“High-tech bracelets bring cashless ease to music festivals,” an article published by reporter Josh O’Kane in The Globe and Mail provides a backstage look at the future of payments and how RFID (radio-frequency identification) bracelets were used at a recent outdoor music festival.
Averaging 30,000 visitors each day, The Bud Light Digital Dreams Music Festival in Toronto, Canada recently hosted their fifth edition on July 2-3. The festival has used RFID bracelets in the past although they were pre-loaded with a set amount of money, potentially limiting the amount merchants could have earned as well as the merchandise festivalgoers may have purchased had they paid with a card.
This year marks the first time that the RFIDs were registered to attendees’ credit or Visa debit card. The bracelets helped speed up entrance lines, minimized scalping and fake ticket sales, and reduced friction for concertgoers purchasing merchandise. They were also used while subscribing to content at the many booths.
“The idea is to shrink transaction times and thus pesky lines, not to mention encourage spending,” said O’Kane. “The platform will also give festival operator Live Nation Canada a flood of data to help it improve future festivals.”
Mark Russell, the festival’s project manager with Live Nation Canada, said the technology allows them to plan on several levels: year over year, the site, and to understand what “consumers are consuming.”
Front Gate Ticketing Solution’s RFID technology is used by other concert productions. Lollapalooza in Chicago, RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest in Ottawa, and the Governors Ball in New York have also adapted RFID bracelets through Live Nation Entertainment, a subsidiary of Ticketmaster, that purchased Front Gate last year.
Ticket fraud has been reduced by nearly 50 percent since cashless RFID payments began with Front Gate, reports Maura Gibson, president of Front Gate.
RFID bracelets create ease for merchants, allowing for unlimited flowing purchases and happier attendees who get to spend more time rocking out and less time standing in line. Whether the transaction is occurring at a booth in a sold-out arena, online or in-store, merchants should choose a payment processor that puts customer service first.
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