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Access Pass Accreditation Management for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

As music festivals get ever larger in size and the logistics become increasingly complex the management of guest ticketing and accreditation is becoming more challenging. A large music festival must adapt to ever changing priorities and event developments and need to get a handle on managing guest ticketing at an early stage in the planning process. 

Many festival workers have experienced the chaos at security entrances having to deal with handwritten lists of names which rarely match with those attempting to gain entry. Organisers may have promised people that they will be on the guest list but failed to add them to any documented list. Such scenarios used to be common and often caused mayhem, delays and a number of upset individuals. Thankfully the guest list accreditation process is now mostly automated avoiding these age old problems.

Automated Guest List Accreditation.
Most music festival organisations now prepare well in advance who will be issued particular types of passes. Full details are held electronically and cross referenced using either QR Codes or bar codes which are scanned at each entrance gate. As long as the system has been set up correctly this method of pass checking should be relatively fool proof. 

Access Zoning. 
A music festival could be made up of as many as ten different zones which need to be clearly defined and physically segregated to ensure only those accredited can access. Typical zones may include: 

  • Public viewing
  • Volunteer zone
  • Backstage catering
  • Photo pits
  • Green room
  • Back stage
  • Main stage
  • VIP lounge and viewing
  • Festival staff 

Allocation of access to particular individuals may require some complex management depending on the type of visitor, typically covering:  

  • General public festival-goer
  • VIP festival-goer
  • Volunteers
  • Press and media
  • Vendors
  • Event and festival staff
  • Artists, crews and their guests 

Linking Accreditation to Different Zones. 
During the planning phase of the music festival, it is essential to obtain the details of all these different groups of festival attendees and to allocate the correct zoning access to their passes. Any delays on obtaining details could lead to non-delivery of the correct QR codes causing on-site issues.

Having a fully integrated automated system for recording every visitor type and linking them correctly to each zone access can greatly improve the efficiency of the accreditation process. Organisers should conduct some testing of their on-site gate access scanning technology prior to the event opening. This ensures that the automated system is operating correctly and as a back-up security staff could have access to a database of every pass issued and the zones applicable to that individual. Every festival operates in a slightly different way and a good accreditation system will provide some degree of flexibility that allows either single entry and exist to a zone or unlimited entry access.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including a comprehensive guest pass accreditation process. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.  


Andy Robertson
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