Ed Sheeran tour triumphs in Stade de France after two successful nights
Ed Sheeran returned to France for two sell out nights at the Stade de France on July 29th and 30th 2022. Part of his ‘+-=÷x’ world tour’, the nights saw not only 176,000 fans enjoying a fantastic new production but also the first large-scale use by a concert in France of the TIXNGO secure mobile ticketing solution in a bid to tackle the black market.
TIXNGO ticket system ensures a smooth evening for Ed Sheeran fans
The Shape of You hitmaker and his management team have long campaigned for better protection for fans against fake tickets. When they requested that all tickets be secure and digital, Stade de France has called on its’s long-term ticketing technology partner SECUTIX and recommended their TIXNGO secure mobile ticketing system.
This resulted in all general (non-hospitality) tickets being sold only as mobile tickets. There was no paper option. Accessed through a Stade de France branded app, powered by TIXNGO, data from the gigs shows that the solution successfully combated the ticket fraud which Ed’s French tours had suffered from in the past.
A digital fan journey before the gig
The digital fan journey began at the point of sale. The ticket purchaser’s mobile phone was required in order to buy tickets. This number was used to verify their identity when the tickets were made available in the mobile app.
The purchaser also needed to provide an identity document (with a driving licence, passport or national ID card) to obtain the ticket.
Ticket holders were then asked to download the app onto their mobile phone. For people buying tickets for friends or family, they were able to easily and quickly transfer tickets to them within the app itself, using their email addresses.
Stade de France used the app to communicate with those attending the gigs through push notifications. This included important information about the ticket to ensure the safe and timely arrival of everyone on the day.
The day before the concert, the tickets were injected into the system and fans securely downloaded theirs through the wallet. In total, 176,000 mobile tickets were issued through the Stade de France app for the two nights.
On the night itself, a dedicated team was present at the stadium to help any fans who were having trouble finding their ticket on their phone.
TIXNGO, the ticket app that combats ticket fraud
How does TIXNGO prevent fraud? Firstly, it leverages the encryption and security of blockchain technology. This creates a unique, encrypted and fully traceable ticket for every smartphone that is verified and so removes the risk of counterfeit tickets.
The mobile ticket delivers a QR code with a dynamic element so it cannot be screenshot or sold to another party since the QR code is displayed at the right moment.
AI machine learning is also used to analyse ticketing data, tracing all ticket transfers in real-time and detecting any suspicious behaviour by ticket holders that may be fraud. A ticket injected into the system can be cancelled at any time by the event organisers if required.
Another safeguard put in place for the Stade de France leg of Ed Sheeran’s tour was a limit of six tickets per purchase and that each phone could only be used for one ticket on the day of the show. The only exception to this was tickets for minors which could be attached to a buyer's phone. The six ticket limit is a strong defence against the bots used by some illegal resale sites to buy hundreds of tickets, as purchases are blocked after six.
Finally, the reselling of Ed Sheeran tickets was only possible through Stade de France’s customer service, preventing people from selling tickets at an inflated price.
Integration with the tour’s retail partners
The TIXNGO solution was integrated with Stade de France’s wider digital ecosystem, including S-360, SECUTIX’s ticketing engagement platform. Due to the openness of the S-360 platform and its ability to work with any sales channel required by the producer, it was able to aggregate all tickets sold through the tour’s key retail partners and deliver them to ticket holders’ phones using the Stade de France app.
Commenting on the success of the ticket system, David Rothschild, the Production Manager of Olympia Production, said: “For too long, music fans have been exploited by touts and secondary sites. Ed wants to ensure his fans pay a fair price and don’t get ripped off. Now, the technology is available to really tackle this head on and I encourage more venues and promoters of concerts and festivals to really consider using it. We as an industry can no longer bury our heads in the sand on this. The success of Ed’s gigs in Stade de France proves that we can create a safer and fairer way to buy and sell tickets for concert goers.”
Marie Chalhoub, director of concert programming and ticketing at the Stade de France, explains: "Through this unique project, the Stade de France is once again demonstrating its ability to innovate in order to secure the ticketing of events. Conducting such a project on the scale of the Stadium is a great first in France and a challenge that we are happy to have taken up alongside Ed Sheeran, Olympia Production, and SECUTIX."
Christian Binelli, SECUTIX Chief Operating Officer, added: “The secure mobile wallet is incredibly effective at addressing the black market. There were no issues on either of the two nights with fake tickets, entry to the stadium ran smoothly and the feedback from those attending was overwhelmingly positive about how easy it was to use the mobile tickets. We’re delighted that the solution helped Ed Sheeran’s fans enjoy a safe, speedy and seamless ticketing experience.”