Tributes for Percy Tucker, Computicket founder who succumbed to Covid-19

By Zainul Dawood Time of article published Feb 8, 2021

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Duruban - Tributes are pouring in for Computicket founder Percy Tucker who succumbed to Covid-19 complications in Cape Town.

Anant Singh, CEO and chairman of the Videovision Entertainment Group, recalled many fond memories of Tucker,92, who died on January 30.

Singh said Percy was a trailblazer in the entertainment industry, not just in South Africa, but in the world.

The founding of Computicket in 1971 saw Percy launch the first fully computerized, centralized ticket-booking system in the world.

Singh said, this revolutionized how theatre and cinema tickets were to be sold in the years that followed.

“When we promoted the South African leg of Indian mega star, Amitabh Bachchan’s world tour in January 1991 with back-to-back concerts in Durban and Johannesburg just 24 hours apart, we needed an efficient and reliable system to sell 80,000 tickets, the first-time ever this volume of tickets was to be sold in South Africa. And Percy delivered without a hitch,” Singh said.

In 1993 when Singh signed up Michael Jackson’s Dangerous World Tour for South Africa, Percy and Computicket once again supported him with the sale of tickets.

Singh said with Michael Jackson fever raging across the country, the demand for tickets was unprecedented.

Singh recalled, “On the day sales opened we sat with Percy in his office and watched the Computicket terminals go crazy. Percy recounted this in his autobiography, ‘Just the Ticket!’: “Jackson mania hit South Africa and fans queued from the night before booking opened to buy tickets…… Within two hours we had sold almost 70,000 of the 120,000 tickets…”. Then, when Michael cancelled, we had to refund all those who bought tickets. It was a mammoth task, but we did it to the satisfaction of everyone.“

“Percy’s passing is a huge loss to all of us. He transformed the entire ticketing system of our country and whilst focusing mainly on the entertainment industry, he also expanded to selling bus tickets (especially after Sun City opened), as well as tickets to sports events.

“We are fortunate to have had Percy as our ticket sales partner and trusted advisor in the arena of live entertainment, and to have had him as a friend. Our heartfelt condolences go Percy’s extended family and friends,” Singh lamented.

Showtime Management described Tucker as a giant of the South African entertainment industry. A statement on their Facebook account read,

“We mourn a loss but we celebrate a man whose warmth and compassion was as renowned worldwide, as his innovation in creating Computicket, as well as his knowledge and passion for every facet of Theatre, Ballet, Opera, Dance. Even at the age of 92 – Percy was our ‘go-to’ guy for advice and information on all things ticketing. He will be desperately missed.”

DAILY NEWS

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