Primavera Sound Festival Ditch Paper Tickets; Move To Mobile-Only

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Primavera Sound is a festival that has been evolving rapidly in recent years, with one of the most notable changes to the iconic festival is 2018’s lineup boasting 50/50 gender equal performances; which, although it may seem as if this should have already been the case, was actually quite a prominent move in bringing equality to the festival scene – which in general, and extremely unfairly, is made up of mostly male musicians and headliners.

With this as a basic example, it’s evident that Primavera is becoming increasingly ‘progressive’ in their practices and overall ideals regarding how to approach the creation of festival tackling the pressing issues within the industry; whether that be discrimination, eco-friendliness as well as, most recently a fair and responsible approach to selling, refunding and printing tickets.

Primavera has now become the first festival to adopt a ‘mobile-only’ ticket plan, which will be set in motion for their 20th anniversary next year during summer (in Barcelona, of course). This route is especially helpful in many areas when it comes to the complications of ticket sales. 

One of the most important issues this mobile-only approach is expected to tackle is that of ticket touts, also known as scalpers – individuals who purchase tickets for their original price, either from first-party or official third-party sellers; and subsequently mark up the prices to resell them for a profit. This is especially the case when tickets are running low in supply, or are sold out entirely – which means more people are a lot more likely to buy these tickets from scalpers at a very high price.

Working with British ticketing firm Dice, the mobile-only ticket app will be a preventative measure when it comes to reselling tickets; yet also allows transfers between mobile devices if one has changed their phone, or bought a ticket as a gift for another. The app will also allow for refunds to be requested and processed directly and efficiently while using the app, along with a ‘waiting list’ for any necessary returns.

Along with this being a practical, reasonable and clever response to dealing with ticket touts / scalpers, and although this is the main goal – another positive comes along with this new move – by ditching paper, the festival is moving toward further environmental consciousness, expected to meet it’s environmental goal by losing the print-at-home tickets entirely.

Primavera organiser Pablo Soler stated to the BBC that alternative options will be made for those who do not have mobile phones, yet for the majority of people this mobile-only route will be a “easiest and safest” way to enjoy the festival.