Company behind RFID wristbands used at Guns N' Roses concert faced challenges with organisers

Company behind RFID wristbands used at Guns N' Roses concert faced challenges with organisers
Queues for food and beverages had already snaked to this extent while opening act Wolfmother performed at the Guns N' Roses concert in Singapore on Feb 25.
PHOTO: ST

You've probably heard all about it by now.

The public have spoken, openly venting their grouses and opinions on various media channels about how poorly organised the logistics was at last Saturday's Guns N' Roses concert.

And now a vendor at the concert has jumped on the bandwagon, stating categorically what lead to the bungle, particularly with topped-up credits on RFID wristbands issued to concert-goers.

In a press statement, Sandpiper Digital Payments (SDP), the company that provided the wristbands used for cashless payment at the concert, highlighted the "many issues that hampered the success" of their technology that day.

LAMC Productions was the concert organiser behind the American rock band's first-time gig here which drew 50,000 people at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

It said that while SDP supported LAMC based on the requirements provided, it also took steps to inform the company that "their plans were inadequate".

"This pertains to entry, cashless signage, pre-event top up collection, top-up stations, F&B fulfillment, etc," said the statement.

Sandpiper Asia director Mr James Kane wrote: "We proposed to use RFID as a multipoint check-in solution to streamline between venues, point-of-sales and different ticketing accounts.

"It would help create greater community. Unfortunately, the full value of our system could not spin off at Changi Exhibition Center and the advantage and marketing opportunity across venues failed."

Read also: LAMC Productions gets flak for 'nightmare' organisation of Guns N' Roses concert

SDP felt that the six entry queues for Pen A and Pen B would not be adequate for an event of size over 30,000 people.

"However, it is the final decision of the organisers and their team to follow or ignore our recommendations," said the statement.

Prior to the concert, ticket-holders could preload the amount they had wanted to spend at the concert up to 48 hours before the concert date.

SDP said: "The majority of pre-top up funds had been assigned to the RFID wristband, up until the decision was made by the organiser to stop scanning tickets. Customers were assisted to the RFID Information Counter to activate their funds."

During the event day itself, concert-goers could top up their RFID wristbands at the venue.

SDP pointed out that "the organiser provided space for two top-up stations consisting of eight cashiers for cash and credit card top-ups, which in retrospective did not cover the demand.

"On the exterior where the crowd was, there were planned two stations for the general public, but due to the slow setup by the onsite infrastructure they did not materialise."

As for the point-of-sales for the food and beverages, SDP said "the RFID process for payment fulfillment worked as planned." However, a shortage of outlets led to queues forming.

SDP said that it had informed LAMC that there was a large number of people who had topped up credits prior to the event and recommended to them to have obvious signages to direct concert-goers to present their tickets, have them scanned and to add credits to the wristband.

Read also: No Appetite for Dysfunction? Expect Guns N' Roses gig credit refund options by Wednesday

But it appears as if their advice fell on deaf ears, SDP said.

The statement said: "The suggested requirements which SDP had presented to the organiser was not followed, and the lack of proper signage left guests uninformed about the processes onsite.

"Without proper signs, pre top-up customers were mixed into the normal queues. These customers were given the opportunity to have their ticket scanned, hence SDP cannot identify them and issue them the credits at the concert."

SDP said they can "identify those who have set up their eWallet with unspent credits and refund it back to them directly."

As for those who did not set up their eWallet, and have unspent balances, SDP said "rest assured that SDP are working with the event organiser on the best solution for them to issue refunds. The refund will be secured via LAMC's website."

In an interview with Bandwagon, LAMC Productions co-owner Mr Ross Knudson said he takes full responsibility for all the gaffes that happened that evening.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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