The Swiss Army Knife of Live Music Events

Author: Liz McTaggart, Digital Marketing Services Manager, Ticketfly

It used to be de rigueur to hold up your lighter during a ballad at a concert. These days, you look across the audience at a live music event—large or small—and instead you see the brightly lit screens of smartphones,and not just during the slow songs either.

Concert-goers—like almost everyone, everywhere are finding that their mobile devices are essential companions at live music events, not only for capturing and sharing their experiences with friends, but for researching events to attend, purchasing tickets, connecting with other attendees, and even navigating massive music festivals (“where are the bathrooms?”). With new apps and deeper integrations with existing applications, mobile phones have become increasingly necessary for a positive live music experience.

Let’s dive deeper into the many ways mobile devices make the best music events possible:

Event Discovery

Well before a concert ever begins, mobile devices play a role in helping fans find live music events to attend. Capitalizing on this, Pandora and Ticketfly recently partnered up to provide personalized live event notifications based on music that listeners have demonstrated interest in (by either thumbing up or creating stations, for example). Listeners see these notifications across their Pandora experience in the form of push notifications in their mobile feed, email and even audio messages recorded by the artists themselves.

Already, more than 60 million listeners have received a notification about a show we think they’d love, and those notifications have proven to drive discovery: 70% of Pandora listeners who received push notifications said they weren’t previously aware that the show was happening.

Of course, fans aren’t just on Pandora. They’re using their mobile devices all over the web, including on sites like Facebook. Facebook also realizes the significant opportunity in connecting fans with events, and launched a standalone Events app for iOS in October 2016. The Events app allows users to see what events their friends are interested in, discover new events based on time, location and interests, and see updates from events they’re already connected to.

Ticket Buying

No surprise here, mobile ticket purchases are steadily increasing. Smartphones are officially the preferred device for consuming digital media, representing over 65% of total time spent with digital, according to comScore. Juniper Research estimates that close to 23 billion event and transport tickets will be bought using a mobile device by 2020.

We recognized the need for easy mobile purchasing, and launched Ticketfly’s dedicated iOS app in early 2016, which allows fans to find, share and purchase tickets to events in as little as two taps. In 2016, mobile devices accounted for 52% of Ticketfly’s traffic and 44% of all tickets sold.  

Many venues and events also allow mobile tickets to be used in place of paper tickets. A study commissioned by Ticketfly in May 2015 found that 70% of smartphone owners age 18-34 who attend live events want to use their phone as their ticket for entry. A whopping two-thirds of the same age group expressed interest in using their phone to pay for food, beverages and merchandise once inside the venue.

Festival and In-Venue Engagement

Attending a large-scale music festival means parsing through lots of information. You need to know where the merchandise tent is, what time and which stage your favorite bands are playing, how to find your friends, where the delicious-looking cheeseburger you saw that girl eating is from, and if your wristband gets you into VIP. A number of major festivals have created their own dedicated mobile apps, getting the most important information into the hands of attendees while reducing the costs and potential waste associated with printed guides and excessive signage. In addition, there are dozens of other third-party apps dedicated to making one’s time at a festival less of a hassle and more fun.

As a concert-goer, the sea of glowing phone screens in front of you is an uncomfortably familiar image. Whether you find it distracting or something you love to participate in, it’s clear that the majority of live music fans use mobile devices to commemorate their event experience.

In 2015, Ticketfly explored the question of how often music fans use their devices at live events, finding that 31% of Millennial concert-goers (age 18-34) use a mobile device during half of the event or longer. Additionally, more than 22% reported that they’re likely to share images they captured at a concert on social media.

With the number of global smartphone users expected to top 2.3 billion in 2017, we expect mobile usage at live music events to only increase in the coming years. Even though Apple has reportedly been working on software to potentially disable shooting photos and videos during concerts, we don’t imagine it’s going away anytime soon. Concert and festival attendees demand a more personalized, interactive experience, and smartphones are the multifaceted tool that’s going to get them there. So, whether you’re a festival team, venue owner or promoter—having a clear mobile strategy for every stage of your event lifecycle is crucial to providing your fans with the most positive live music experience.

This post was originally published on Pandora for Brands’ Insights blog.

