Written by Michael Masukawa • Photography by Gabriel Olsen, FilmMagic • December 7, 2016
RFID—Your New Favorite Band?
Frame the ticket. Cry for the ticket. Love the ticket. Enjoy that stub while you can, because it might be going away sooner than you think. The world is going paperless, and not even the ticket—that centuries-old rite of passage—is safe anymore.
Enter the RFID wristband, a little silicone bracelet that, if you’ve gone to a music festival any time over the past four or five years, you probably recognize.
These bracelets are changing the way we experience music events by making venues easier to access. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and works in a similar fashion to a barcode. RFID pairs a unique code with unique information, and you have to scan the code to get its data.
In action, an RFID wristband has many advantages over traditional forms of ID. For one thing, it’s wearable, which makes it hard to lose. For another, the little chip embedded inside it can be linked to various accounts, making access just a scan away.
For instance, it can act as a debit card within the festival and hold the money you need to pay for food, drinks and merchandise, allowing you to operate in a cashless environment. This reduces worry and the risk of loss and theft, and also makes payment easy. You don’t even need to bring cash or a wallet in many instances.
These wristbands can also connect your social media experience to your music-going experience. When linked to your Facebook page, an RFID wristband is able to trigger everything from photo shares to friend requests. In 2012, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival registered 1.5 million social media impressions through check-ins, likes and shares alone.
It’s no surprise that RFID has caught on, given the technology’s flexibility and convenience. And as data chips improve in both efficiency and capacity, this is only the beginning of what these little wristbands will be able to offer live music audiences.