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Technology and Music Festivals Post COVID.

Andy Robertson

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the development and adoption of technology for the music festival sector. With virtually 100% penetration of smart phones in the general population organisers are using mobile tech to improve efficiency and to assist in compliance with any new COVID-19 restrictions that will likely apply to future live events. 

Ticketing has been virtual and delivered electronically for some time via email or phone messaging for example. These electronic tickets include bar codes or QR codes that contain unique data and information about the ticket buyer including the date of transaction, amount paid, type of ticket and the buyer's personal details.  

Event Entrance Access Control.
The standard process for entrance to a festival site requires festival-goers to present their electronic ticket codes which are then scanned and an event wristband issued that contains any relevant and appropriate data. Recent innovations have seen more use of contactless scanning tap and go apps at event entrances which negates the need for any staff or ticket holder physical interaction. This form of access control is becoming common place at smaller events but may be adopted by more larger festivals over time. Organisers can than keep track of who has entered the site and the data can then be used for COVID-19 contact tracing plus future analysis and marketing.

Event Apps. 
Almost every large music festival now has their own bespoke event app which ticket buyers can download pre-event. The app will usually contain useful information like artist schedules, site maps plus the locations of stages, toilet facilities and vendors for example.

Contactless Ordering.
More vendors are now using contactless menu and ordering apps that use simple QR codes for festival-goers to scan using their phone enabling them to order and pay with no physical contact. The only interaction with vendor staff is the delivery of the customer's order.

Cashless Payments.  
In many countries, particularly the UK payment using cashless tap and pay cards has been the norm for several years. Whist purchase of anything on a festival site will be cashless this may be a mixture of mobile wallets and tap and pay card payments. Cashless payments will help avoid physical contact between buyers and sellers. 

Any government guidance on running music festivals is likely to include more emphasis on contactless ticketing, ordering and payments plus the collection of festival-goer's personal data for contact tracing. The technology already exists to comply with these requirements and is being developed rapidly to improve efficiency, speed and accuracy that will prevent logistical issues for music festival organisers. When collecting and using any personal data, it is essential that festival organisers comply with any relevant GDPR requirements that relate to the collection, storage and use of that data.

For organisers planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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