Background

The Riverbend Festival, affectionately known by locals as Riverbend, draws thousands of fans to Chattanooga, Tennessee each year for four days of music and entertainment. Organizers have worked to maintain the safe, family environment despite the huge upturn in attendees, with fans travelling from all over the United States and beyond to enjoy the atmosphere. Since its inception in 1982, the flagship festival has soared in popularity, with huge international acts now playing on the banks of the Tennessee river.

Challenge

Riverbend approached Token while seeking a solution to modernise their existing physical token system, which entailed hours of time-consuming post event reconciliation. Their outdated system gathered limited data, and organisers knew they were missing an opportunity to capture insights on audience behaviour and demographics. They were seeking an integrated ticketing and RFID solution so they could rely on the seamless provision of access control and cashless payments for their fans. 

While organisers were keen to modernise and streamline their operations, their existing system had been in place since the festival was founded, meaning it was deeply ingrained in Riverbend’s overall logistics. The vast festival site was catering to many different types of vendors with varying requirements, which organisers were eager to simplify. 

The Token Solution

The partnership between ShowClix, ticketing provider for Riverbend, and Token Systems ensured a live sync between platforms. Event tickets were assigned to RFID wristbands prior to the event, which were then scanned upon entry. Technical and operational staff were on-site from both Token and ShowClix, ensuring a stress-free experience for the festival organisers. 

Self serve top up stations were located throughout the site,  so patrons could load extra credit onto their wristbands. There was also the option to top up online prior or during the festival using the dedicated Token portal, so patrons could head straight to the bar upon arrival. Automatic refunds were granted back to patron’s credit cards, removing a step in retrieving unspent funds and guaranteeing a positive customer experience. 

Riverbend also utilised Token’s multiple balance types function, to allow fans to exchange their old credits from previous years for valid credits to use on site. This provided data on the spending behaviour of multiple audience segments, which will help the organisers make informed decisions for next year’s festival.

Result

Everyone that purchased a ticket to Riverbend Festival 2019 received their Token wristband in the mail in advance, and were advised to wear it to the entry gate. This counted as their ticket, plus their way-to-pay for all purchases made inside the festival grounds, including all food, drinks and souvenirs. 

Festival-goers received clear correspondence from Riverbend and Token on how to top up their wristbands online prior and during the event. Over 40% of the total top ups were performed online, resulting in no queues at the on-site top up stations. 

Presented in accurate live reports, the festival organisers gathered rich data insights which mapped the credit usage throughout the event. This improved stock control and supported easier reconciliation with vendors. Token received really positive feedback from the vendors and the organisers alike, and we’re so excited by the prospect of returning to Tennessee for round two in 2020. 

Thank you Riverbend Festival, it was a pleasure! 

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