires Kevin to bring a slice of underground culture to San Francisco year after year, then read the Q&A for more.

Step Into the Moment with…Kevin Arnold, Noise Pop from Ticketfly on Vimeo.

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