This year’s O2 Wireless Festival will be the first in the UK to use Near Field Communication, a new technology that brings Oyster card-functionality to mobile phones, making it possible for people to swipe their handset to pay for purchases, download content or even share information. O2 will be using the trial to examine its potential as a future solution for mobile ticketing. O2 will be using NFC technology to manage entry into its backstage hospitality area at the festival, with a limited number of guests being provided with a special wristband which allows access simply by swiping it past a NFC-enabled mobile phone. To mark the trial, O2 has teamed up with Swarovski to create a limited edition crystal-studded O2 VIP wristband. If the trial is successful, the technology could become integral to mobile ticketing, allowing consumers to simply download tickets to their mobile phones which they would then swipe past a reader to access the festival. NFC could even mean the end of cash at festivals with consumers able to purchase drinks, food etc using credit or debit card details stored on their mobile phones. “The potential benefits of NFC technology to music festivals are enormous,” said Amanda Jennings, Head of Sponsorship and Interactive Partnerships, O2 UK. “Not only in regard to mobile ticketing but also in terms of saving money through administration, and potentially even the end of cash at festivals. With this trial O2 Wireless is once again at the forefront of technological innovation.” Mobile Ticketing Doubles Last year’s O2 Wireless Festival saw the first large scale use of mobile ticketing in the UK. This year, O2 has doubled mobile ticket sales with £200,000 worth sold. Mobile ticketing allows O2 customers to opt for a ‘mobi-ticket’ to be sent direct to their phone, instead of a conventional paper ticket. Mobile ticketing saves festival goers money on the booking and delivery fee as well as providing a more environmentally-friendly solution to traditional paper tickets. The mobile ticketing solution used at O2 Wireless has been developed in partnership with Mobiqa. Stuart Galbraith, Managing Director, Live Nation, said: “Mobile phones have become even more integral to people’s lives, providing a host of information readily available at their fingertips. Mobile ticketing provides the consumer with an effective tool to prevent ticket touting and above all else is an environmentally friendly way to enjoy their favourite concerts. We strongly believe that mobile ticketing will contribute to the evolution of the music industry and establish itself as the future of consumer ticketing.” The O2 Blueroom In addition to barcode entry to the festival, O2 customers can also access O2’s exclusive blueroom at both the Leeds and London sites by simply texting ‘LONDON’ or ‘LEEDS’ to 60202. In the blueroom, O2 customers will be able to enjoy their own private stage where the hottest undiscovered acts will showcase their music direct to fans. An interactive music video installation called GRIDIO will offer music lovers the opportunity to create their own video clip. Pressure sensors on a grid detect peoples’ movements, which in turn trigger multiple simultaneous audiovisual clips on a large plasma screen for all to see. The finished masterpiece is then downloaded onto their handset. And if it’s all too much for them, they can simply put their feet up in the blueroom and enjoy a drink, whilst getting a massage. User Generated Content Makes Wireless Debut For the first time at O2 Wireless, festival goers will be able to upload content from their mobiles, as well as downloading it. Special O2 Bluetooth stations will allow music fans to upload their festival photos or video clips for free, using Upload Hypertag technology, and have their experiences played on the big festival screens and on O2 Active. A dedicated O2 Wireless Festival site will be available on O2 Active, offering festival content to download, travel news, schedules and exclusive backstage images. The range of interactive services available makes the O2 Wireless festival one of the most technologically advanced in the UK, and enables O2 to add value to the festival experience. These services have been developed in partnership with Mobile Interactive Group (MIG). The NFC solution being trialed at O2 Wireless has been developed in conjunction with Consult Hyperion. TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW  Mobi-tickets are barcoded tickets sent via text or picture message to an individual’s mobile phone. The barcode is then scanned at the point of entry in order to gain access to the event.
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