Concerts, festivals... The NFT boom

Event organisers are increasingly relying on non-fungible tokens (NFT) to increase fan engagement and improve ticket security.

The Olympia, its legendary concerts and soon its NFT. Yes, its NFT! The famous Parisian venue, which has seen the greatest artists perform since 1893, has just announced the creation of a series of 250 "non-fungible tokens" (NFT). The aim of these tokens, priced at €100 each? To give their (lucky) owners access to exclusive services "for life", including concert tickets 🎤.

Of course, when you see a project like this, you think it's a great marketing coup, and it is. With the announcement of its NFT collection, Olympia is riding the wave of 'Web3' and making a splash, but not the only one. Because NFTs, which we're also hearing a lot about in sport and gaming with companies like Sorare, which has just signed a partnership with Kylian Mbappé, are more than just good old-fashioned access or season tickets. "It's a new form of relationship with customers," explains Stanislas Barthélémi of Blockchain Partner by KMPG.

An NFT is a token created on a blockchain. The most widely used is Ethereum, but others such as France's Tezos also allow them to be created. Those of Olympia, developed with start-up 🇫🇷 Tailor, are available on Polygon (a blockchain that relies on the security of Ethereum while being cheaper in transaction fees).

Features can be added as we go along

The great feature of an NFT is that it is unique and therefore makes it possible to identify and authenticate its owner. The other advantage is that NFTs are programmable. Using its digital assets, Olympia will be able to add services such as discounts on tickets or admission to other venues. "The NFT can be linked to the digital wallet, which makes it possible to push live services and reward the most engaged fans," Stanislas Barthélémi points out.

As a sign of the trend, Olympia is obviously not the only player to launch into the niche. "We're working with several festivals," confirms Robin Champseix, co-founder of Billy, a start-up that runs an NFT ticketing system. "With NFTs, tickets take on another dimension. It's no longer just access to an event, but access to several services." A few weeks ago, NRJ radio launched a series of NFTs that also give access to concerts.

A subject of loyalty and... security

In addition to customer relations, NFTs, which are forgery-proof, make it possible to improve security. This is a subject that has been on the rise ever since the Champions League final at the Stade de France went wrong. At the end of May, thousands of English and Spanish fans from Liverpool and Real Madrid found themselves blocked outside the Stade de France because of thousands of fake tickets.

To avoid another fiasco, singer Ed Sheeran, who is organising two concerts at the Stade de France at the end of July (29 and 30 July), has already announced that tickets will be "secured" via a blockchain system. These will not be direct NFTs, but "traceable" tickets managed by the company SecuTix. The tickets will be sent to spectators on their smartphones at the last minute. If successful, the solution, which has already been used for a number of events in the UK, could soon become widespread.

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