Meet Noel Peters, Toronto’s Metal Man

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Noel Peters has been bringing the noise—literally—to Toronto for the past two decades. Peters’ company, Inertia Entertainment, has hosted some of the biggest metal bands in the world, from Sepultura and Cannibal Corpse to Mastodon and Ghost. It’s a labor of love for Peters, who started his career as a concert promoter simply to help out his friends’ bands. Twenty years later, he’s still got his horns held high with no signs of slowing down. He celebrates the 20-year milestone with a hand-picked metal blowout featuring some of his favorite bands on February 27 at The Opera House in Toronto. 

We caught up with Peters to chat about pre-Internet promotion, his career highlights, and what’s in store for the next 20 years.

How’d you get into the business?

I started out trying to help my friends’ bands break into the Toronto music scene and get some gigs [and] building networks with other Toronto area bands. The way to get them in front of a larger audience was to try to find bigger touring bands and get them to open for them. It took a lot of phone calls, a lot of faxing, a lot of perseverance to get taken seriously. In the first year in 1996 I managed to get some smaller touring bands; not really anything significant. It wasn’t until the second year in 1997 where I managed to land some larger touring acts to help get more exposure for local bands I was working with at the time. From there, it took off like wildfire.

To give a little more of an explanation: There weren’t any minor level touring acts. All of the bigger, club-level metal bands were bypassing Toronto. They’d been bypassing Toronto for close to five years because there wasn’t a promoter picking up the shows and doing the gigs with them. The big ones like Slayer, Pantera, Metallica, etc. they all played here; they were all promoted by what is now essentially Live Nation concerts. But the smaller bands that I would go and see in the 1980s and early ’90s like Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse, these bands all just bypassed Toronto. As I broke this nut to open up this network of larger touring bands to come through Toronto, it just kind of spread that there was a guy in Toronto who was booking these shows again. It morphed into something much bigger than what I ever expected it to be. Twenty years later, I’m sitting here still doing this.

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Expanding across North America with TicketBreak acquisition

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Posted by Bruce Morrison, General Manager, Ticketfly Canada

Today we’re back to our deal closing ways. We just announced that we’ve acquired TicketBreak, the ticketing service of MapleCore Ltd., a leading Canadian independent music company. We’re fueling our expansion in Canada, and North America, and bringing some incredible new clients and employees to the Ticketfly family.

Through this acquisition, we’ve broaden our presence in the North American festival space and entered into a new vertical, casino entertainment. We’re adding 48 new clients to an already star-studded Canadian roster that includes the likes of The Vogue Theatre, Union Events, Collective Concerts, Inertia Entertainment, and Atomique Productions. Our new clients represent a mix of venues, promoters, festivals, and casinos, like Casino New Brunswick and Grey Eagle Casino and Resort.

By joining the Ticketfly family, TicketBreak clients will have access to the leading live events technology platform on the market. With Ticketfly taking care of the tech and the clients, MapleCore can focus on what it does best: managing artists in a rapidly changing music industry.

TicketBreak is our second acquisition north of the border in the last twelve months. It comes right on the heels of an outstanding 2015 were we processed 19 million tickets, generated over $600 million in gross ticket sales, and added over 500 new clients. Not to mention that we now power over 600 websites on behalf of our clients making us the leading provider of website technology to the live events industry.

Canada already knows Ticketfly well, and we’re thrilled to be expanding our Canadian footprint. We’ve ramped up our office and our team in Toronto to make sure Canadian clients get top-notch support. Our incredible growth since launching in Canada in 2013 shows that Canadian venues and promoters are looking for an alternative to the incumbents and choosing Ticketfly. In 2015, Ticketfly Canada processed 1.4 million tickets, generating over $65 million Canadian in gross ticket sales, representing annual growth in excess of 60 percent.

Andrew Dreskin, our co-founder and CEO, and long-time Neil Young and Rush fan, says: “The acquisition of TicketBreak is yet another illustration of how Ticketfly is redrawing the live events landscape. TicketBreak is our third Canadian acquisition, and the second in the last twelve months. The only thing bigger than Ticketfly in Canada is The Tragically Hip. We’re fired up to welcome TicketBreak and its clients to the Ticketfly family, and are looking forward to sharing our platform with more great venues and fans across Canada.”

We’re proud that our technology provides clients with a better experience and sets them up for success. Together, we’ve reimagined the live event experience for more than 120 Canadian partners, and we can’t wait to work with TicketBreak clients to do the same.

Growing across Canada with the acquisition of Northern Tickets

Posted by Bruce Morrison, General Manager, Ticketfly Canada

We’re more hyped up than a kid at Tim Hortons—today we’re welcoming Northern Tickets to the Ticketfly family. For the past five years, Northern Tickets has served as the in-house ticketing service of the prestigious MRG Group, which owns, operates, and manages premier music venues and events (in addition to restaurants and bars) across Canada.

This acquisition adds prominent new partners to our list, including some of the most storied Canadian venues and events, like the gorgeous Vogue Theatre, a historic 1300-cap room in downtown Vancouver; the brand new, industrial-chic Adelaide Hall, a 500-cap room in Toronto; and the incomparable Vancouver International Jazz Festival, which attracts nearly half a million visitors every year.

