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Ticketfriend Aims to Eliminate Paper Tickets in Ireland

Concert and event promoters can use the company's solution to provide electronic tickets—via NFC-enabled ID cards or mobile phones—for customers to access venues or pay for services or merchandise.
By Claire Swedberg
The Ticketfriend site not only enables the purchasing and presenting of tickets, as well as event promotion, but also can issue alerts, such as sending text messages to those who wish to receive notices about upcoming events falling within their areas of interest.

The system is still being trialed by companies selling tickets on Ticketfriend's Web site, with approximately 5,000 NFC-enabled cards distributed to ticket buyers to date. In the future, Rabbit says he expects the technology to be used for purchases at events as well. For example, an individual could use his or her NFC card or phone not only to gain access to an event, but also to purchase food or souvenirs onsite.

Beginning in May, the system is slated be trialed in that manner by a European resort located on an island accessible only by ferry. Users can purchase tickets to the resort and create a prepaid account on which they can present their ID card on the ferry, prior to reaching the resort. They can then use the card again for other purchases, such as cocktails, or for accessing nightclubs or renting a beach lounge chair. Rabbit declines to specify the resort that is testing this system.

"The concept has been 10 years in my head," Rabbit states, "and just now, it seems all the technologies are working together."

According to Rabbit, staff members at the Electric Picnic 2012 music festival, which took place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, had to ride buses to the event and provide credentials while boarding those vehicles, and they tested the Ticketfriend NFC cards and server as a way of providing those credentials. Although it previously took 20 to 30 minutes to load each bus, he says, only five minutes were required when using the Ticketfriend ID cards. In that case, he notes, about 300 cards were issued to workers transported in three buses.

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