Event management and online ticketing agent Eventbrite is the latest major organization within the “live events” industry to share updates on its future plans of operation while concerts and sporting events, theatrical productions, and major festivals all remain on indefinite hiatus.
The U.S.-based company is coming off a financial year in 2019 which saw them sell 309 million total tickets to 4.7 million events across 180 countries. The first quarter of 2020, unfortunately, has seen an obvious 180º from last year, as Eventbrite saw a $146.5 million net loss since the start of 2020, a drastic change in comparison to the $10 million net loss for Q1 in 2019. It is worth pointing out that Eventbrite’s Q1 financial report shared earlier this week noted that ticket sales somehow improved from the low point back in March to the beginning of May thanks to online events and small gatherings beginning to emerge in countries around the globe like the drive-in concerts being introduced in Europe.
Eventbrite announced it has teamed up with Francisco Partners for up to $225 million in term loans to help strengthen the company’s liquidity and “provide flexibility to manage through a range of recovery scenarios and the return to live events.” Last month, Eventbrite was forced to lay off over 500 employees in massive cost reduction efforts to help them stay afloat while almost all venues and live events across the country remain in shutdown mode.
“While the world may not be gathering together today, the desire for human connection is stronger than ever, and we see this desire matched every day by the entrepreneurialism of event creators,” Julia Hartz, Eventbrite co-founder and CEO, said in a statement shared with the financial report. “We acted swiftly to respond to COVID-19 by supporting our creators and strengthening our financial foundation, while continuing to build great product. We are sharpening our focus to provide value to our most active creators through innovative solutions that enable creative control and agility, and by helping them drive demand for their events. While we can’t predict when this crisis will pass, we are confident in Eventbrite’s ability to best serve the event creators who will rebuild the live experience economy.”
The company also announced it will begin exploring the execution of a three-tiered refund strategy. Since the start of March, Eventbrite’s event creators (Concert and Event Promoters) have refunded more than $150 million to ticket buyers.
Any time an event is canceled or postponed, Eventbrite will offer refunds to fans on a show by show basis, issue customized gift cards that allow creators (promoters) the opportunity to exchange ticket sales for credit (at their discretion), or donate the dollar value of their ticket purchase to either the venue or a non-profit selected by the promoter.