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News from The North: Year-end wrap-up

Macintosh HD:Users:davelock:Desktop:Photos:2014-05-23 03.28.24 1.jpgBruce Morrison, GM of Ticketfly Canada (left) & Dave Lock, Sales Manager (right), loving Canadian Music Week 2014

Ticketfly Canada is almost two, and my oh my how it’s grown up before our very eyes. Our second year of operations in Canada was a blockbuster one, a time that—in true Ticketfly fashion—can be summed up in only two ways: partners and parties.

Partners

In 2014 we officially moved from “Ticket-who?” to “Ticketfly!” in the eyes of Canada’s independent promoters and venues. We added more than 50 new clients to the roster, from a comedy festival in Vancouver to a brewery in Toronto. Here’s just a taste:

  • London Music Hall – this premier stop for bands and artists as they tour through Southern Ontario features one 1930-cap music hall and a more intimate 300-cap club.
  • Beau’s – Hello neighbor! Welcome to Beau’s, a local, family-run, DIY brewery in Ontario that also hosts everything from CCR cover bands to musical comedy troupes.
  • NorthWest Comedy Fest  – The laugh riot happens three times a year for multi-day runs in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Catch stand up favourites, up and comers, improv, podcasts and all ages events.
  • Center of Gravity Festival  – An outsized adrenaline-fueled sports and music festival, held on the beach at Okanagan Lake (yes, there are beaches in Canada) in Kelowna, British Columbia.
  • Atomique Productions – A leading independent concert promotions company based out of Victoria, BC. Founded with a mandate to bring a diverse range of national and international talent to the Greater Victoria population, Atomique produces an average of more than 150 concerts a year.

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Ticketfly partners clean up NOW’s “Best of Toronto” awards

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NOW Magazine, Toronto’s leading alternative weekly, recently announced the winners of its 2014 Readers Choice Best of Toronto awards. In the music category, we are delighted (and not at all surprised) to recognize a number of Ticketfly partners in the winner’s circle.

NOW picked a winner and runner up in each category based on a popular vote by Toronto music fans and readers. Based on the accolades below, it looks like Ticketfly partners in the Great White North are continuing to earn major props:

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News from the North: Big Wins in Canada

Ever since Ticketfly launched in Canada last January (our first international venture), we’ve been partnering with some of the greatest venues, festivals, and promoters up in the True North. We’re pleased our Canadian roster already boasts the best in the biz. NOW Magazine, Toronto’s alternative weekly, just published their “Best of” readers’ poll for this year, and it’s no surprise a number of our partners made the cut. Congrats guys!

Best Blues Bar: Dakota Tavern

Best Live Music Club: Horseshoe Tavern

Best Concert Promoter: Inertia Entertainment

Here are some of our newest Canadian clients:

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Canada’s Polaris Music Prize Uses Ticketfly for First-Ever Public Gala

The Polaris Prize has been Canada’s most prestigious music award since 2006. For the first time, tickets to the Polaris gala are on sale to the public, and we’re ecstatic to be the official ticket supplier. It was an easy decision, according to Steve Jordan, Polaris’ founder and executive director:

When we decided to sell tickets to the public for the first time, we needed a partner who loved music, understood what Polaris is about, and was willing to work with us on our various needs. Ticketfly fit the bill.

Don’t miss a spectacular night in Canadian music, held at The Carlu in Toronto, on September 23rd, 2013. Get your tickets now.

The 2013 short list of nominees was released last week, including fan favorites like Tegan and Sara, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Metric, and Purity Ring. Past winners include Feist (Metals 2012) and Arcade Fire (The Suburbs 2011). We’re eager to see who takes home the prize this year! Here’s what Bruce Morrison, General Manager of Ticketfly Canada, has to say about Polaris:

We’re delighted to be the ticketing supplier for the Polaris Music Prize gala, the most respected award in Canadian music. Ticketfly congratulates all of the nominees.

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Ticketfly Does NXNE, Adds Canadian Clients

Dave Lock from our Toronto office is a regular encyclopedia of cool new music. Here’s his latest update on Ticketfly Canada, with a rockin’ Rdio playlist of his favorite bands from NXNE below: 

June in the city of Toronto means one thing: NXNE. While not as large as its Southern sister in Austin, Texas (South by Southwest), North by Northeast has been putting on great festivals for 18 years. This year’s festival did not disappoint, bringing in some of my favourite acts for five nights of sleep-deprived revelry (Toronto extends bars’ hours until 4am for the event), including Ludacris, The National, Wintersleep, and Social Distortion.

The entire Ticketfly Toronto team took part in the festival, and we had the pleasure of welcoming back cofounder and COO Dan Teree, who I specifically remember saying that “Toronto is one of my favourite cities,” (although he would probably spell it “favorite”). Ticketfly even hosted a very cool mixer on a rooftop tiki bar in the middle of the action. There was a little rain, but everyone had a great time.

Photos taken by: yulischeidt.com

But you want to hear about the bands, amiright? I built a very strict itinerary consisting of bands I must see, bands I’d like to see, and safety bands that are usually local (and always play solid sets). This means we never have to worry about where we are going next. I even colour coordinated it to make it easy to read:

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