The Adelaide Festival Centre has today announced it will be transitioning from its current ticketing service BASS to national ticketing provider Ticketek advising that technological advancements in ticketing and the impact of COVID have prompted the partnership. Existing BASS outlets will transition to Ticketek over the next three months.
The announcement signals the end of BASS in South Australia after over 40 years of processing ticket sales for the state’s major arts institutions, including the Festival Theatre, Dunstan Playhouse, Space Theatre and Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Current permanent and temporary staff at BASS will be offered employment at Ticketek’s Adelaide office and casuals will be offered employment with Ticketek’s casual staffing pool.
The Adelaide Festival Centre has advised that its new collaboration with Ticketek would provide the “most streamlined, up-to-date way to purchase tickets for shows and events at Adelaide Festival Centre venues. Patrons will also get greater access to blockbuster events touring nationally and internationally through TEG-owned Ticketek’s vast Australasian networks.”
Adelaide Festival Centre Chief Executive and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier said the new partnership would lead to a better service for patrons and opportunities to present even more large-scale shows in South Australia:
Gautier noted “we are excited about what this partnership means for the future of live entertainment in South Australia, particularly the opportunity to attract even more great shows for our valued patrons at Adelaide Festival Centre.
“We are pleased our ticketing staff will be able to continue to use their fine skills through this collaboration and I want to acknowledge and thank all current and past BASS colleagues for their outstanding service to our audiences over many years.
“As South Australia’s leading performing arts and entertainment organisation, this partnership will make it even easier for patrons to access events at our venues, as we continue to present an enhanced year-round program of shows and festivals and support the great work of SA home-companies and artists.”
TEG Chief Executive, Geoff Jones advised that Ticketek was thrilled to partner with Adelaide Festival Centre and added “we are looking forward to bringing Ticketek’s world-leading ticketing technology to Adelaide Festival Centre’s venues and their faithful patrons. We put fans and innovation at the heart of everything we do. As such we will bring exciting innovations to the centre, making it easier than ever to access great shows.”
On the announcement of the ticketing transition, InDaily reported on union concerns that the Adelaide Festival Centre planned to “privatise” the revenue-making BASS box office as part of a review into its ticketing software.
According to the InDaily, Public Service Association assistant general secretary Natasha Brown said the Adelaide Festival Centre’s decision to outsource its ticketing service was “unwarranted” and “this privatisation has taken place under the cover of a COVID lockdown, clearly in the hope that it will go under the radar.
“When all the evidence points to privatisation being completely against the interests of the community, it makes no sense to sell off a small, high performing service that actually creates revenue for our struggling Arts community.”
The Public Service Association said it would raise the issue when it is called to give evidence at a parliamentary select committee hearing into privatisation in South Australia.
BASS was established in 1977 and was owned and operated by the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust.
The Adelaide Festival Centre said technological advancements in ticketing and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to reconsider its ticketing model.
Ticketek bought out what was once Queensland’s BASS agency, while Ticketmaster bought out BASS Victoria, which was previously owned by the Victorian Government under the auspices of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust.
A dedicated call centre for Adelaide Festival Centre venues will continue to operate in South Australia with the current 131 246 number remaining the same. Ticketholders will be contacted directly about any ticketing changes.
Image: Adelaide Festival Centre Dunstan Playhouse
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