KAABOO attendees can sell and buy their tickets, during KAABOO, using new FlipTix app

KAABOO Del Mar is teaming up this weekend with Orange County’s FlipTix to offer festival attendees a novel new ticket resale option.

The FlipTix app will enable one-, two- and three-day KAABOO passes to be re-sold and bought while the fourth annual edition of the music, comedy and food festival is taking place Friday through Sunday.

Prices will be discounted to reflect the remaining unused time on each pass for the sold-out festival, which is held at the Del Mar Racetrack and adjacent fairgrounds and is headlined this year by Katy Perry, Robert Plant, Imagine Dragons and Foo Fighters.

If successful, the ticket re-sale app could be used next year at the KAABOO Cayman and KAABOO Texas festivals and, perhaps, at other festivals and individual concerts and sporting events.

FlipTix is a Newport Beach tech start-up company whose co-founders — brothers Jaime and Brian Siegel — were both previously executives at Sony.

“One of our partners had a relationship with the founders of FlipTix, which approached us about wanting to do a test program at KAABOO to see how it works in a festival context,” said KAABOO founder Bryan E. Gordon.

“We’re excited,” Gordon said. “We think FlipTix can provide optionality and value for our guests in a way that, we hope, will be logistically simple, straightforward and safe. It’s about providing as many guest-friendly services and amenities as we can. If this goes well, we’d certainly be very open to using it at our other festivals.”

The way FlipTix is designed to work is simple, at least in theory, beginning with registering online at fliptix.com/register.

FlipTix-equipped attendees who depart KAABOO early this weekend — perhaps because they came just to hear specific performers or have other commitments — press “I’m gone” on the app. This notifies users outside of the festival grounds that a partially used pass is available for purchase at a discounted rate.

As they are leaving early, KAABOO attendees who have registered with FlipTix will go to the company’s two Tix Tents, located at the festival’s transportation center and in the main parking lot.

Because the passes — which come in the form of microchip-equipped wristbands — are non-transferable, a FlipTix employee will cut off the wristbands of departing festival-goers and destroy the chips. They will then issue new wristbands, with prices pro-rated to the remaining time.

Prices for the partially used passes will then be automatically set, based on the remaining amount of time left on each pass. Sellers will be compensated with cash, credit, merchandise or gift cards.

“We are integrated into the KAABOO system,” said FlipTix CEO Jaime Siegel.

“Now that KAABOO is sold out, FlipTix is the only legal way to way to (buy) a wristband,” he added. “We guarantee that every one of our wristbands work. What we are doing, in effect, is letting people know when someone is leaving early and that we are selling new wristbands.

“Once the availability of that new wristband goes up into our market place and is bought, the original ticket holder gets a share of that revenue,” Jamie Siegel said. “The new purchaser will see there is a pass available and buy it through us. We deliver a barcode to them, and — when they show up at our tent — we give them a new wristband.”

FlipTix’s marketing slogan: “Sold out? No such thing!”

The company is in discussions with other festival promoters, who are waiting to evaluate how effectively the app works at KAABOO this weekend, according to Jaime Siegel. FlipTix could also be used at concerts and at sporting events.

“It’s really a no-brainer from a festival operator’s perspective,” he said. “We improve their top line by sharing ticket revenues. And we improve their bottom line, because festivals measure their performance by cost per attendee. Plus, all our prices are always below (the original ticket) value, with no fees.”

Asked how many KAABOO passes FlipTix hopes to buy and re-sell, he replied: “In theory, it’s unlimited. But we expect that this first time we’ll probably cap our sales at about 1 percent of their attendance — about 1,000.”

“Operationally, you want to make sure everything works and that your customers have a great experience. The worst mistake a company can make is to over-promise and under-deliver.”

george.varga@sduniontribune.com

Twitter @georgevarga

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