Wearables have officially entered the music festival arena. Lollapalooza, the 3-day Chicago based music festival will implement a cashless system into the upcoming event, using festival-goers’ ticket bracelets as a method of payment. With no cash involved, the festival hopes to make purchasing more efficient, as well as safer.
Festivals, apart from most other concerts, don’t use standard tickets as their method of entry. Instead, attendees generally wear wristbands as their ticket, so “Lolla Cashless” merely tacks on the idea of making something attendees already wear into something they can use. The bracelets will use an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip that connects to a wearer’s bank account information that they input before the festival with a unique PIN, making a transaction at a food truck as simple as a wave of the hand. Additionally, each wristband comes with a 6-digit, triple encrypted identification number rather than just the credit card number, making each transaction that much safer.
Not only will the wearables aim at making wait times faster, but they make transactions for the businesses easier as well. With so many visitors, festivals often suffer from spotty service. The wristbands aim to solve this by being able to work offline, allowing the transactions to be recorded, and then uploaded once Internet service has returned.
While Lollapalooza isn’t the first to use an RFID enabled chip in their wristbands, it is the first to use the chip as payment. Other companies such as PayPal have begun using wearables as methods of payment, but this will be the first of its kind at a music festival. The wristbands also leave open the possibility of collecting data from its wearers, potentially creating a festival experience that is eventually tailored to each individual wearer. While C3 Presents, the promoter that produces Lollapalooza, states that while they aren’t in the business of collecting data, they recognize the potential of the young application. With so many upsides of implementing such technology into their wristbands, more events are bound to follow Lollapalooza’s lead.