Ticketfly internal metrics, Jan 2017
Ticketfly/Harris Poll survey, May 2015
Juniper Research, “Mobile – the Big Ticket” whitepaper, April 2016
ComScore, “2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus” whitepaper, March 2016

Reach new fans with Pandora Automated Event Notifications

Author: Lauren Kish, Product Manager

Did you get your Pandora show alert yet? That handy notification letting you know an artist you love is playing near you? If you’re one of the 78M people listening to Pandora each month, you’ve probably seen the concert notifications being pushed to your phone, surfaced in your mobile app feed, and sent to your email. Since launch, over 50M listeners have received a notification about amazing Ticketfly shows. These recommendation are already proving to be powerful — 70% of fans who received push notifications about concerts said they didn’t know about the show, and the 30% who did know hadn’t purchased tickets yet. With that, it’s prime time to share three reminders about Pandora’s powerful automated event notifications:


 1. It gets really personal.

At the core of Pandora is its music genome project, which does a brilliant job matching listeners with music they’ll love. Pandora has 78M monthly active listeners, and for over a decade it has traced listeners’ personal preferences—”thumbing” tracks they like or don’t like, and adding stations for the artists that move them—across the Pandora platform. Pandora uses the mountains of data it has about each listener to deliver personalized notifications when their favorite artists are playing nearby. Pandora is creating highly targeted recommendations for each individual user based on their tastes, and promoting all types of artists and shows. The key? What one listener gets is completely different from the next.


2. So many ways to drive fans to purchase.

Listeners are learning about your events from different channels, and at different times. Our notifications are designed to meet listeners wherever they are, whether that’s checking email, listening on desktop, or on-the-go using the app. From push notifications delivered directly to their mobile phone, to personalized concert digest emails sent straight to their inbox, Pandora listeners are receiving relevant, timely notifications when the artists they love are playing nearby. Add in mobile feed notifications, artist audio messages (AAMs), push reminders, and event information on the now playing & artists pages*, and fans will never miss a show.


3. The more you use Pandora, the more notifications you receive.

So, again, are you getting yours? The best way to know that your fans are being notified about your events is to experience a notification yourself as a Pandora listener. Here’s how:

1. Download the Pandora app.

2. Go crazy and create dozens of  stations for a few artists coming to your venue. Thumb tracks up, too!

3. Enable location services, or if you’d rather not, make sure the postal code associated with your Pandora account is correct.

4. Check your notification settings to make sure push and email are enabled.

5. You’re ready! As long as the event is within  31 miles of your location, you should start receiving notifications.

Best of all, unlike other marketing channels that require a ton work, you don’t have to lift a finger for Pandora listeners to be notified about your events. Just build your event in Backstage, and voila!, you’re plugged into America’s largest and most engaged music and comedy audience.  Finally, this is only the beginning. Throughout 2017 and beyond, we’ll continue to tweak, optimize, learn, and roll out new functionality and reporting to help you market your events in powerful new ways.

*currently ramping up to all Pandora listeners

Ticketfly Tours: your must-see winter concerts

Baby, it’s cold outside. Sure, you could curl up under the covers, but wouldn’t you rather be surrounded by hundreds of other warm bodies, bopping your head to “Broccoli” or wrecking people in a mosh pit? We thought so. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the hottest concerts this winter season, from indie rock to metal and reggae. Give our playlist a spin, then catch these bands at a ‘fly venue near you.

Dawes: The L.A.-based folk-rock quartet have been buzzing since their 2009 debut, North Hills. With their sprawling Americana on the recently-released We’re Gonna Die, they’re stomping into 2017 with a host of shows across the country.

1.11: Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ

1.13: Fremont Theater – San Luis Obispo, CA

1.26: The Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX

2.3: State Theatre – Minneapolis, MN

2.10: Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO

2.22: Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR

2.25: The Wilma – Missoula, MT

2.26: Pub Station Ballroom – Billings, MT

2.28: Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA

3.1: Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL

3.3: Iron City – Birmingham, AL

3.4: Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA

3.8: The Lincoln Theatre – Washington, DC

3.14: Academy of Music Theatre – Northampton, MA

3.15: State Theatre – Ithaca, NY

3.17: The Opera House – Toronto, ON

3.19: The Vogue – Indianapolis, IN



D.R.A.M.: Big Baby D.R.A.M. was responsible for “Broccoli,” the simple yet infectious weed anthem that became one of the biggest hip-hop hits of 2016. He also inadvertently spawned one of 2015’s biggest phenomenons; his “Cha Cha” was remixed into Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” which overshadowed the original. Give the man his rightful due respect when he pops up near you.

