This Austin Tech Startup Is Changing the Way Fans Buy Concert Tickets

FestivalPass sells tickets to concert and other live events through a monthly membership model.

Written by Abel Rodriguez
Published on Feb. 08, 2023
This Austin Tech Startup Is Changing the Way Fans Buy Concert Tickets
FestivalPass Founder Ed Vincent and Chief Business Officer Stephan de Bernede.
FestivalPass Founder Ed Vincent and Chief Business Officer Stephan de Bernede. | Image: FestivalPass / Built In

Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.

In an effort to highlight up-and-coming tech companies, Built In launched The Future 5 across seven major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five early-stage tech companies, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. Read our round-up of rising startups from last quarter here.

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The live events industry is going through a reckoning. For years, fans have questioned ticket companies and their additional fees charged at checkout. After recent problems with the release of Taylor Swift concert tickets, fans are looking for new platforms to purchase tickets for live events. 

For those upset fans, festivalPass may provide a solution. The Austin-based tech company launched in 2021 and sells tickets to fans through a monthly membership model. In addition to the novel ticketing concept, festivalPass is also creating a fanbase by incorporating blockchain technology into its platform. 

“The live music industry is a $200 billion global industry that hasn’t been innovated in the last few decades,” Ed Vincent, founder and CEO of festivalPass, told Built In. “Ticketing experiences have been very transactional. What I felt was missing and needed was a membership community in the live event space that allows people to feel a part of the experience.”

FestivalPass’ ticketing platform allows fans to sign up for monthly and annual memberships, providing them with points to purchase concert tickets. Members on the platform are not charged additional fees at checkout and receive discounts for hotels and access to exclusive events.

“The price of the ticket that we publish in credits is the price it costs. So when somebody sees something that costs 50 credits when they check out, they’re paying 50 credits,” Vincent said. 

Memberships range from $19 a month to a lifetime pass that rewards members with an exclusive NFT token and $1,200 in credits each year as long as they hold the NFT.

The live music industry is a $200 billion global industry that hasn’t been innovated in the last few decades.”

Prior to launching festivalPass, Vincent worked at a data and analytics company that worked closely with MoviePass. While there, he realized there was a demand from consumers for subscription entertainment services and he wanted to create a service in that realm that also incorporated his passion for live events. 

Over the years, Vincent began working on festivalPass as a side project. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when most live events were shut down, he built the platform and forged partnerships with venues to secure events and tickets once the world opened back up.

FestivalPass currently has over 80,000 live events listed on its platform ranging from large stadium concerts and sporting events to comedy shows and more. According to Vincent, festivalPass is currently working to onboard more local artists and events onto its platform. 

“The hope is customers keep coming back to festivalPass because they’re never going to pay more fees or any more money,” Vincent said. 

Going forward, the company will lean into blockchain development. This entails creating custodial wallets for its members that they can use to pay their membership fees. FestivalPass also plans to host more private events for its members. 

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