by Adam Gold
First off, general admission tickets to the festival are now officially sold out — great news for the festival, but kind of a bummer for all the nation’s poor planners. There’s still hope, however, for very important poor planners, as V.I.P. tickets are still available. Though the festival’s site says they are few and “won't last long!”
Now, poor planners and ticket holders alike need pay close attention to this next item concerning both fake and legit 'Roost bands. This year Bonnaroo will take up new “high security” measures by incorporating Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology into all wristbands — meaning each will be embedded with a tracking chip that festival security personnel will subject to authenticity verification screening upon entry and exit to and from Centeroo. Each cyber-band’s unique (as a mutha fuckin’ snowflake!) RFID code will allow its owner to register the band through the ‘Roo site, making it so your friends (or the government*) can track your whereabouts. The site notes (in bold) that, “This program is completely optional.” The RFID band will also have the capability of storing its purchaser’s credit card information, making money spending at the festival easier than ever this year, presumably.
This also means that gatecrashers and wristband counterfeiters are kind of fucked this year. Or, they’re going to have to push the limits of their ingenuity in efforts to thwart the iron hand of the man.
Bonnaroo may use the personal data information you provide when you purchase tickets and, additionally, the information you provide if you choose to register your RFID wristband, to contact you with information about your order or the festival. Bonnaroo and our affiliates also use this information to help us improve the content and functionality of our festival operations, to better understand our customers and markets, and to improve our products and services. Further, Bonnaroo and our affiliates may use the information we collect during the ticket ordering and RFID wristband registration to contact you in the future to tell you about products or services we believe will be of interest to you. … Additionally, we may use the anonymous data provided by RFID technology for internal purposes, such as data analysis, to continually improve the operation of the festival. This data might include, but is not limited to, how many visitors enter the festival site, the date and time of their visit, the number of times they entered and exited, and which entrances and exits they came through.
I can imagine that, in the midst of the wrong mid-trip moment, a festival-goer or two is likely going to gaze upon the wristband with his or her third eye and subsequently freak out, then descend into the throes of an existential crisis — wondering how they can live free while on the grid. They’ll perhaps even convince themselves that the headache they have from lack of sleep and too much sun is actually a malignant brain tumor caused by cancer waves emanating from their wristband. And the worst part: They’ll fall apart under the paranoia of being followed. “They know! ... THEY. NOOOOOOO!!!” Shit might get pretty heavy for them. I, on the other hand, am not bothered. But if this happens to one of your friends, just remind them that they’re probably on Facebook, and the marketing man already knows their lifestyle habits; they have a cellphone that pings their location off their brains at all times anyway; and that their family will find some closure when the puddle their body melted into is found, wristband intact.
A festival-goer looks for his lost RFID chip: