Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza (Scott Strazzante / Chicago Tribune / August 4, 2013)

In an attempt to manage long lines at food, drink and merchandise stands, Lollapalooza this summer is introducing a new initiative called Lolla Cashless that allows concertgoers to leave their cash and credit cards at home.

Producers C3 Presents soon will begin sending festivalgoers ticket-bracelets that allow them entry into the event, which runs Aug. 1-3 in Grant Park. But this year concertgoers also will be able to use those wristbands for buying food, drinks and merchandise.

The system, developed by C3 partner Front Gate Tickets, uses radio frequencies so that concertgoers can sync their wristbands to their credit card information online using a pre-selected PIN code. The restaurant and drink vendors at Chow Town will have point-of-sale systems, and once a festivalgoer makes a purchase and enters his or her PIN number, the payment automatically will be applied to the credit card.

The PIN number requirement should alleviate security concerns, C3 Presents marketing director Patrick Dentler said. Also, the transactions are stored in the point-of-sale systems and not on the wristbands, which will prevent tech problems that can arise if Internet service is spotty at Grant Park.

Dentler said C3 Presents tested the system at the CounterPoint Music Festival in Atlanta in April and the response was positive.

“We followed up with festgoers at CounterPoint and feedback was supportive,” he told RedEye on Monday. “People ended up getting through the lines quicker at food stands and the bars.”

Averaging about 25,000 visitors a day, CounterPoint is a much smaller festival than Lollapalooza, which averages 100,000 visitors a day. Lolla will be the first time a major music festival has used the system, but Dentler is optimistic.

“This is a dual effort with our partners at Front Gate Tickets to streamline the purchase process for our attendees,” he said. “Lolla is excited and proud to introduce digital initiatives that enhance our fan experience while at Grant Park, and we hope Lolla Cashless will allow for more time in front of the stage and less time in line for food or drinks.”

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