New Music Festival Wristbands Get Microchipped
Last year I spent around $250 on a ticket to Outside Lands, a three-day music festival in San Francisco. While it was well worth the price, when I got to the show each day I was astounded that many of the attendees got in for free. This is because the festival was missing a vital part of any music event–the wristbands. I had attended many festivals in the past, and always received a nifty wristband. They always become little souvenirs–reminders of the blissful experience of the festival.
Instead of a decorated band, you were expected to bring your printed off ticket with you each day to enter the festival. This was a terrible idea. Relying on thousands of people who are either drinking, doing amphetamines, psychedelics, and any other drugs you can think of, to hold on to the same paper ticket for three days did not go over so well. By the third day, people were walking right past security unnoticed.
Sneaking into music festivals has always been an art form. At the same San Francisco festival, I watched about 30 kids run from the top of a hill in Golden Gate Park and jump the fence–easily surpassing the rather weak festival security. Each year, Coachella Music and Arts Festival builds taller and thicker walls to block out these gate jumpers. Rumors always reach Los Angeles well before the event–squashing many rebels dreams of getting into Coachella without paying for the pricey $300 entry fee.
Leave it to the music festival Mecca, the United Kingdom, to develop a technical solution to squash stealth festival breaking and entering. While these music gatherings are still months away, the UK is producing wristbands that have already been in effect in other parts of Europe. These bands, designed by Intellitix, are being used to reduce the production of fake wristbands. They will have cards attached to the regular cloth wristband that will scan attendees in and out of the festival. Several UK festivals, including Glastonbury and Bestival, are planning on using the technology this year. There is always a legendary gate-jumper, but it will be a difficult risk in 2012.
Many of you reading this might note that Coachella introduced a similar wristband in 2011. Last year, my friend cut her band off thinking it was a tag. Don’t do this–you will have to wait in an excruciatingly long line before you are allowed to enter the car camping lot. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold-out event this year, relish in the fact that everyone else paid for their ticket as well.
If you’re still daring enough to try to break into a festival this year, watch the YouTube video below.
Have jumped a fence to sneak into a music festival? Share your story below or by e-mail.