Lollapalooza kicks off its 25th anniversary festival tomorrow in Chicago’s Grant Park with a lineup including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Big Boi, Ellie Goulding, Radiohead and festival co-founder Perry Farrell with Jane’s Addiction. Awesome, you say, but why is this on your mobile technology blog? Because our customer Front Gate Tickets will get you in … if you already have a wristband. It’s a sold out show.
Based in Austin, Texas (the live music capital of the world, BTW), Front Gate Tickets works with hundreds of music festivals and large events each year across North America including Coachella and the Austin City Limits Music Festival. When you buy a Lollapalooza ticket, Front Gate sends you a wristband with an RFID chip. Once you register the wristband online, it’s your all-access pass to enter the festival, buy food and merchandise, access VIP areas, sign up for contests at sponsor kiosks, post social media updates and more.
This year, Front Gate is using VMware AirWatch—recommended by their trusted partner Barcoding, Inc.—to manage a diverse fleet of up to 75 mobile devices to scan this year’s Lollapalooza attendee wristbands. “We’re using AirWatch to manage those devices and push down settings such as Wi-Fi settings and application updates,” says Evan Sanders, Technical Operations Engineer at Front Gate. From the AirWatch console, Sanders can closely monitor and proactively manage each device, receiving automatic alerts to let him know if any have become compromised. And if an issue does arise, he and his team can resolve it quickly so the expected 150,000 attendees can enjoy the show without a hitch.
“Although we’re starting our AirWatch implementation just with Lollapalooza, we have around 350 devices total that we send to festivals across the country,” said Sanders. “Pushing those app updates manually is kind of a pain. Being able to adjust settings on the fly and mass-deploy a bunch of updates is critical for us. Managing multiple festivals and multiple devices at a time with AirWatch will make our lives a lot easier.”
“Instead of devices having to come to me to do a manual setup process, we just scan a code to set it up, log in and register the device with the AirWatch console. It’s simple and fast.”
—Evan Sanders, Technical Operations Engineer, Front Gate Tickets
Front Gate’s devices include Zebra Technologies’ TC70 and TC55 Android handhelds, supplied by Barcoding, Inc., a national systems integrator specializing in automated data collection technology. Front Gate has worked in partnership with Barcoding for several years now, continuously improving and expanding its arsenal of data collection and asset management solutions. Front Gate’s AirWatch deployment is the company’s most recent project spearheaded by Barcoding. Front Gate also depends on Barcoding’s GoLive ServicesTM to stage and configure their Zebra devices with AirWatch. “Instead of devices having to come to me to do a manual setup process, we just scan a code to set it up, log in and register the device with the AirWatch console. It’s simple and fast,” said Sanders.
Admit it, you don’t usually think of “fun” and “RFID technology” together. Sanders feels you. “I spoke at a Zebra channel partner summit, and people were so interested in what we do,” he said. “It’s something different; we’re using these devices in a way they aren’t typically used. It’s usually warehouses, transportation logistics, car rentals. When people see, oh, you’re using our stuff to do something really cool, everybody is really interested in it.”