Are Radio-Frequency Wristbands the Future of Music Festivals?

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CounterPoint Music & Arts Festival took place from April 25th to April 27th in Kingston Downs, Georgia. Close to 60,000 people attended the festival, which offers on-site camping.

This year, CounterPoint teamed up with Front Gate Tickets to use RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology in their wristbands. These wristbands were used by festival-goers for entry and for purchasing food, drinks, and more with a tap. Front Gate Tickets has dubbed the new service “FestiPay”.

To use FestiPay, patrons had to register their wristband online ahead of time. A credit card is linked to the wristband and customers set up a unique pin number.

Front Gate Tickets’ President, Maura Gibson, says:

“To our knowledge this is the first time a music festival has offered a cashless wristband payment solution on this scale anywhere in North America”

Benefits of this technology include shorter wait times, no need to carry cash or credit cards, and improved statistics for festival organizers.

Front Gate Tickets says the system worked “flawlessly”.  30 percent of all the purchases at the bar were made using the RFID wristband technology.  Three times more people used wristbands to pay than credit cards.  Judging by the math, this means 60 percent of festival-goers paid in cash.

Front Gate plans to roll out FestiPay to other large events. Their notable festival clients include Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, and Electric Forest.

When Nina Ulloa isn’t writing for DMN she’s usually reviewing music or at a show. Follow her on Twitter.

10 Responses

    • hmmm

      but do they do it on this scale? like, what can you pay for at coachella & does it equate to 30% of the bar? those were the quotes.

      • nope.

        As far as I am aware you can purchase almost anything from bar sales/food and merch.

      • Willis

        For the same reason that USB wristband, digital business cards and the like haven’t been adopted. Disneyland is trying the same thing with park visitors – a wristband that acts as their hotel key, park admission, photo tracking and personal info/payment info. We’ll see how that goes, but my crystal ball shows they ditch it, because (specific to transactions) people are suspicious of digital payments and security issues…among other issues.

        • Nina Ulloa

          30% seems like a decent number to me

          • Willis

            Let’s wait and see how it trends for the remainder of the year.

  1. TooTru

    Been going to Coachella every year for a long time and never seen that. That’d be cool though