Plastic concert wristbands reborn as comfy, RFID tracking bracelets

One of the mega music fests that comes around every summer has upped its game. The Bonnaroo Music Festival, held over three days in Manchester, Tennessee is now moving away from the plastic wristband to a soft fabric band also embedded with RFID tags to track paying customers.

The lead paragraph in articles I've seen written regarding the change is that the plastic wristbands are just too uncomfortable to wear in the summertime heat. From experience I can attest to this being true.

The plastic wristbands suck in terms of comfort, but more importantly they suck for festival organizers in terms of keeping track on who is coming and going. The addition of the RFID technology gives each participant a unique code so if a wristband is reported lost or stolen it can immediately be disabled.

Your comfy new wristband will enable "the man" to make sure you are you.

The idea about the man having intimate knowledge of your activities via a tag is probably why the stories lead with the comfort factor. They don't want the Bonnaroo fans to freak. I personally think most Bonnaroo fans are smart enough to realize that the real information exchange takes place when you hand your credit card over when you purchase entry. Having a wristband that might keep you from getting scammed is probably not a bad idea.

I strongly recommend those who are thinking about or are going to Bonnaroo this year to have a good look at the website. There are no paper tickets this year — your wristband is proof of purchase on sight. Plus — and this is key — apparently you must not put your bracelet on yourself. Festival staff needs to affix the bracelet and activate the technology.

To all you Bonnaroovians, I wish you a good time, but read the fine print first or you could be screwed when you get to the gate!

Bonnaroo, via PSFK

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter
at @dvice or find us on Facebook