This is the question Sara Mertz, Director of Sales at Tixr asked herself often enough as an entrepreneur in the music industry, that it became her life’s work to find an answer. What she discovered, having co-founded a playlisting company before Spotify existed in the US, is that tech-savvy ticketing at live shows bolsters artists most directly. Thomas Cussins, President of Ineffable Music Group, partnered with Tixr in agreement.
“Fans, consumers, everybody on my team– we just want it to be easy to go see a show,” said Cussins, answering Mertz’s question. What is it that sells a ticket? Ease.
“Ticketing is really at the genesis of our business. If we can't sell tickets, then we don't have a business at all. It needs to be a seamless process.”
Cussins, along with his team (Head Talent Buyer Casey Smith, Junior Talent Buyer Natasha Doron, Ventura Music Hall’s General Manager Jay Catley, and Ventura Music Hall’s Production Manager Courtney Panton), will make history on March 22 in Ventura California by facilitating the grand opening of Ventura Music Hall. Tixr is proud to support their vision. According to Mertz:
"There really isn't a venue like it in Ventura. It's a market that's just ripe for this music venue. This one is particularly cool because it can scale up and down capacity-wise. There’s also an opportunity for VIP upsells– a real hospitality experience."
Ineffable Music Group is a multi-faceted company that’s looked at music holistically for more than 15 years. In an artist-first approach, Ineffable created a record label plus divisions devoted to management, festivals, clubs, and theaters across the country.
“Looking at the overall landscape allows for us to bring up new acts and develop artists,” said Cussins. “One thing we noticed was that some of these small-air markets in California didn't have high quality venues, or any venues at all, to service the developing artists.”
Ventura had large venues and really small venues– nothing in between. There’s a sweet spot, according to Cussins, allowing for 500-600 capacity that didn’t exist. And certainly none with the addition of high quality production support.
We’ve seen artists that have played our clubs go on to do some amazing things,” recalled Cussins. “It’s great when you have an act like AJR play for 500 people and go on to play massive venues after that. Having the places to play, to develop, really helps to build lifelong fans.
Mertz pointed out that other legacy ticketing platforms actually take artists a step backward. “It just takes them too long to iterate and improve on their system,” said Mertz.
To provoke forward motion, and ahead of Ventura Music Hall’s grand opening, “we want to know, ‘how can we effectively deliver for our fans and the bands?’” said Cussins. “That’s the thing with technology. Tixr understood the tech. They made it very appealing visually, straightforward from a consumer standpoint, and the backend's really smooth. So we're excited to try it and roll with it. We just want to have a frictionless experience for everybody.”