RBC Bluesfest
RBC Bluesfest

Precision Dynamics Corporation (PDC) announced the successful implementation of its Smart Band® RFID Wristband System at the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest in Ottawa, Canada from July 4 through July 15. The wristband system prevented counterfeiting and unauthorized resale, while empowering guests to link to Facebook, further promoting the event.

The Bluesfest’s 300,000 guests wore PDC Smart Band® wristbands throughout the multi-day festival, which provided automatic validation as they walked through RFID-enabled portals, provided by Intellitix, a global provider of RFID access control and cashless payment systems for live events. “The RFID system greatly reduced the time guests spent waiting in line, which is a huge convenience,” said Tara Ferguson, RFID Project Coordinator for the Bluesfest. By dramatically reducing admission lines, the system enabled guests to focus their time on performances and concessions. Smart Band® also helps reduce labor, as multiple attendants are not needed to manually issue or validate tickets, stamps, or badges.

The innovative technology revolves around a tiny RFID chip sealed inside each patented Smart Band®. A unique 16-character code programmed on the chips positively identifies and validates each patron when the band is positioned over an RFID reader.

In addition to the system’s time saving conveniences, Smart Band® provides superior security and anti-counterfeit measures that traditional wristbands don’t offer. “We had two major goals — facilitate crowd control at the gates and decrease unauthorized resale. Both objectives were resoundingly successful,” said Ferguson. “The Smart Band® design made it exceptionally difficult to resell, as there is no visible access indicator outside of the RFID chip. If wristbands had gone missing, we could have easily deactivated them and flagged them as stolen to prevent unauthorized access to the venue. Media monitoring showed that unauthorized resale via third-party websites went down dramatically.” Smart Band® helps provide peace of mind to promoters and festivals with its ability to deter scalpers and resellers.
For the first time, the Bluesfest integrated social media into its guest experience for fans who pre-registered online. A quick online registration via the Bluesfest’s website enabled fans to sync their wristband to their Facebook account and receive instant entry in a contest for a VIP upgrade. After receiving their wristbands in the mail or at will call, guests accessed multiple RFID-enabled Facebook stations throughout the grounds. With a quick scan of the band, fans linked live to Facebook to broadcast to their friends and families online — a form of free advertising for the festival.

“The RFID technology is a great way for festivals like the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest to benefit from the far-reaching channels of social media, uniting its guests with an international network of online fans,” said Robin Barber, Vice President of leisure and entertainment for Precision Dynamics.

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