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Ticketing Company Keeps Festival Attendees Moving With RFID

Front Gate Tickets has deployed Barcoding Inc.'s HF RFID Lids at 15 festivals since last June, and has 60 more festivals scheduled for the system this year.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 23, 2017

When fans at events like music festivals line up for gate entrance, high-frequency (HF) RFID can make the process faster than bar-code scans, but still creates some delays as individuals stop and tap their badge or wristband, then await a response from a reader. Ticketing service company Front Gate Tickets is offering an HF 13.56 MHz RFID-based solution, compliant with the ISO 14443 standard, that is intended to keep fans moving as they enter a festival.

The firm has deployed what it calls RFID reader Lids for its music and arts festivals, including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits. The system, provided by Barcoding Inc., is intended to enable the fast installation of modular RFID readers at an event site, and to allow attendees to quickly access an area by simply swiping their wristband on the Lid as they walk inside. Front Gate Tickets intends to use the technology at 60 events this year to reduce waits and increase security.

Barcoding Inc.'s Zachary Lander-Portnoy demonstrates how attendees at Lollapalooza could swipe their wristband on the Lid while walking past it.
At the approximately 15 Front Gate Ticket events that already used the technology, visits to ticketing help tents were decreased by 85 percent, while queues moved faster with less build-up than at the same events in previous years. The system consists of HF RFID readers built into Lids at a kiosk, enabling fast tag reads as people pass through entrance gates and other portals, says Zachary Lander-Portnoy, Barcoding Inc.'s sales manager. In addition to reducing queues and entrance delays, the system also provides greater protection against fraud, ticket counterfeiting or scalping, he says.

Front Gate Tickets offers a full-service solution for some of the largest music festivals in the United States. It sells tickets to attendees and provides access-gate hardware, ticket-management software, and a call center and fulfillment center for incoming calls from ticket buyers.

Four years ago, Front Gate Tickets first introduced RFID technology to its solutions for access control at music festivals, says Brandon Little, Front Gate Tickets' director of field operations. The company built its own HF RFID system, including gate readers, RFID-enabled tickets or wristbands, and read-management software. The system then identified whether each scanned ticket was authorized for entrance and stored that data.

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