When the news first broke that Ticketmaster was testing out facial recognition software to gain entry into festivals, artists like Gramatik, The Glitch Mob, and Tom Morello were some of the first opponents of the move. An organization known as Fight For The Future immediately launched a campaign called Ban Facial Recognition.
While the idea seems cool in a dystopian movie plot or a Big Brother-type sense, the reality of facial recognition raises some serious ethical concerns around propagating a surveillance society. The technology could easily store personal information without permission and set a precedent for live music conglomerates to use facial recognition for their own corporate benefits, such as targeted advertising and profiteering.
After artists began expressing their condemnation over facial recognition technology, large-scale festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Austin City Limits, Coachella, and EDC came out against the proposed practice not long after. Now more than 40 festivals, including Paradiso, Lost Lands, Lightning in a Bottle, Sonic Bloom, and all events under the Insomniac Events umbrella, have also joined the movement promising to ban the ticketing measure at their events.
Find the full list of festivals and their stance on this technology here. While you’re at it, sign the petition if you feel so inclined.