Tixel Customer Success Story

Surfs Up, Refunds Down: How Tixel Helped Wipe Out Ticketing Issues at Boardmasters

Running as a world-class surf and music festival since 1981, Boardmasters is an event that needs little introduction. The five-day event is situated across some of England’s most stunning beachside locations including surf mecca, Fistral Beach. But recent years have caused a few wipeouts for this smash hit festival. In 2019, the event was cancelled due to bad weather. In 2020, it was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. 2021 was good to go as planned, but with new health and vaccination requirements in place.

With many of their 50,000 attendees still holding tickets since 2019, Boardmasters partnered with Tixel to keep their event sold-out and minimise the impact of refund enquiries on their event team. 

Tixel resale allowed Boardmasters to: 

  • Offer a single place for fans to buy and sell spare tickets securely, regardless of where they were issued
  • Replace ticket holders as soon as someone could no longer attend, with an 11,000+ person strong dynamic waitlist 
  • Divert refund requests amid cancellations and new COVID-19 restrictions

“It was good to know that no matter where or when someone bought a ticket, they could use Tixel to on-sell spare tickets without needing to rely on refunds. With over 11,000 people on our waitlist, we could keep our event sold-out and fans knew they could buy verified tickets the moment they became available. We love it. The more people that know about Tixel, the better” 

Kevin Moore, Festival Director, Boardmasters

Four ticketing platforms, one secure resale experience

Like many large UK festivals, Boardmasters had a distributed ticket arrangement across four primary ticketing companies. While this doesn’t cause issues during on-sale, when an event needs to be cancelled or changed, it can be a different story. Without a single channel for ticketing, resale and refund enquiries, it was hard for Boardmasters to consolidate communication to attendees. That was until Boardmasters partnered with Tixel to manage their ticket resale. 

With Tixel, fans get the same simple and secure experience regardless of where they purchased their tickets. To guarantee a safe resale regardless of ticketing provider, every ticket sold on Tixel generates a new barcode — eliminating the risk of it being sold more than once on other platforms. Tixel either integrates directly with the primary ticketing system or works with primary ticket issuers to replace the original ticket barcodes.

A waitlist that does the heavy lifting

After a long wait, Boardmasters’ 2021 return was one of the most anticipated seasons in the history of the festival. In the past, a waitlist would have offered little more than an email list for new or last-minute releases. If someone could no longer make the event, there was no visibility on what happened to that ticket — from changing hands to no-shows.

Tixel’s dynamic waitlist feature connects to an event’s official resale, allowing customers to be replaced instantly if they can no longer attend. Not only was the waitlist populated with eager fans, but many also pre-authorised an instant purchase for their desired quantity and price. With ~£500,000 in pre-authorisations ready to go, thousands of spare tickets found new homes immediately. 

This kept the event sold out while redirecting enquiries away from the Boardmasters customer service team. By offering a simple resale platform and letting Tixel manage all resale enquiries, event teams could focus on putting on their event. And as an added bonus — they have a unique list of everyone ready to buy tickets who will be eager and ready for next year, cutting down on marketing costs for the 2022 on-sale. 

Managing new restrictions without relying on refunds

Boardmasters was one of the UK’s first major events to resume with new health restrictions and vaccination requirements in place. This overlays new complexity to entry into major events, asking attendees to prove vaccination or COVID testing status on entry. It also means more people find out at the last minute that they can no longer attend — creating the potential for a huge wave of refund requests on event days. 

The Boardmasters team considered turning off resale before the event, but with a flurry of last-minute cancellations, having over 10,000 waitlisters ready to swoop in and snap up spare tickets proved incredibly valuable to the festival.

At least 500 tickets were traded the night before the main event, showing the dynamic and last-minute nature of ticket resale in today’s market. As the event offered multi-day passes, people were even able to sell their Sunday passes if they got sick on the Saturday. It meant more fans were able to get to the event and of course — considerably fewer refund enquiries to the Boardmasters team. 

Join the UK’s biggest festivals on Tixel

It’s inevitable that not every ticket holder will be able to make your event on the day. They could ask for a refund or you could provide safe and secure resale to get those tickets into the hands of your fans. 

Tixel’s promoter tools allow you to take control of your ticket after-market, alongside primary ticketing. Anti-fraud tech and capped pricing provide a fair place for fans to transfer tickets — while giving you tools to improve sales and sell out sooner.

To join festivals in the UK like Boardmasters and Bournemouth 7s in our lineup of great events using Tixel, sign up for a free account here.