Wakestock goes 'Big Brother'

first festival to track your every move

By Neil Greenway | Published: Wed 20th Jun 2012

Wakestock 2012 - Chiddy Bang
Photo credit: Karen Williams

Wakestock 2012

Friday 6th to Sunday 8th July 2012
Pwllheli Inner Marina and Abersoch Beach, Abersoch, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales, Wales MAP
£125 with camping, £100 without camping
Daily capacity: 45,000

Wakestock - which is happening from Friday 6th until Sunday 8th July 2012, at Abersoch, North Wales - is to become the first UK festival to use RFID wristbands to track the every move of festival-goers, reports the BBC (here) .

The wristbands are similar to the material festival bands but include a microchip as well. It is a similar technology to London's Oyster card public transport swipe cards and uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. People are registered in and out of venues or arenas with either turnstiles or hand-held devices scanning their wristbands, with organisers able to track the data.

As far as eFestivals has been able to ascertain from various conversations with wristband manufacturers and festival promoters there are no tangible benefits to festival-goers from wearing these wristbands, while a festival promoter is able to have perfect information with which to micro-manage his event - which ultimately get to mean that a festival is able to try to further fleece festival goers for every last penny.

With many festivals already struggling to sell their tickets in what is a heavily-depressed traditional festival marketplace this year, the last thing festival-goers need is festivals increasing the on-site cost of the experience. If nothing else, festival-goers will be paying via the ticket price to give a festival promoter this ability to track their every move.

The origin of the UK festival scene and what led it to become hugely popular is a concept of freedom - the freedom to enjoy what you like when you like and how you like. Wristbands like these are a further erosion of that concept, as some festivals make a run to the bottom in the current depressed market - with that mainstreaming further undermining the possible popularity into the future.

It might be said that 1984 was the height of that concept of freedom within the festival scene, before massive police action was taken to shut down the Stonehenge Free Festivals (using extraordinary violence but resulting in almost no convictions). Fast-forward nearly thirty years and it's Orwell's 'Big Brother' vision of 1984 which is coming to a festival near you soon - unless you choose to do something about it.

Some people might say "if you've done nothing wrong then you've nothing to fear", but some of us say back "if there's nothing in it for me why should I do it?"

If you wish to be one of the first to live out Orwell's nightmare, see the next paragraph for Wakestock ticket information.

A weekend camping ticket is priced at £125, a weekend ticket without camping will be priced at £100 and a quiet camping option is also available priced at £130, alongside advance car parking at £10. Thursday night pre party tickets are priced at £10, a campervan pass £50, and a charge and store (locker) ticket £14.

To buy tickets with Ticketline click here.

To buy tickets with Seetickets, click here.

Latest Updates

festival home page
last updated: Mon 5th Dec 2016
Wakestock 2014
festival details
last updated: Thu 8th May 2014
Wakestock 2014
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Thu 8th May 2014
Chloe Howl live
video of the day
last updated: Tue 15th Apr 2014