Our latest rising star is Ticketmaster sales executive Bonita McKinney…
How did you break into the industry?
I started studying commercial music at Westminster University from the age of 18. I took any work experience placement I could: public relations at Academy Music Group, conference co-ordinator at Live UK, technical stage hand at The Great Escape and Lovebox for Mama… There’s YouTube footage of me trying to mic up Hayseed Dixie’s drum kit somewhere.
What’s your biggest lesson?
Don’t fear change! I’ve jumped around a bit, from AMG, to DHP, to working for Rob Hallett at Robomagic. You need a very specific character to cut it as a promoter and, unfortunately, I took every loss to heart. I’m happier now than ever and I can be just as creative at Ticketmaster, it’s the same job, just helping someone else to sell out shows.
What is Ticketmaster doing for the biz?
This year, we are putting the spotlight on the up-and-comers. Our Ticketmaster New Music campaign sees emerging artists showcased and pushed in the UK and Europe. Ticketmaster as a place of discovery for fans is something the team has been working on for ages, and support ranges from blog posts, interviews and social, through to video and email campaigns. Fenne Lily, Lewis Capaldi and Alma are just some of the amazing artists we’ve championed, and we’re already seeing huge things from them. We also continue our support of the work that Music Venue Trust does to help grassroots venues across the UK. Together we launched a new website, grassrootsvenues.tickets , and more than 30 small venues have signed up already. We’re really excited to sponsor Venues Day next year for the third time running.
Can secondary ticketing be solved?
I work with promoters, venues and artists to sell as many primary tickets as possible, and Ticketmaster has pioneered a variety of tools to help them stop resale in its tracks. We’re working with Four Tet on his run at the O2 Academy Brixton, with all tickets just £5. To get tickets into the hands of fans (and not on secondary sites), we used our Verified Fan product and made all shows 100% digital – and it worked. We have paperless ticketing technology too, which is being used to successfully restrict resale on Hamilton. Our redesigned website launches soon, with fan-to-fan ticket exchange. I’m proud to work for a company that has taken action on tickets being resold on secondary sites.
What’s something no one knows about the live sector?
I’m saving this for my novel!
What is your biggest ambition?
I’m lucky to have a fantastic boss and mentor in Sarah Slater, and I aspire to empower others as she has me. I want to rise through the ranks, until I’m president of the company! I also want to star in Hamilton the musical.
Source article Music Week.