Leading B2B digital publication Festival Insights provides great coverage behind the scenes at this year’s highly anticipated Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on August 7-9, 2015.
Outside Lands has it all – music, food, wine, beer, arts, comedy, and other entertainment, attracting over 180,000 fans. This year, Wine Lands was completely cashless, enabling guests to spend more time sampling premium wines with fast purchases using their RFID wristbands loaded with “Bison Bucks”. The deployment was a booming success with vendors selling out of wine! The entire festival site was also secured by Intellitix’s access control platform.
Here is an excerpt of the event review from Festival Insights Editor, Michael Baker. For the full featured article, click here.
Excerpt from Festival Insights Review of Outside Lands
Outside Lands’ organizational elements were exemplary, supplemented by a range of super helpful, well-integrated activations and collaborations with innovative suppliers.
Handling both the entire site’s access control and the cashless system for the self-explanatory Wine Lands area was the global RFID company Intellitix. Intellitix’s RFID-enabled wristbands allowed festivalgoers to stock up on OSL’s temporary virtual currency, called ‘Bison Bucks’, either via onsite top-up stations or through the Outside Lands mobile app. Those topping up in advance to the tune of $75 were awarded an extra $5 to spend on a grape-based intoxicant of their choice. When adding Bison Bucks to one’s account for the first time, there was even an option to ‘Enable Auto Top-Up’, a feature that automatically added $25 to an attendee’s account when it dropped below $5. Any remaining surplus was refunded post-event (minus a $3.50 fee).
Insights spoke with Serge Grimaux, CEO and ‘Head Pilot’ of Intellitix, about the company’s exact involvement in Outside Lands.
“In the Wine Lands this year we have deployed a new generation of hardware that is completely wireless, with which we can deploy 100 point of sales within an hour. It is very convenient for festival organisers and relatively cheap to set up. Of course you have to pick the perfect location to do it but 80% of what we do can be done with this. It’s a great step forward for us.”
Since 2011, Intellitix has activated over 15 million RFID tags at events including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Tomorrowland, The PGA Irish Open, UEFA Champions Festival, and Electric Zoo.
According to Grimaux, what separates Intellitix from its competitors – both RFID-based and otherwise – is more than just experience: “I know it’s going to sound pompous, and I’m sorry for it,” he said. “But we have a tendency to do things and then others replicate, which I’ve been seeing since the first time I had a green light on a panel for access control in 2010.
“What makes us different is that we deliver. We were at Tomorrowland two weeks ago, and we had over 800 point of sales, 175 top-ups, 150 customer care stations, 102 portals, and 70 handheld, all simultaneously working flawlessly for the whole event, which is basically 4 or 5 days when you count the people that come on the Thursday and leave on the Monday.
“We’re known as RFID because we were the first one to really push this new protocol of communication, but Intellitix is really an innovation company and we have a few new innovations that we started this year.”
One such innovation is called Instaband – wristbands that are printed on-demand when festivalgoers arrive onsite. In venues with the option to reserve seats, attendees can see their seat row and number, plus their name on the band. Instaband is compatible with all ticketing retailers’ e-tickets can also be used for cashless payments, and comes with social media integration for added customization.
Another important trait of Intellitix’s is its closed loop system, as Grimaux explained: “I will never run a festival in which I have to depend on the outside world. Communication channels sometimes break down and that’s why we created our system to be immune to that. Even within our closed loop, if somebody cut a cable that connects that closed loop onsite or an antenna drops or anything, everything that we do always has the capacity to automatically go offline and continue to work. You wouldn’t even know if our portals are offline or online. We know, we fix it, we call the network company or we fix a cable, same for the cashless services, so being closed loop for us guarantees us total control.
Secondly, we have access to incredibly rich data because we have everything and we’re not trading with third parties.”
About Festival Insights
Festival Insights is a leading B2B digital publication focused on the global festival industry, reporting on the latest in business news, supplier insights, and thought-leadership articles. In addition to hosting the highly-coveted UK and European Festival Awards, Festival Insights distributes a weekly e-newsletter to all the major worldwide festival owners, promoters, event organizers and suppliers.