Ticketmaster and SMG Europe have introduced digital ticket technology at Manchester Arena for the first time.

Event-goers can now purchase digital tickets to their phones to enter the venue, along with being able to send tickets securely to friends to enter the venue separately and make use of Ticketmaster’s fan-to-fan marketplace to re-sell unwanted tickets to other gig-goers.

Other innovative benefits include the introduction of animated tickets with moving digital panels, which prevent people from attempting to use screenshots to enter shows while allowing venue staff to immediately assess the authenticity of tickets at the gate.

Digital tickets will be available for all upcoming events at the Manchester Arena, including Andrea Bocelli, Cher and Little Mix who all play the venue this year.

“We know fans want the buying and using of tickets to be as simple, straightforward and safe as possible, which is why we are excited to begin rolling out digital tickets at our flagship venue, the Manchester Arena,” said John Sharkey, executive vice president of European operations for SMG Europe.

“Being able to partner with Ticketmaster to do this also helps to give fans the peace of mind that while they can now receive their tickets straight to their mobile, it is being powered by a ticket agent they know and trust.”

“We’re approaching Manchester Arena’s 25th anniversary in 2020, and are very much looking forward at what the next 5, 10 and 25 years looks like for the venue and this great city.

“Along with the arena’s landlords, we are committed to ensuring we continue to deliver a world-class experience for our visitors who come from far and wide each year.”

Andrew Parsons, managing director of Ticketmaster UK, added: “We are committed to bringing the benefits of digital tickets to fans across the country.

“Partnering with SMG Europe to introduce the technology at the UK’s largest indoor venue is a huge step in our journey and we are proud to be here given our strong presence in Manchester.”