Press release

True Tickets Launches Secure, Contactless Ticketing for Boston Symphony Orchestra with Its First Event of the 2021 Tanglewood Season —The Boston Pops July 4th Spectacular

Sponsored by Businesswire

The Boston Pops July 4th Spectacular Concert returned to Tanglewood with new health and safety protocols in place, including contactless digital ticketing. True Tickets supported a significant portion of the 9,000 available event tickets with its secure, contactless digital ticketing service, making this iconic Independence Day tradition one of the largest known U.S.-based live events to distribute and scan blockchain-enabled tickets. Tanglewood — one of the country’s preeminent summer music festivals — is also the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The True Tickets service was key for the BSO in both adapting to health and safety guidelines to bring back the show while also enabling contactless ticketing to minimize interactions between attendees and staff, who were able to quickly scan and admit ticket holders. At the same time, BSO gained new control over tickets to prevent unauthorized resale, as well as insight into who was using each ticket to allow for better communication of the protocols guests could expect at the performance.

“Our Boston Pops July 4th Spectacular Concert is always one of the highlights of the summer, but especially this year as we returned to a live performance,” said Amy Aldrich, Director of Patron Services at BSO. “It was exciting to work with True Tickets on our return to live performances. True Tickets gave us better control over our ticketing and enabled us to quickly and efficiently deliver thousands of tickets, while also helping us with our health and safety protocols.”

The Boston Pops kicked off the 2021 Tanglewood season, which runs from July 4 to August 26, and includes a reduced, six-week Boston Symphony Orchestra concert season, with six performances under the direction of Andris Nelsons; additional highlights include performances by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops with special appearances by John Williams; Brandi Carlile with Mavis Staples; Judy Collins and Richard Thompson with Jesse Colin Young; and NPR’S WAIT WAIT … DON’T TELL ME!. The True Tickets service will help ensure safety, offer a convenient ticket buying and scanning process, as well as offer BSO new insights into who attends each event.

The True Tickets service, built on Hyperledger Fabric and run on the IBM Blockchain, integrates with BSO’s existing ticketing system using APIs and can be optimized for various venue settings and challenges.

“It’s fitting that this classic Fourth of July tradition has set the bar for blockchain-enabled digital ticketing,” said Matt Zarracina, CEO of True Tickets. “If ever there was a show where the venue needed full control of tickets, it’s the return of one of the highest profile concerts with a limited number of tickets, and strict rules forbidding resale and transfers. The True Tickets service gave BSO the level of control it needed and made both the sale and scanning of tickets seamless and safe for both the venue and concertgoers. Our service is built for the biggest, most demanding live events and our work with the BSO for the July 4th Pops event is evidence of exactly that.”

For additional information, please visit or follow True Tickets on Twitter or LinkedIn. For information about the 2021 Tanglewood season, please visit


True Tickets is a secure contactless digital ticketing service that can be tailored to a venue’s specific needs. Whether through its IBM blockchain-enabled service built with secondary market distribution in mind or its single-channel delivery service, True Tickets’ business-to-business solution easily integrates with existing ticketing platforms without replacing existing infrastructure. The True Tickets service empowers venues across arts, entertainment, and more to better govern how mobile tickets are transacted, reclaiming control of their tickets from the secondary market so they can more effectively manage their patrons’ experience.


Tanglewood—one of the country’s premier summer music festivals—is located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Lenox and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937, the festival was founded by Serge Koussevitzky, BSO Music Director 1924-1949. In a typical season, in addition to performances by the BSO and the annual Popular Artists series, Tanglewood also presents concerts by the Boston Pops, a chamber music and recital series in Ozawa Hall, and performances by the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy, established in 1940 by Koussevitzky. The Tanglewood Learning Institute—introduced in summer 2019 and offering a wide spectrum of performances and multidisciplinary activities designed to engage curious minds seeking to become more involved with music and the arts—is Tanglewood’s first new programmatic offering since the introduction of its Popular Artists series in the 1960s. TLI activities typically take place in the Linde Center for Music and Learning, a four-building complex that opened to critical and popular acclaim in summer 2019.

Tanglewood typically draws an attendance of approximately 340,000 people and brings more than $100 million in economic activity annually to the Berkshires region. Except for several years during World War II, when the performance schedule was curtailed or, in 1943, canceled in its entirety, Tanglewood has been a fixture in the Berkshires and has strengthened its position as this country’s most popular summer music festival. In summer 2020, the unprecedented health crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19 necessitated the cancellation of live performances with audiences at Tanglewood. In response, the BSO put its creative energy into offering thoughtful and innovative online performance streams, the Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival, designed to connect performers—both BSO musicians and guest artists—with audiences. The success of the summer digital festival led to the creation of the BSO NOW digital concert platform that has featured newly recorded and archival performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops, available at Further information about Tanglewood can be found at; further details about the Tanglewood Learning Institute can be found at