RFID Wristbands “Fend off Craigslist Creeps” at San Francisco’s Outside Lands

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Counterfeit tickets and look-alike wristbands have become a huge problem for massive music festivals like San Francisco’s Outside Lands. After last year, when promotors saw the  most counterfeit tickets in the festival’s history, they decided to take action and implement an RFID wristband system for the 2015 show. Since the microchips cannot be copied, RFID wristbands put an end to scalpers and paper tickets effortlessly. Read the full story below:   

story originally featured on SFGate.com, published July 31, 2015

No more stumbling around the park and tripping over squirrels when you should be watching Kendrick Lamar tear things up onstage. We have gathered all the vital information you need for navigating through the Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park like a pro. This year, the annual concert, which takes place Friday to next Sunday, Aug. 7 to 9, features more entertainment and refreshment options than ever, including mega-popular headliners Elton John, the Black Keys and Mumford & Sons. Here, we give you the inside information on set times, where to eat, what to drink, and how to get a laugh and get the most out of your three-day trip.

What’s new this year?

“We were happily surprised when the festival sold out in 45 minutes this year,” says Allen Scott, vice president of Another Planet Entertainment, the Berkeley concert-promotion firm that co-presents Outside Lands with Superfly Productions of New Orleans. “It presents some problems too because we want to make sure everything is comfortable.”

To that end, you can expect to see some major changes at the festival this year — even before you walk through the gates. The promoters will ditch paper tickets and introduce RFID (radio frequency identification) wristbands for everyone attending the festival, primarily as a way to beat the scalpers.

“The last thing we want to see is somebody crying outside the venue who thought they were getting into the festival,” Scott says. “Last year, we saw the most counterfeit tickets so far. We had to take steps to mitigate them. With the RFID wristbands, you cannot copy them or counterfeit them.”

The smart wristbands will do more than fend off Craigslist creeps. In their introductory year at Outside Lands, you’ll also be able to load them up with your credit card to use as a cashless payment system in the Wine Lands area — a beta program promoters hope to spread to the entire festival at some point.

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