1.13: Exit/In – Nashville, TN

1.25: The Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH

1.26: El Club – Detroit, MI

2.1: The Loft – Dallas, TX

2.2: Grizzly Hall – Austin, TX

2.8: Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ



Deafheaven: Metal’s alive and well, and Deafheaven is its pulse. The boundary-pushing band is noted for fusing elements of black metal, shoegaze and post-rock. Regardless of the temperature, you’re gonna work up a sweat one of these Deafheaven shows.

1.13: Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA

2.23: The Independent – San Francisco, CA

2.26: Bunkhouse – Las Vegas, NV

3.3: Trees – Dallas, TX

3.4: The Studio at Warehouse Live – Houston, TX

3.5: Republic NOLA – New Orleans, LA

3.8: Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN

3.11: The Broadberry – Richmond, VA

3.12: Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD

318: The Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL

3.23: Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO



Iration: It’s weather like this that makes us want to get away. Thankfully, this alternative/reggae outfit will help you catch some serious island vibes.

1.13: The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA

1.14: The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA

1.19: Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA

2.1: Pub Station Ballroom – Billings, MT

2.2: The Wilma – Missoula, MT

2.3: Revolution Concert House and Event Center – Garden City, ID

2.4: Hangar House at Infinity Event Center – Salt Lake City, UT

2.6: Boulder Theatre – Boulder, CO

2.9: The Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ

3.4: Vinoy Park – St. Petersburg, FL



Cold Cave: Darkwave master Wesley Eisold is noted for his experimental synthpop. Dreary yet very dance-y, this one will be another concert that’ll leave you drenched in sweat.

1.12: Bunkhouse – Las Vegas, NV

1.13: Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT

1.14: Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO

1.19: Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON

1.21: Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA

1.24: Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD

1.25: Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC

1.26: Strange Matter – Richmond, VA

1.27: Motorco Music Hall – Durham, NC

1.28: Terminal West – Atlanta, GA

1.29: Exit/In – Nashville, TN

2.1: Walter’s Downtown – Houston, TX

2.4: Club Dada – Dallas, TX

2.14: The Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA



Dorothy: Frontwoman Dorothy Martin and her band have been raising hell with their stomping hard rock since breaking onto the scene in 2014. In fact, they’ve made so much noise that they got scooped up by Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. See what’s got the rap mogul excited when the red-lipped and raven-haired beauty hits your town.

1.11: The Casbah – San Diego, CA

1.15: Harlow’s Restaurant and Lounge – Sacramento, CA

1.18: Funhouse – Seattle, WA

1.19: Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR

1.21: Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT

1.24: Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO

1.26: Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ

1.27: Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV

1.28: Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA

2.15: The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO

2.17: 1st Ward at Chop Shop – Chicago, IL

2.26: Mercury Lounge – New York, NY

2.28: Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington, DC

3.2: The High Watt – Nashville, TN


Bring on 2017!

New Year's Eve 2016

2016 proved to be another banner year here at the ‘fly. After joining forces with Pandora in 2015, we steamrolled through this year: we launched a bold new brand, released a five-star iOS app, signed a record-breaking number of new partners, went Facebook official, and even dropped some fire mixtapes via Pandora (watch your back Young Thug!), among other advancements to ensure the best user experience for our partners and live music fans alike.

That said, we can’t wait to see what the new year holds. But of course, we can’t ring it in without a righteous celebration and all of you awesome people who’ve helped make this year an unforgettable one. Join us at one of these New Year’s Eve events handpicked by our expert curators and do the “Juju on That Beat” dance one last time—hopefully forever!


