FlipTix Solves the Issue of Departing Concertgoers; Big Launch at KAABOO

We have been watching with interest the evolution of KAABOO, which launched in Del Mar and has announced similar festivals in Texas and the Caribbean. In a couple weeks at KAABOO Del Mar, a unique ticketing opportunity will debut.

FlipTix allows concertgoers leaving early to sell their tickets. It is the only legitimate platform for such resale, and I had a chance to chat with the CEO of FlipTix to discuss the company’s origins and strategy.

Jaime Siegel had been a lawyer with Sony for over two decades, and knows his way around intellectual property. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “I am very familiar in dealing with brand and protection, which is important to our strategy,” said Siegel.

The FlipTix idea evolved from bars, clubs and parking lots, in the sense that those places manage well when folks leave and the demand exists for those empty spots. The FlipTix founders wondered why that can’t be done for venues as well.

Before FlipTix, when someone leaves a concert, the ticket is worthless. By registering at FlipTix, folks leaving early can leverage the remaining value of their ticket. A buyer from FlipTix gets a barcode and can enter right away.

Kevin Johnson is an early supporter of FlipTix. The former Live Nation executive owns half a dozen restaurants in the Scottsdale area, is a former tour manager and launched House of Blues venues. FlipTix did some early beta testing there, at BLK Live. They were able to correlate early departures with declines of sales inside. Siegel explained a very compelling “reverse consumption curve” relating to merch and beverage sales. He has found great reception with venue operators, because only FlipTix provides accretive revenue. Other resale and secondary markets push money elsewhere, not toward the folks taking the risk of putting on the show.

Siegel explained further: “There are no legal competitors to FlipTix. There is an illegal marketplace for transferring multiday wristbands to festivals, and participants run the risk of being scammed, dealing with shadowy people, being blocked from entry, being blocked from purchasing tickets to the event in the future, etc, and it is illegal! FlipTix will provide a safe, secure, trusted platform that is legal, and likely cheaper than any illegal markets. There are over 250,000 people registered on Reddit to buy and sell used festival wristbands illegally. With regard to ticketed events like regular concerts, no one does what we do anywhere in the world, because re-entry is generally prohibited. I should mention that the closest anything gets to us is the charity ticket exchange at Wimbledon where early departers drop their tickets in a charity bin and new fans can grab a ticket for 5 pounds.”

Closer to home, FlipTix will have personnel at KAABOO explaining the program, which will certainly take some convincing for skeptics. In that it is found money for both the departing ticketholder and the promoter, FlipTix looks to be a no-brainer.

Attendees should register here to participate.

Eric Burdon at last year’s KAABOO (photo by Brad Auerbach)

Newport Beach based FlipTix recently closed its seed round of VC financing at an oversubscribed $1.115 million. Siegel confirmed FlipTix has 14 patents on file, with more to come, which should protect its first mover advantage.

“The tertiary ticket market in sports, entertainment and special events has needed this type of simple solution for years,” said Brian Siegel, President of Fliptix and brother of the CEO. “Now, with digital connectivity and personal devices that enable instant value exchange, FlipTix lets people attend events regardless of whether they are sold out and lets those who leave early recoup some value. Higher attendance benefits concessionaires and merchandise vendors and attracting more people to event locations helps local economies – all without additional cost to the event producer.”

In closing, I asked the CEO about future announcements. “We are regularly running live events at BLK Live in Scottsdale, AZ. BLK runs concerts every weekend, and has been our partner since launch. We anticipate some big announcements about upcoming major events in the very near future.”

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.