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Perth Theatre Trust ticketing tender spells end of the road for BOCS

Perth Theatre Trust ticketing tender spells end of the road for BOCS
January 19, 2012

Western Australian Government owned ticketing agency BOCS Ticketing is to be "decommissioned" following an announcement by Western Australian Culture and the Arts Minister John Day that the WA Government is to put out to tender the ticketing rights for venues managed by Perth Theatre Trust (PTT).

Minister Day said the public tender would be advertised in April 2012 after stakeholder consultation and follow Department of Finance procurement procedures.

A press release from Minister Day stated that "if successful, this will mean the State's BOCS Ticketing agency will be decommissioned by the WA Government."

Minister Day went on to explain that "BOCS was established at a time when ticketing options in WA were very limited and the market and its needs have changed significantly.

"It would not be a good value for the taxpayer to invest further in BOCS, particularly as there are many other ticketing specialists and providers in the current market.

"BOCS will continue to operate as usual during the tender process and a period of transition has been allowed.

"Patrons should not be unduly affected by this decision as any transfer arrangements will take into account current ticketing agreements."

Minister Day said the decision to outsource the ticketing rights for the PTT venues had been raised before and, after extensive research by the trust, it was recommended that the current best option was to test the market through this tender process.

Minister Day added "specified service levels will be included in the contract as it is very important that high service levels are maintained, including during and after the tender process.

"The State Government will ensure the interests of current BOCS staff, the Perth Theatre Trust and the Western Australian arts community be considered in any agreement."

BOCS Ticketing and Marketing Services was established 30 years ago and, operated by PTT, employs the equivalent of 39 people in both part-time and full time roles in a CBD-based call centre, with six outlets at PTT venues and five booking agencies throughout WA.

BOCS has about 150 clients but many are clubs and other community-based groups which account for a small proportion of its total ticket sales.

One of the world's last subsidised ticketing agencies, BOCS' operations have been subsidised by the WA Government to the tune of about $350,000 a year, revenues having dropped sharply in 2008 when it lost the ticketing contract for the Burswood and Regal theatres.

Minister Day concluded "the question is whether it is the best use of public funding to use taxpayers' money to put into a ticketing organisation, which has certainly done an excellent job, but needs a substantial injection to keep them competitive with the private sector."

Perth Theatre Trust General Manager Alan Ferris has written to industry stakeholders inform them of the State Government's decision.

Ferris wrote "as General Manager of the Trust I will be keeping stakeholders informed of the tender's progress."

Ferris can be contacted on 08 6552 7552, E: 






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