Ticket Master, the ticketing company invested in all festivals within the United States, made a statement at the beginning of 2019 introducing the new technology of “facial recognition”. This announcement left me searching for answers to the endless questions racing through my mind. I did what any thumb-scrolling phone investigator would… typed it in to Google and dove into the top search result.
A webpage by the name of, www.banfacialrecognition.com listed itself as the most searched option. The website conveyed the biggest concern amongst the people is the invasion of privacy. While this is disturbing on many levels, the government using facial recognition to identify people for simply enjoying themselves is the tipping point. This new wave of technology has led to a state of panic for both musicians and fans alike, and creating a dialogue for the “Big Brother” conversation.
Sure, we like the idea of preventing criminals from attending venues and festivals but monitoring petty crimes such as drug use and underage drinking crosses the line for music festival privacy. Many popular music artists and festivals are using their voices to stand up against the idea. Social media is truly used for good in cases like this, serving as the best way to get the word out. Artists like Tom Morello and ATMOSPHERE went straight to Twitter after learning about the release of the new technology.
The website also lists the festivals not using facial recognition this upcoming year, along with a summary of their commitment. It describes their opinion as, “Festivals, venues, and promoters must take a stand and refuse to use this invasive and racially biased technology, which puts music fans at risk of being unjustly detained, harassed, judged, or even deported”. This attitude toward the petition only shows how concert goers feel toward their overall experience. Concerts have always been a place of trust and acceptance. Adding more security seems to be a opinion many feel bias toward. How do you feel about it?