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Why we started Mainstage

Picture this...

It's 1:59pm on a Tuesday afternoon. You're sitting at your work desk with Ticketmaster loaded up on both your computer and your phone. You feel your blood pumping and your hands are sweaty - at any second now, tickets for Ed Sheeran's 2018 tour will go on sale.

The clock on your computer fades to 2.00pm which sends your heart into overdrive. You rapidly refresh the browser on both your devices. You desperately scramble to click the button to find tickets, feeling as though your hands can't keep up with your brain. The loading icon spins for what feels like a decade, while the website scours its database for some freshly released tickets.

"Sorry, no tickets match your search."

We've all been there, pulling our hair out while we madly refresh the website for five minutes straight. It's no use - within seconds of being released, tickets are snatched up by scalpers, and then listed on resale websites for ridiculous amounts of money. There's nothing you can do about it.

Until now.

You might even say the same thing to us - "there's nothing you can do about it either". Good, keep that attitude up, we like a challenge.

Old school ain't so cool

Just about every aspect of our lives have been modernised thanks to technology. Urban legend has it that modern smartphones are more powerful than the computers used by NASA when they landed on the moon. These incredible little devices, which we can now unlock with facial recognition, only started selling 11 years ago. When you compare this to the fact that some ticketing websites have been around since the late 1990's, it makes you wonder.

People want answers

How is it that ticketing platforms are still so outdated?

What's up with the exorbitant fees?

Why is it so complicated to purchase tickets?

Most importantly (in our eyes), how is it fair that the average joe should have to pay $1,000 to see their favourite artist, solely because existing platforms allow scalpers to rule the resale market with no limitations?

What makes us different to our competitors?

Being software developers and wannabe entrepreneurs, we carry this curse where we find ourselves over-analysing the existing processes in places, everywhere we go.

Sure, we might be a bit geeky, but we're also normal people. Occasionally we attend concerts, festivals, and even sporting events.

Unfortunately, it's while attending these events that we've witnessed our own friends being denied entry, due to fake tickets they purchased online. We've been through the hassle of trying to buy or resell tickets online through various marketplaces - arguing with people over the prices is bad enough, let alone the massive fees that follow.

We've waited in the dark outside a petrol station, hoping that the stranger will not only show up with a legit ticket, but that they also won't steal our money. We've stood in all the different queues for hours (literally), whether it was for entry to a festival, or to simply buy a bottle of water.

A local event organiser even allowed us to sit at the main entry for one of their large gigs, to make further observations. What we saw wasn't a reflection on the promoter's company, but rather the enormous lack of technological innovation in the event industry. We can honestly say that we know the struggle first-hand.

Baby steps

Eventually we realised that something needed to change, so we took our first step and created a safe place to buy and sell tickets, a group on Facebook - Ticket Resales - NZ - where we thoroughly review every member application for fake accounts and potential spammers, as well as regularly monitor all posts for unrelated or fraudulent content.

Even though we moderate this group extensively, the odd scammer slips through here and there, and in some cases they completely steal other people's identities to do so - frighteningly, this even happened to us at one point.

identity theft

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but knowing that this person was about to scam people using my face was pretty scary.

Onwards and upwards

Over the course of the next few weeks, we'll gradually reveal some details of what it is that we're actually building, how it's going to shake up the industry, and when you can expect to start using it.

This weeks clue? Imagine being able to buy or resell tickets in the same place where you buy official tickets from the promoters, requiring zero interaction with strangers, all at the tap of a button.

For now, we'll leave you with a simple question - if you could change one thing about the ticketing industry, what would it be?

Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter - we'd love to hear your answers.

Why we started Mainstage
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