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At Reeperbahn Festival, Beacons Helped Music-Industry Pros Do Their Jobs

Attendees used the Logbook tool in the festival's app, in conjunction with Bluetooth beacons, to automatically track which musicians they heard and generate a playlist for later reference.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jan 28, 2016

Germany's Reeperbahn Festival is not your typical music fest, filled with partiers looking for good music and good times. Rather, it's where thousands of music industry professionals go to work (while having fun). And a new beacon-based tracking system, deployed at last year's event, helped them do just that, according to the festival's organizers and the mobile app developer that launched the system.

The Hamburg event, which will mark its 10th year in September, is both a music festival and a conference featuring more than 200 sessions, networking events, meetings, showcases and award shows. Greencopper, a Montreal-based mobile app developer, created a tool called Logbook for the Reeperbahn mobile app a few years ago, which serves as a digital guide for the many events and concerts that take place across 70 different venues throughout the city. It also provides Reeperbahn attendees with background information and video regarding the artists performing at the festival.

An attendee uses the Reeperbahn application on her smartphone. (Photo: Nina Zimmerman)
Prior to 2014, attendees could use the app to create playlists of the artists performing at the festival. This was made possible through a recommendation engine in the Logbook that matches a user's musical interests by accessing (with permission) his or her Facebook and/or Spotify accounts. The festival includes many showcase events, the objective of which is to feature as many bands as possible, with each band playing a short set. These showcases are a big draw for the many booking agents who attend the festival expressly to find up-and-coming musicians whom they might want to book for clubs or concert venues.

"Each showcase lasts for about 45 minutes," says Gwenaël Le Bodic, Greencopper's CEO. "The bookers are looking to hear as many bands as possible, and you start to lose track of what you're seeing." So to make it easier for bookers and other attendees to keep track of the bands they hear at the event, Greencopper outfitted the showcase venues with beacons, made by Kontakt.io, for the 2015 Reeperbahn Festival, which took place last September.

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