Over 40 Music Festivals Pledge to Ban Facial Recognition

The music business is always looking for ways to enhance fans’ experiences. However, one of the hot topics of technological advancements that fans are not on board with is facial recognition software. Some venues have already been implementing facial recognition software, mostly for security aspects. But with many systems storing the information and using it for ad targeting, consumers aren’t on board with its use. Recently with the help of the activist group Fight for the Future, over 40 music festivals have agreed to ban facial recognition. Some of the largest and most notable music festivals include Coachella, Bonnaroo, Burning Man and Life is Beautiful.

Fight for the Future brought attention to the rising concern of facial recognition through social media pressure and grass-root activism. The reason this problem has come to the forefront now more than ever is due to companies investing in facial identification companies.

Last year the company Blink Identity raised $1.5 million to develop an instant facial recognition system. Blink Identity’s focus for this system is the live music industry. In the Blink Identity press release, Live Nation was among those named in contributing money. Live Nation is the parent company of the ticket-selling company Ticketmaster.

With public opinion being largely against the use of this tech, Ticketmaster wanted to clear the air about the issue. In September of this year, a spokesperson for Live Nation sent this statement to www.digitalmusicnews.com:

“Ticketmaster is always exploring new ways to enhance the fan experience, and while we do not currently have plans to deploy facial recognition technology at our ‘clients’ venues, rest assured, any future consideration would be strictly opt-in, always giving fans the right to choose.”

Undoubtedly, more festivals and venues will need to pick a side and decide whether they will ban facial recognition or not.