Byron Bay Bluesfest replaces drink tickets with RFID microchip wristbands

Sally McMullen 12 April 2017

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Festival punters can ditch drink ticket queues with the launch of new tap-and-go wristband technology.

Say sayonara to those pesky drink tickets! The organisers of Byron Bay Bluesfest have announced that the festival will replace drink tickets with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wristbands this Easter long weekend.

Used frequently overseas and already adopted at festivals such as Lost Paradise down under, RFID technology uses radio waves to read and capture information stored in the wristbands. The wristbands will be handed out to punters as they enter the festival and can be used as a digital wallet when they purchase alcoholic bevvies at any of the seven licenced bars sprinkled around the festival. You can top up your wristband at top-up stations or via the Bluesfest mobile app.

The only downside is that festival-goers will be charged a one-time $3.50 fee when they buy their first drink. Unlike forgotten drink tickets, though, any unused credits on your wristband will be refunded when the festival ends. While you don’t need to register your wristband to use it, you must register it if you want a refund on your unused funds after the festival.

The festival is hoping this technology will help to simplify the entry process and cut down on paper wastage and ticketing fraud. Plus, it’s bound to slash queues for drinks and ATM machines and minimise the need to carry wads of cash around the festival.

Bluesfest isn’t the only festival to ditch drink tickets and go digital this year. Earlier this month, we also reported that Splendour in the Grass would be replacing drink tickets with Visa payWave technology, allowing cardholders to use contactless payments to purchase drinks during the July festival.

The 28th annual Bluesfest is located at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm (just north of Byron Bay) and kicks off this Easter long weekend from 13-17 April 2017. Boasting a massive lineup of some of blues and roots' finest including Santana, Patti Smith, Neil Finn, Doobie Brothers and Mary J Blige, last-minute tickets for the festival are still up for grabs.

Picture: Shutterstock

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