Simon Carpenter, business development manager at Gigantic, strongly believes radio frequency identification (RFID) is the next big trend for the industry.

“If you’ve walked through the gates at some of the UK’s biggest music festivals recently, including Standon Calling and Eastern Electrics, you’ve probably experienced RFID technology. Using radio signals, the ‘smart bracelet’ has been dubbed a badge of honour for many festival fans who love the concept.

“As it fast becomes a tangible technology for small and grassroots festivals to use as well, I’m certain it’s going to take off. It’s not just about shorter queues and cashless payments, which I am sure is something everyone will be on board with. If developed and managed correctly then RFID technology can truly enhance the festival experience for the fans, as well as improve the event operation for the organiser. RFID technology can help create a safer festival site by eliminating fraud. Unlike traditional paper tickets, RFID wristbands are impossible to copy or duplicate, so if the fan loses theirs, real-time control of ticket data means the wristband can quickly be deactivated.

“This all sounds amazing, right? But working out the strategy can be tough and many things can also go wrong if the RFID infrastructure isn’t developed correctly. Poor internet connectivity can bring the whole operation to a halt, so load testing and coverage needs to be planned accordingly; managing data securely and in line with new GDPR regulations must be fine-tuned; and staff and contractors must be trained in how to deal with the advance in technology.”