Renowned jazz festival to deliver hybrid event in response to Covid-19 restrictions

by | Aug 6, 2020

The world’s northernmost jazz festival is hosting what is believed to be Europe’s first hybrid festival to ensure it continues to reach a large audience amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The Varanger Festival held in Vadsø, Norway is a popular fixture in the jazz scene due to its mixture of quality artists and unique midnight sun. With its capacity heavily reduced due to social distancing measures the festival is combining its traditional ticket sales with live pay-per-view streaming of each show online via TicketCo Media Services.

André Kvernhaug, Varanger Festival director said: “Unfortunately COVID-19 is something event organisers will have to deal with for some time and we believe the hybrid solution we have chosen is the long-term answer.

“Normally we sell 12,000 tickets during the festival. With the social distancing rules, we have scaled down sharply. We have moved the festival to a different venue which only has a normal capacity of 250 which has been reduced 86 per concert. With 13 concerts in all, this gives a total capacity of 1,118 tickets for the entire festival.

“Live streaming significantly expands our capacity and makes the concerts available to those who cannot or will not be able to physically attend.”

The festival concerts will be live streamed to local care homes, as an offer to an audience who are normally not able to attend. Festival goers will also be able to order food and drink via the TicketCo app.

TicketCo Media Services is a pay-per-view live streaming service that was launched during lock down to help event organisers. It enables promoters and venues to book performance artists and to broadcast exclusive pay-per-view events via the internet on their own TV channel.

Mr Kvernhaug added: “The world is different and as an organizer we have to deal with this. Live streaming through TicketCo Media Services allows us to make our concerts available in a different format, and we want to use that opportunity.”

The artists performing at this year’s festival include the Norwegian trumpeter, composer, and producer Nils Petter Molvaer. His debut album ‘Khmer’ (ECM) sold over 250,000 copies worldwide and established Molvaer as one of the leading voices of the new European jazz movement of the Nineties. Stylistically, he has since changed by integrating more indie-rock and alternative elements into his music. His latest album ‘Buoyancy’ is due out in September.

Chief Sales Officer Carl-Erik Michalsen Moberg of TicketCo Media Services said: “We are proud to be supporting Varanger Festival and its team who are embracing technology to ensure it can keep performing and reach new audiences. We believe they are the first organisers in Europe to be producing a hybrid festival and are confident this approach will fast become the new normal in the events industry.”

Photo: Johannes Lovund

About us

At TicketCo we have built our business on providing an easy to use digital platform for event organisers, artists, and venues to sell tickets and market their events. We have always been at the forefront of developing our own technology to adapt and provide a service and platform that is relevant in the digital age.

When lockdown hit the industry the team at TicketCo soon realised it was an opportunity and the company invested in R&D to develop and launch TicketCo Media Services, a new pay per view live streaming and video on demand service. It is combined with our ticketing platform so organisers and artists can monetise digital content and events.

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Written by Tom Rasmussen

Chief Communication Officer at TicketCo. Experienced public relations adviser and strategic narrativ creator with a broad background as promotor, manager and producer from the arts and entertainment industry. Also background from publishing and public administration. Hibernating novelist and retired drummer.

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