San Francisco Bay Area

12.29: Snow Sessions: Del the Funky Homosapien, Andre Nickatina, Chali 2na, Yukmouth + more – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz ($20+)

12.30: The Devil Makes Three – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz ($30+)

12.30: Unknown Mortal OrchestraThe Independent, SF ($30+)

12.30: Con Brio: Two-Nite NYE Bash – The Chapel, SF ($25+)

12.30: Gorgon City DJ Set with special guest Kidnap Kid – The Midway, SF ($30+)

12.31: New Year’s Rivertown Ball with Monophonics! Petaluma Veteran’s Memorial Hall, Petaluma ($55+)

12.31: Bonobo (DJ Set), Nickodemus – The Midway, SF ($50+)

12.31: Fuck 2016, Hello 2017! New Year’s Eve Extravaganza with Danny Daze, Shiny Objects, Shane One + more – Monarch, SF ($20+)

12.31: Afrolicious – Rickshaw Stop, SF ($45+)

12.31: Con Brio: Two-Nite NYE Bash – The Chapel, SF ($45+)

12.31: Claptone & Wolf + Lamb – Public Works, SF ($45+)

12.31: The California Honeydrops – The UC Theatre, Berkeley ($55+)

12.31: The Stylistics – Yoshi’s, Oakland ($99+)

12.31: Junior Boys, Gorge Hewek & Izhevski – Halcyon, SF ($30+)

12.31: End of the World Disco with Classixx and Les Sins (Toro Y Moi) – The Great Northern, SF ($40+)

1.1: It’s a New Day Block Party 2017 with Justin Martin, Recondite, Idjut Boys, Doc Martin + more – The Great Northern, SF ($50+)

1.1: Breakfast of Champions 2017 – The Midway, SF ($25+)


New York

12.30: Justice (DJ set), Crystal Castles and Hot Chip (DJ set) – Pier 94, NYC ($49+)

12.30: Cymbals Eat Guitars – Mercury Lounge, NYC ($20+)

12.31: Be Yourself vs MoodRAW NYE with Danny Tenaglia, Nicole Moudaber, Gregor Tresher, Marino Canal – Secret location, Brooklyn ($70+)

12.31: Gareth Emery with Chirstina Novelli, Dan Stone, Standerwick, Will Atkinson – The Brooklyn Hangar, Brooklyn ($75+)

12.31: The Hotelier (early show) – Mercury Lounge, NYC ($25+)

12.31: FOREVER YOUNG: The RaDICAL nEW wAVE nEW yEARS aFTER pARTY! – Mercury Lounge, NYC ($10+)

12.31: John Digweed (8 Hour Set) + Naveen G – Output, NYC ($70+)

12.31: NYE Love Bomb with Soul Clap + No Regular Play – Good Room, Brooklyn ($55+)

12.31: New Years Eve 2017 @ The Jane Hotel Ballroom – The Jane Hotel, NYC ($150+)

12.31: The Rub NYE with DJ Ayres & DJ Eleven – The Bell House, Brooklyn ($60+)

12.31: Lee Burridge – Flash Factory, NYC ($60+)

1.1: Oscar G + Benny Soto – Output, NYC ($40+)


Los Angeles

12.16: Special Christmas Show | The Rocket Summer – Chain Reaction, Anaheim ($18+)

12.17: James Supercave + SWIMM – Troubadour, LA ($15+)

12.20: Aminé – Echoplex, LA ($13+)

12.21: Sleeptalk – Bootleg Theater, LA ($12+)

12.21: Jane Lynch’s A Swingin’ Little Christmas! – Largo at the Coronet, LA ($30+)

12.22: Avi Buffalo – Bootleg Theater, LA ($8+)

12.30: Citizen Cope – The Regent Theater, LA ($33+)

12.30: Mystic Braves – The Echo, LA ($12+)

12.30: The Black Queen – Union Nightclub, LA ($15+)

12.31: X – The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood ($35+)

12.31: BOOTIE LA: NYE 2017 – The Regent Theater, LA ($35+)

1.4: TV Girl – Resident, LA ($10+)



12.31: NYE: Rubix Kube – Sellersville Theater 1894, Sellersville ($40)

12.31: Mary Fahl (formerly of OCTOBER PROJECT) – Tin Angel, Philadelphia ($35+)



12.31: Nick VatterottZanies in St. Charles, St. Charles ($40+)

12.31: Julian McCollough – Zanies in Rosemont, Rosemont ($40+)

