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Boston Symphony Orchestra partners with True Tickets for blockchain ticketing


Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has partnered with blockchain startup True Tickets to safely and seamlessly re-start live performances in the Summer.

True Tickets is a Boston-based startup that uses blockchain for contactless mobile ticketing.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of contactless ticketing has expanded to help venues reopen safely by eliminating a source of contact between staff and the event attendees. 

BSO’s live in-person performances have been closed for almost a year due to the pandemic, but the Orchestra is getting ready to reopen Tanglewood, the theater that the Orchestra has performed in since 1937. The partnership with True Tickets will make the ticket-buying experience safer for both staff and patrons.

True Tickets was founded in 2017 with the purpose of helping venues manage the re-sale of tickets through price floors and caps to address ticket scalping. It also provides data insights to ticket issuers by tracking the path of the ticket from the ticket purchaser to the event visitor. Plus it helps prevent fraud. 

True Tickets uses API technology which enables its platform to integrate with existing ticket systems. As such, the solution will aggregate to BSO’s existing ticketing infrastructure instead of replacing it. This feature enables True Tickets to frictionlessly integrate with various venues and will likely facilitate the expansion of the startup.  The solution uses the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain hosted by IBM.

Through the digital ticket, BSO can communicate with patrons before and during an event to share COVID-19 protocols, social distance measures and other procedures. In addition, BSO will use this communication feature to engage with patrons beyond the transaction and live concert experience. 

“Together, we are demonstrating how to safely reopen live performances now. Even more, we are also entering a new era of live entertainment – one where experiences are more inviting and engaging, before, during, and after a show,” said True Tickets CEO Matt Zarracina. “That level of year-round engagement is a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations like the Boston Symphony Orchestra.”

Meanwhile, True Tickets signed a partnership at the end of last year with Tessitura, which provides services to 700 nonprofits in the arts and culture worldwide. The company was also going to run a pilot with Shubert Ticketing for Broadway shows in 2020, but the project was likely postponed due to the pandemic. 

Contactless ticketing is also becoming popular in sports. Even before the pandemic hit, UEFA was planning on using a blockchain-based mobile ticketing for EURO 2020, Ticketmaster acquired blockchain sports ticketing app Upgraded over two years ago. More recently, Dutch top soccer team Ajax partnered with SecuTix for digital ticketing.