IOW Festival Technology Wireless gate access control technology deployed for the first time at the Isle of Wight Festival demonstrated that ticket touts and fraudsters can be stopped from profiting in the trade of counterfeit wristbands.

Solo Promoters, organisers of the Festival were able to upload all unique wristband serial numbers into the access control system which immediately updated all the mobile gate scanners, enabling full control of entry to the event. Any cancelled tickets were ‘live’ within 15 minutes and Solo were given full ‘real-time’ information on crowd flows, gate capacities etc.

The access control solution implemented at the three public gates into the festival was delivered by event technology specialists Intelligent Venue Solutions utilising their MetaCore platform.

Paul Pike, Business Development director with IVS, said:

“IVS worked closely with the promoter, ticketing and gate security staff and we were able to clearly demonstrate the benefit of deploying a system designed specifically for large outdoor events and festivals. Real-time synchronisation between the readers and our festival management system resulted in shorter queuing times, and enhanced security and safety for festival goers. Organisers could consult a dashboard which gave an accurate picture of movement on and off site; potential problems could be identified and dealt with much faster than usual.”

John Giddings, Festival Promoter said:

“We have proved that technology can assist in making events run smoother as well as providing better information for security and safety. I have sympathy for anyone who is duped into buying counterfeit tickets but hopefully this is a warning shot to those who think that such tickets will go undetected in the future”.

Rob Langford, Financial Director at Solo Promoters, added:

“The operation of the gates at this year’s festival was the best we have had, both in terms of the festival-goers experience of getting into the festival, and our visibility of what was happening at the gates..”

The MetaCore access control system was just one element of a wider deployment of new technology at the festival, delivered by IVS and its partners in partnership with MasterCard. In conjunction with Central Catering Services and on behalf of Mastercard, IVS also delivered a reliable fast wireless network to support the card payment terminals deployed into a Festival beer tokens booth and the VIP bar. This supported a typical online authorisation time of 3-4 seconds, far faster than has previous been achieved in such environments.

Mark Hatch, Central Catering Services Director, the organisation delivering all bar and catering services to the Festival commented:
“We have been looking at ways to introduce new technology to festivals for a number of years.

Traditionally in open field environments, mobile communications proves too slow for card payment, hence the predominance of cash. With our partners we have demonstrated at the IOW that cards can be used more extensively to the benefit of all concerned, especially Festival goers!”

Alongside access control and payment card acceptance, festival goers put MasterCard® PayPass™ prepaid contactless wristbands to the test for the first time in a festivals environment in the UK. Distributed to people in the VIP enclosure on a first-come, first-served basis, the PayPass prepaid wristbands were pre-loaded with £30, which could be used to purchase food and drinks at Central Catering’s bar and Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fabulous Feast’ restaurant.

To pay, users simply tapped their PayPass festival wristband on a contactless terminal, removing any need to dip a card, enter a PIN or provide a signature. User reaction was overwhelmingly positive.