North America’s Largest Independent Ticketing Platform, DICE, Launches in Toronto
The ticketing platform, which aims to eliminate hidden fees and external resellers, is making its first foray into Canada in partnership with many Toronto independent venues and promoters.
Canada is about to get a major alternative to Ticketmaster. London-based ticketing platform, DICE, is launching in Toronto today. It’s partnering with a large list of independent Toronto music venues and promoters including Collective Concerts (owner of the Horseshoe Tavern and Lee’s Palace), Transmit Presents (which books the venues The Garrison and The Baby G), Not Dead Yet, Soluna and Prepare The Ground.
Calling itself North America’s biggest independent ticketing platform, DICE aims to sidestep many of the issues fans have complained about when it comes to ticket buying in the last few years: surprise fees, external resales and confusing pricing. In an email to Billboard Canada, DICE President Russ Tannen calls it “a seamless and transparent digital ticketing model.”
“This has been a tumultuous year for ticketing, with junk fees and high ticket costs impacting consumers' ability to enjoy live music, but fairness and transparency is something that DICE has fought for since day one,” he says.
DICE was founded in 2014 and expanded into North America via Los Angeles and New York in 2019, with Toronto being its first foray into Canada. Dave Lock, Director of Venue & Promoter Partnerships, is the company’s first Canadian hire. He’s previously worked with other ticketing outlets including Ticketfly, Eventbrite and ShowClix.
Ticketmaster has been the exclusive ticketing agent for Live Nation since the two companies merged in 2010, but the city’s independent promoters have used a variety of different outlets. Soi it’s notable to see so many immediately partnering with DICE.
Over the past year, Ticketmaster has faced scrutiny, especially surrounding Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.
Over the last year, ticketing platform Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation were hit with criticism, specifically surrounding Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour. With fans being locked out, hit with hours of delays and having to deal with scalpers. Soaring prices for Swift's show saw resale tickets going as high as $28,000 USD.
The 2022 controversy found its way to the U.S Senate, with Live Nation Entertainment brought to Capitol Hill. In June 2023, DICE, alongside Live Nation, SeatGeek and many other live entertainment companies, spoke about ticket transparency at the White House.
Greg Benedetto, founder of promotion company Not Dead Yet, says “DICE presents a really strong alternative for independent promoters.”
Benedetto says that while it won’t change the increasing costs of touring or the rising price of tickets in general, it does ease the experience for ticket purchasers.
“It eliminates the corrupt secondary market, that to me is the big appeal of it,” he says. “If someone wants to get rid of their ticket, they can [sell] it through the platform to a real buyer.”
At launch, DICE is selling tickets for shows by artists including Cold War Kids, Debby Friday, and The Drake Hotel’s weekly up-and-coming artist showcase School Night. Browse all the Toronto concerts for sale at DICE's website.