There’s a certain thrill in snagging great seats to see your favorite band the minute tickets go on sale, but nothing kills that buzz like the looming service fees that can end up nearly doubling your final cost.
For many, these service fees have been a source of frustration with Ticketmaster for years; since the company merged with event promotion giant Live Nation in 2010, it has only exacerbated the claims that Ticketmaster has a monopoly over major live music events.
Ticketmaster’s exclusivity agreements with many concert venues makes it very difficult for smaller ticketing companies to compete, however, this year Scottsdale-based event management company Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations (SLE) launched its own ticketing system and is starting to get clients to jump on the Ticketmaster-free bandwagon.
Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations is best known for bringing world-renowned DJs Like Paul Oakenfold, Avicii and Kaskade to the Valley, but the company also deals in full-service event management that includes event planning, promotion, distribution, talent booking and now ticketing solutions.
SLE built its in-house system primarily to break away from Ticketmaster’s fees themselves and give clients control over their own service fees. Some of SLE’s biggest clients for its ticketing service thus far are W Scottsdale, Everything Kids Fest and 4th of July Tempe Town Lake Festival.
SLE provides clients with web-based administration, box office system platforms, Apple iOS/Android ticket scanners, private-label solutions branding any ticketing site to fit client needs, ticketing concierge and customer services, promotion and marketing via social media integration, analytical sales reports, product packaging (such as merchandise that can be sold from any custom ticketing site SLE creates), and mobile ticketing services. SLE also offers consumer data such as email addresses and birthdays to clients.
Currently the ticketing site is bare bones, with only five events listed, but the service fees do appear much lower than Ticketmaster’s. Tickets for the Sound Wave Music Festival, for example, carry a 14% service charge where Ticketmaster’s are generally 20%-50%. The fees will vary however, as they are determined by the client.
SLE’s business model differs from Ticketmaster’s in that “It’s all negotiable,” according to LeVine. The client gets to decide whether to roll SLE’s cut into the service fees or include it as part of the billing for additional SLE services. In Ticketmaster’s model, the company’s take is the entirety of the service fees.
LeVine’s goal isn’t to overtake Ticketmaster, but simply to offer an alternative that benefits the client, the consumer and, of course, his own company as well.
More About Steve LeVine Entertainment
# of employees: 9 full-time, 23 part-time, and 100+ independent contractors
Founder: Steve LeVine
Website: slentertainment.com, sletickets.com
Phone: 480 284-6033
Headquarters: 7819 E. Paradise Ln. • Scottsdale, AZ • 85260