Gyllene Tider

Live Nation introduces more diversity to the front rows

There is news for front row people at concerts. It’s all getting easier and fairer this summer. GT is one of the first bands to take advantage of this.

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There has been talks and discussions for years and this topic had the potential to discourage many people to go and see live shows with stages in parks or on soccer fields: Hardcore fans who wait in front of the venue for hours just to be the first in front of the stage. The issue is that when you watch multiple shows of the same tour, you always find the same faces in the front row. This leads to a number of problems; families with kids or even casual fans of the artist rarely have the chance to see their idol up close because they just cannot come closer than so many meters to the stage. The press photographers complained that wherever they shoot pictures with the audience, the people all look the same, no matter if you’re in a huge stadium or in a town park. Readers of newspapers regularily call in and blame the editors that they never actually were to that concert they wrote about. And lastly, the artists themselves don’t feel good about it because there is the risk that casual concert-goers will lack fun and won’t buy tickets anymore.

So Live Nation, Sweden’s biggest tour booking company, along with the Luleå University of Technology are testing a new procedure this summer that is meant to solve all these problems. Under the slogan “En magisk kväll med din magiska hatt” (A Magic Night with Your Magic Hat) they have developed a face recognition system which scans the faces of the first few rows at each concert and saves them in a database (GDPR safe of course). According to project manager Andreas Kvarnström from Luleå UT, the cameras will scan an area of approximately 5 meters into the audience and 30 m wide, the so-called pink zone. This is important information for the next gigs as you will see.

Kvarnström: “The next day, in the first 30 minutes of the venue gates being open for the audience, we activate our face recognition system again. During the entrance procedure, when the concert tickets are read, we also scan faces. If our system signals that this person had been in the pink zone the night before, we kindly ask the person to step aside and wait until the pink zone is crowded up. After that they may proceed and find a spot in the crowd they like. We think this is fair towards everybody and Live Nation even provides a workaround for those who really craves to be in the front row.

The solution Live Nation promotes is the above mentioned Magic Hat. You can buy your Magic Hat at the merchandise stand right next to the entrance. It allows you to jump the waiting procedure and proceed to the stage immediately even though the system has told you to stay put. Each gig will have its individual Magic Hat color so you cannot use your hat twice, and you can only buy the Magic Hat the same night the concert takes place. If you wear the Magic Hat during the concert, the cameras will skip your face this time and you will be able to be in the front row not only the same night but also the next night as you won’t be stored in the database. From Live Nation’s press release: “The Magic Hat gives you invisibility, just like in fairy tales – it’s magic!”
Live Nation: “The Magic Hat will come in individual styles, each night will feature a unique color and the band logo. You will have a rare collectors item at the end, a wonderful memory to a wonderful evening with happy people. Prices will vary depending on the artist but they will be around 300 to 500 SEK each.”

This may also mean the end to the infamous numbering systems introduced by fans waiting outside the venues where you get your individual waiting line number written on your hand by another fan with a pen. They will render useless with the new system.

Gyllene Tider’s Hux Flux tour 2023 will be among the first ones where the Magic Hat system will be tested this summer. If all goes according to plan, it will be expanded to other countries as well.

We think that there will only be winners here. Normal people will have the chance to come closer to the stage again. Each night will see fresh faces in the front rows and hardcore fans have another item to collect and swap. What’s your opionion? Let us know in the comments!

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  ★ Publishing date:

April 1st, 2023

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This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

April Fools Day, TDR:Gyllene Tider, TDR:Live, TDR:Misc.

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