How Technology is Paving the Way for the Ultimate Festival Experience
By: Hannah Lewandowski, Marketing Intern
While the summer season brings us warmer weather and longer days, it also brings my favorite time of year with it: music festival season. Thanks to millennial’s, such as myself, music festivals have become a popular fad of the music industry that continues to grow at a rapid pace, with no signs of slowing down. When an industry or fad grows, the tech seems to follow. Music festivals have some new trends this year that include more than just the breakout artists of the year.
I have loved music of all genres for as long as I can remember, but music festivals are where my true passion lies. There is just something about being at a music festival that is unlike any other experience I have ever had. Festivals have a unique element that you can’t experience at just any live music venue, and that is the atmosphere. People from all over the world come together as a community to celebrate and witness music in a passionate, powerful, and emotional way-and to me that is so special. That passionate and vibrant atmosphere will only heighten as tech merges with the festival scene.
Festival Tech: It’s a Movement
Although music festivals are nothing new, there is an attribute of festivals that has recently changed. Many major festivals are now integrating advanced festival technology to create a new era of fan experience and interaction.
I witnessed this my first year of Lollapalooza during the early stages of incorporating technology with the creation of a mobile app. The app offered everything from lineups, schedules, maps, and food & drink options, putting all of your festival needs in the palm of your hands. The apps were pretty handy, but festival coordinators knew they could do more.
Usually when entering the gates of a festival you just flash your colorful fabric wristband (That you never cut off) to security. Now, that is SO 2010. Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and many other music festivals have now adopted the use of RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) wristbands. To keep it simple, these tech-savvy wristbands include a chip (Micro not potato) that allow fans to efficiently enter the festival, make cashless purchases (Super dangerous when alcohol is involved), and connect with other attendees using proximity technology, which allows you to track and directly communicate with attendees through social media via your mobile device. The moment you enter the festival and place your hand on the scanner, your wristband is verified and your ultimate festival experience is live! I was lucky enough to rock the RFID wristband at both Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza last summer and experience the hype. Having these wristbands allowed me to leave my wallet behind to avoid losing my credit card, as well as connect with my other friends and fans at the festival that were interested in the same music and artists as myself. Having the wristband really took my experience to the next level and made life a lot easier.
So if that wasn’t cool enough for you, some festivals like TommorowWorld are teaming with a virtual tour startup called YouVisit to explore the concept of a virtual festival experience. The festival is captured through the use of a DSLR camera (digital camera that combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor) that captures high definition 360 photos throughout the event. Just by slipping on a pair of the tech glasses, you’re able to explore the entire festival from the campgrounds, to the heart of the crowd at the stage of your favorite artist. You already know about my obsession with music festivals, however, I often too daydream of one day being a DJ at a festival conducting a song with a beat drop that makes a sea of people go nuts. YouVisits gives me the opportunity to virtually make my dreams come true by offering a feature that allows you to see the stage from the perspective of the headlining DJ. It won’t be long before everyone with Virtual Reality goggles will be able to connect them to their phone and be transported into the festival experience from the comfort of their couch.
Jammberities Are Festival Lovers
Here at Jammber, our entire team enjoys music festivals and pretty much all live music experiences. As a tech company, we believe that technology is vital to amplify every experience in the entertainment industry. Technology in all industries serves to expand, as well as enhance, your creative experience and creative processes. In the music industry specifically, technology has generated new simplified festival experiences for fans all over the world and it’s pretty exciting to think that this is only the beginning. Our Jammber Nashville team has had the opportunity to be the part of great experiences from CMA Fest, Bonnaroo, and our Chicago team is gearing up for Lollapalooza. The entire team is excited to experience the new festival technology and be a part of a movement that will be a “game-changer” for all musical experiences, whether it’s on a stage or in the studio.