Music Festivals Bring Wearable Tech To The Forefront Of Concert Experiences

Music Festivals Bring Wearable Tech To The Forefront Of Concert Experiences

How promoters are using mobile payments with large crowds.

Hilary Weaver
  • 7 july 2014

Lollapalooza is investing in more than just quality tunes this year. For the first time, the Chicago music festival will be offering festivalgoers wearable tech that can be linked to credit and debit card information. These wrist bands, which will be sent to attendees in the weeks preceding the festival’s start, use basic radio frequency identification (RFID).

This form of wearable payment will allow patrons to pay for food and drinks without having to carry cash or swipe their plastic.Those attending the festival will be asked to enter their credit card information prior to the festival’s first weekend and during the weekend vendors will have pay pads on which users can tap their bracelets and enter a pin number.


Representative from C3 Presents, the production company of the Chicago music extravaganza, are hopeful that RFID technology will soon become the norm at other music festivals.  Governor’s Ball Music Festival and Electronic Daisy Carnival have also experimented with smartphone and digital interaction.

Last year’s South by Southwest festival featured Lightwave technology that enabled lasers and special effects. One of the Lightwave  perks of the weekend was a wristband that measured audience interaction in real time. The bands measured audience members’ biometrics by tracking them with motion, volume and temperature sensors. Sponsored by a partnership with Pepsi, Lightwave bands were linked to user’s individual accounts and audience interaction was ranked on a screen at the front of the room. Certain levels of dance interaction “unlocked” rewards, such as Pepsi refreshments.

Another form of wearable tech has made its way into international concert scenes. A few years ago, Sony tested synchronized glow pens at concerts in Japan. Each crowd member is given a glow pen, and when enacted by the “master glow pen” onstage, it changes colors. A master transmitter stands by to control the process.The prototype was recently judged at the FCC and might soon be released as a product to be used at concerts worldwide.

These efforts of wearable tech to connect with a mostly millennial audience, and now to reach to vendors, promises only to grow as the digital and music universes combine.

Source: AdWeek; Engadget


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