Samsung Backs Wakestock Festival’s RFID Wristbands

Samsung teamed up with RFID outfit Intellitix to make July’s Wakestock Festival a ticketless event with micro-chipped wristbands in use for entry and payment across the event.


Thus the sponsor enabled Wakestock to become the first festival to use wristband technology in this way making it perhaps the most technically advanced outdoor European music event of 2012.


The 15,000 wakeboarding and music festival goers at the North Wales event were all issued with RFID wristbands that are read on arrival to validate entry and can then be linked to the social media sites and pages of other attendees and used to enter sponsor competitions.


The Samsung sponsorship hub, which took the form of an experiential stand, offered festival goers the chance to sample the new Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III and to upgrade their mobiles, as well as the ability to personalise their wristband by ‘checking in’ via Facebook and sharing their event experience with friends and family online.


Samsung also showcased its groundbreaking work to enable future festival fans to use an NFC enabled mobile phone for ticketing and payments at future events.


Fans who pre-purchased Wakestock tickets were sent the wrist bands by post ahead of the event, while those who bought tickets direct from local outlets exchanged them for a wristband on arrival at the event.


The objectives included secure access, eliminating queues, digital socialisation and sponsor activation opportunities.


Festivals organiser Stuart Galbraith admitted the technology was fairly expensive to install, but certainly improves the festival experience – from sharing and purchasing to better on-site number monitoring and helps combat ticketing fraud.


‘The only reason we’re able to use it this year is because we’ve had a commercial sponsor cover the cost,’ admits Galbraith. ‘As it becomes wider, it’ll become a lot cheaper.’


‘We’re delighted to announce our involvement in the first rollout of ticketless technology this country has seen,’ Said Simon Stanford, Vice President, Telecommunications & Networks Division, Samsung UK and Ireland.


‘In future, everyone will be able to use their mobile phone as their ticket, whether they are music fans going to a gig, or a commuters travelling to work. So we’re excited to be aligning ourselves with that technology and to be bringing a new experience to both our customers and to music fans across the country.”




This kind of wristband technology has been trialled at several US events and concerts in the last 12 months.


Despite the expense of installing and distributing such systems and mechanic, it certainly has the potentially to make a cleaner, safer and more expansive festival experience.


Despite some consumer complaints about discomfort and expressing fears about being electronically tracked by brands and organisers, it seems likely that in the future most people going to live events and festivals with some form of NFC and RFID technology for access, payment, brand engagement and socialisation.


Mobile and band technologies look set to become ubiquitous in festival ticketing and purchasing and sponsors will have major opportunities to prove useful, fun and engaging via this new platform.







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