Tennessee Music Festival Deploys RFID Wristbands for Better Customer Experience


RFID technology was deployed at this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee. About 80,000 visitors used RFID wristbands to gain access to the event, share “likes” and pictures of themselves on Facebook, post tweets on Twitter, and upload music playlists to commercial music-streaming service provider Spotify.

Upon buying tickets for the festival, individuals signed in online and made their purchase according to their plans, such as camping or accessing the backstage area. Wristbands containing the appropriate access were then mailed to each ticket buyer. Once the wristband arrived, the recipient logged onto the Bonnaroo site and entered a 16-digit user ID number, printed on the wristband, to link that number with his or her registration information. Users could then choose to simply employ the wristband for entrance and exit only, or opt to add the social-networking functions.

After arriving onsite, festival-goers could use the wristband to access the concert area and campgrounds, based on the type of ticket purchased. At the main gates, visitors simply tapped their wristband near the reader and then continued walking. This could limit the size of queues at the concert area or campground.

Inside the concert area were 22 Intellitix’s Live Click stations that served a variety of purposes. At some stations, visitors could snap pictures of themselves, tap their wristbands against a reader and post the photographs on their Facebook pages. At other stations, they could share a music playlist on Spotify with their social-network contacts, send a Tweet or indicate they “liked” a particular program.

In 2012, festival-goers made 250,000 “Live Clicks” (or reads) at one of the Live Click stations, and posted 20,000 photos. It’s unclear whether this year’s visitors matched or exceeded that usage, as Bonnaroo’s organizers did not respond to a request for details regarding the 2013 event.