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The event industry has a problem, and it's not just tickets: it's risk

Read Time 4 mins | April 4, 2024 | Written by: Ant Taylor

One of the great joys of my professional life is that I get to go to a lot of events. A decade in and I have enough data to know it will never get old for me. Front row for Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden. Back row—literally the farthest away row—for Radiohead in the same venue. The NBA Finals Game 5 in Boston. Watching American Pharoah win The Derby on his way to win The Crown. These were magical, life moments. A part of me is still there. 

I know I am not alone. Live events are a $69B market annually… and growing. 

Despite the hype and the growth, events are plagued by real issues: steep prices, excessive fees, and no refunds policies. Ticketing takes most of the heat, which it should. Does anyone love, or even like, their ticketing platform? But the reality is that ticketing isn’t the fundamental problem. You wouldn’t blame your mailbox for a letter not arriving. 

The deeper problem is risk. There’s too much of it for everyone—event producers, creators, and fans—and this has resulted in a fractured experience, or worse: mass cancellations and postponements plaguing our industry

Think about it this way: 

  • Producers face rising costs, are reliant on tech that doesn’t truly help them, and they lack access to upfront cash in an already challenging economic environment.

  • Fans face rising ticket prices, especially given the tough economic environment.  And on top of that, every purchase is final. Well, that is risky! So what do they do? They wait to buy until the last possible moment.

As a result, artists and event creators struggle to really connect with their fans, negatively impacting sales to the point where many are forced to postpone, cancel or go out of business. Fans buying tickets are the lifeblood of any event. If they don’t do it, the whole house comes down. 

All of these frustrations are what led me to start Lyte 10 years ago. Since then, we’ve been on a journey to fix every broken thing about how the event industry works. 

Importantly, we’re tackling risk head-on. We want to reduce it for everyone. We’ve built a modern platform that uniquely pairs predictive demand insights with smarter event financing. This combination helps creators line up the number of tickets they offer with the actual in-market demand, ultimately getting more fans into their events. 

Events on Lyte’s platform can yield twice as much profit on the same amount of ticket sales and yet fans still pay less per ticket. That is the Lyte magic. 

With Lyte, event creators can:

  • Infinitely expand their sales window with a single ecommerce destination for fans. No more limited presale windows or bolted on ticketing solutions: just one safe place to buy, return and sell a ticket.

  • Skip presale chaos by accepting credit card-backed requests for tickets, months in advance. 

  • Get the upfront cash needed to bring their vision to life through automatic weekly payouts and access to additional advance terms, built with live event economics in mind.

  • Combat off-platform price gouging and bots by keeping ticket prices fair for everyone through a sales forecasting simulator and dynamic pricing algorithm that maximizes for feet in the field. 

By removing risk for event producers, we open up clearer, more flexible ways for fans to get into events, creating a win-win-win situation for producers, artists, and fans. Hassle-free returnable tickets, flexible payment plans, limitless buying windows and countless commerce customizations—it all adds up to a buying experience from Lyte that fans actually trust. Our partners’ success proves it: 

  • BottleRock captured 70% of surplus attendance demand, getting more fans into the event, more revenue for producers and artists, and enabling fans who could no longer attend to get easy refunds.

  • Lost Paradise sold 80% of inventory before on-sale in 2023, dramatically reducing marketing costs and increasing flexibility ahead of the festival. Overall festival revenue rose 52% from 2022.

  • Gulf Coast Jam eliminated secondary markets with Lyte’s platform, fulfilling 75% of attendance requests worth $1.28M in tickets in 2023, and boosting overall sales 400% from 2022.

The events industry has long needed to change, for the benefit of everyone involved. When we started this journey more than a decade ago, I didn’t imagine changing the industry would be this hard, but I also didn’t realize how rewarding it would be. If you want to learn more about what we’re doing, reach out. I’d love to hear from you.


See Lyte In Action