by Valentine Baldassari
Ever bought an overpriced beer at a festival and wondered how much of the profits went to artists? Now you can find out.
French electronic music festival Les Siestes Électroniques is testing out blockchain technology that will make transaction information public. The blockchain is a decentralised public ledger that records transactions across a network of computers so that this record is secure and cannot be modified afterwards.
Visitors to Les Siestes Électroniques will be able to put money in a digital wallet through an application called “Blockchain My Art” or a smart bracelet. For the festival organisers, this new system allows audience members to get involved in the running of the event rather than see themselves simply as consumers.
“The real time ledger alters the experience of the person who has consumed something at the festival,” explains Jeanne-Sophie Fort, Director of Communications at Les Siestes Électroniques.
“They see the effect of their payment on the overall finances of the festival and feel immediately involved in the organisation’s economy.”
She believes that the immediacy makes it more effective than publishing the organisation’s accounts, because few people actually look at such documents after attending an event.
“Blockchain My Art” is still in its beta phase, ready to be tested at Les Siestes Électroniques in Toulouse from 27 June to 1 July. Festival-goers don’t have to adopt the technology right away, as staff will add cash and card payments to the blockchain manually.
In the long run, the organisers hope the system could be used at any cultural event. They are working with like-minded festivals such as SeaNaps, which tried out a similar blockchain application in September 2017.
“SeaNaps was the first festival to make use of the blockchain and they are the ones that made us want to look at this technology more in depth,” says Jeanne-Sophie Fort. “We brought together several festivals that were willing to invest time and money to create partnerships, aiming to find a solution that works for all types of events.”
Featured Image by Jean-Jacques Ader