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August 3, 2008

Mobile ticketing system ensures tout-free festival

Visitors to the Chagstock Festival, based near Chagford in Devon, benefited from the mobile phone-based ticketing service tixmob, which meant they could book online, without the need for paper tickets, and that they weren’t bothered by touts on arriving at the event.

The festival has more than doubled in size since its inaugural event in 2007, welcoming about 2,000 festival-goers this year, compared to just under 1,000 the year before. Chagstock organiser, Simon Ford, felt that the festival needed an environmentally sound and customer-friendly method of delivering tickets using online systems, marrying 21st century consumer technology with the family feel of this folk and rock-oriented event.

Mobile ticketing: tixmob technology allows tickets to be sent to and stored on a mobile phone

Upon booking online through tixmob, visitors received an entry barcode, which they could either print at home or have sent direct to their mobile phone. In spite of Chagstock’s remote location, tixmob’s laptop-based database system enabled all online purchases to be verified with an electronic, hand held scanner at the gate, allowing wristbands to be issued to all customers.

The company had planned for every eventuality, issuing an individual number with each barcode, overcoming the rare cases of scanner non-functioning caused by old or scratched mobile phones. For the most part, customers and staff were delighted by the ease of use of the new technology, with several declaring it to be “amazing”.

A significant proportion of the festival’s tickets were sold this way, with the remainder sold and distributed through traditional outlets.

“This type of mobile ticketing system is the way forward for festivals,” said Ford. “The tixmob system worked well over the weekend and proved an effective way of avoiding ticket touting. Nearly all the customers who used it were pleased with the way it worked.”

Commenting on Chagstock, tixmob director Ramesh Kumar said: “We have found the system to be particularly effective for small to medium-sized festivals this year, such as forthcoming events like Kendal Calling, Solfest and Summer Sundae. Our experience at Chagstock demonstrates the reliability and effectiveness of combining mobile and online technology for ticketing services.”

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