12.31: Primary NYE | Anthony Attalla – Primary Night Club, Chicago ($15+)

12.31: Big Freedia + Har Mar Superstar – 1st Ward at Chop Shop, Chicago ($100+)

12.31: Suicide Machines – Reggies Rock Club, Chicago ($20+)

12.31: Liquid Stranger – Lakehurst Banquets, Waukegan ($45+)

12.31: Patti Smith and Her Band – Park West, Chicago ($65+)


Washington, D.C./Baltimore

12.30-31: MELODIME NYE Party | Welshly Arms, Firekid + more – Jammin Java; Vienna, VA ($70+)

12.31: Hardwell – Glow at Echostage; Washington, DC ($70+)

12.31: LASER DISCO | Minnesota, Protohype, + more – Game; Baltimore, MD ($35+)

12.31: Old 97’s – The Hamilton; Washington, DC ($60+)

12.31: Baltimore Rock Opera Society NYE Celebration – Ottobar; Baltimore, MD ($15+)

12.31: Flash NYE | Steve Bug – Flash; Washington, DC ($50+)

Thanksgiving Throwdowns

Thanksgiving Throwdown

No matter how 2016 has treated you, there’s plenty to be thankful for, like these Thanksgiving weekend shows near you. The events below have been handpicked by our expert in-house curators, who know how to shake some serious turkey leg. So go out there and give it up to the live entertainment gods!


11.25: Minnesota – The Independent, SF ($21+)

11.25: Trus’me, Chvck., Petko Nikolov – Monarch, SF ($10+)

11.25: Vienna Teng – Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley ($38+)

11.25: Rising Appalachia – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz ($23+)

11.25: The Spinners – Yoshi’s, Oakland ($39+)

11.26: Booka Shade – The Midway ($30+)

11.26: Borgore – The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, Berkeley ($30+)

11.26: Eliza Skinner – Doc’s Lab, SF ($15+)

11.27: A San Francisco Tribute to Leonard Cohen feat. Conspiracy of Beards – The Chapel, SF ($14+)



11.25: Greg Proops is the Smartest Man in the World – The Bell House, Brooklyn ($15+)

11.25: Anthony da Costa – Rockwood Music Hall, NYC ($12+)

11.25: Robert Randolph and the Family Band present Funksgivin’ Jam – Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn ($25+)

11.26: Homeshake – Baby’s All Right, Brooklyn ($12+)

11.26: Chucho Valdes, Joe Lovano Quintet – Birdland, NYC ($50+)

11.26: NY Night Train Soul Clap & Dance Off – The Bowery Ballroom, NYC ($14+)

11.27: Ween – The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester

11.27: Mike Brown & Griffin Newman – Union Hall, Brooklyn ($10+)

11.27: Hard Femme ft. Mr Twin Sister, Sateen, Neocamp, Sandflower – Mercury Lounge, NYC ($10+)



11.25: Dream Panther – The Hi Hat ($7+)

11.25: Booka Shade – Exchange LA ($10+)

11.26: No Man – iO West Theater ($10+)

11.26: Bootie LA: Dranksgiving! – Echoplex ($5+)

11.27: Neil Hamburger LIVE – The Satellite ($8+)

11.27: Rachel Mason and the Starseeds – Bootleg Theater ($7+)



11.25: CFM – The Hideout ($10+)

11.26: Wax – Subterranean ($15+)

11.26: Jim James – Riviera Theatre ($35+)

11.26: Natalia LaFourcade – The Portage Theater ($35+)

11.26: Farris Wheel Thanksgiving | Gene Farris – Spybar (Free before midnight, $10+ after)

11.27: Ulcerate – Reggies Rock Club ($15+)

SweetWater 420 Fest goes big with double headlining sets for ‘Lucky 13’

The number “13” carries a spooky superstition. But in the case of new partner SweetWater 420 Fest in Atlanta, 13 is a good omen, and a cause for a righteous celebration.

The three-day music experience, which doubles as an Earth Day festival (hence the 4/20), will hold its 13th annual event from April 21-23, 2017 at Centennial Olympic Park in the heart of downtown Atlanta. In honor of “Lucky 13,” organizers are pulling all the stops.

Sweetwater 420 Fest image Continue reading