In just two short blocks George Street in St. John's, NL holds 25 bars, pubs and restaurants. There are no retail stores, no coffee shops, no bakeries and no offices—it is, as advertised, exclusively an 'entertainment district'. And this summer etixnow.com, YEG Live's national brand, was called upon to provide e-ticketing services for George Street's three biggest parties of a year: Canada's Big Birthday Bash, the George Street Festival and the upcoming Halloween Mardi Gras.
With two of the three celebrations happening over the summer months, YEG Live is now well acquainted with one of St. John's most renowned streets. Using etixnow.com organizers were able to usher in close to 9,000 revellers on a single Saturday night in July during the George Street Festival.
"The shared capacity of the bars and restaurants is roughly 4,500," says Cameron, explaining how 25 drinking establishments manage to share only two blocks. "The stipulation is that they have to have their door on George Street. So there's some that are actually on the street over, because that's where most of the business is located. Then, over the years, they've developed their back door and made a side walk to George Street and now have a George Street address."
For Canada's Big Birthday Bash and the George Street Festival, the road is enclosed to add another 4,500 to the overall capacity.
With bands like Third Eye Blind, The Sheepdogs, the Jim Cuddy Band and, the legendary Kenny Rogers waiting to play in the centre of this massive block party, YEG Live's biggest triumph came from reducing wait times thanks to some inspired gate logistics and conquering some tricky wifi issues.
"I asked a guy standing in line on Saturday night how long he had been waiting in line.'" says Cameron "He says, 'I don't know... five or ten minutes.' And that's great—that means he's already paid for his ticket, he's already had his ID checked and next he'd have his ticket scanned and get a wristband. But in previous years the line had wrapped around the block and up the next street. People would wait for an hour."
Getting wait times down to a cool 10 minutes means YEG Live successfully increased the total celebration time of every single ticketholder – that's a lot of extra merrymaking on a street already built to party all night long.