Dave Newton, CEO, WeGotTickets
Stumbling into the music business from a job behind the singles counter at the local Oxford Our Price record store in 1987, Dave Newton's journey to CEO at WeGotTickets has taken many left turns along the way. Launching a local music paper (Local Support) led to a running a weekly live music club night at the Jericho Tavern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho_Tavern) which, in turn, led to managing Ride throughout the 6 years of their short but perfectly-formed initial career during which they toured the globe leaving over two million record sales in their wake. Dave continued to handle all the band's ongoing affairs as well as managing lead singer/guitarist Mark Gardener's solo career in the 19 intervening years between the split and the band's recent reformation.
In 1995, Dave established a local music hub in Oxford out of which Shifty Disco Records was born in 1997. Set up to facilitate the sales of the label's CDs around the world, the OxfordMusic.net online store, in turn, spawned the first incarnation of WeGotTickets.com in April 2000. The event? A label showcase at the Bull & Gate in North London for which customers were keen to buy tickets in advance. With no box office at the venue, an inspired moment threw up the concept of the e-ticket as the solution.
The WeGotTickets online box office was fully launched in 2002, selling tickets for The Zodiac (now O2 Academy) in Oxford and other venues. The company’s 10% maximum ticket commission rate has helped to lower fees across the business, whilst its pioneering paperless ticketing system has been a major factor in reducing the live music industry’s carbon footprint.
WeGotTickets has made it possible for promoters of all manner of events to benefit from advance ticket sales and now sells a million tickets a year for a wide range of events; from art events and underground restaurants, to traditional live music and comedy shows. The company now employs 22 people at its office in Oxford city centre.
Since its launch, WeGotTickets has consistently pushed for innovation, transparency and best practice across the ticketing industry, with many of the company’s ideas becoming standard industry practice.