Welsh Festival Trials Electronic Wristbands

Organisers of Wales’ Wakestock Festival made punters wear electronic wristbands on the weekend – the first time the devices have been used at a UK festival.

According to NME and BBC Newsbeat, the devices are loaded with microchips similar to those in the Oyster Card system used on London’s public transport network.

The system was recently trialled on a small amount of fans at the Isle of Wright Festival, but it was put into full effect for Wakestock, which was headlined this year by Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris and Dizzee Rascal.

Festivalgoers use the wristbands to scan in and out of various areas on the festival site through turnstiles or other handheld devices. They can also pre-load the wristbands with money to pay for food and drinks, and check into social networks. Organisers can also monitor how many patrons are on the festival site.

The electronic wristbands could be used later this year at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, with festival boss Melvin Benn telling NME earlier this year he is keen to introduce the system in the near future.

“I’m certainly going to look at the electronic wristband, there is no doubt about that at all,” he said.

“It is the way forward that’s for sure. I’ve got a cashless festival in Norway similar to Reading And Leeds and people don’t bat an eyelid there, they think its normal.”

Who knows – if electronic wristbanding catches on, maybe we’ll see it trialled at the 2013 Big Day Out?

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