Q & A: Bluesfest inflates pass price, implements new bracelet
CTV Ottawa's Michael O'Byrne interviewed Bluesfest executive Mark Monahan live during CTV News at Noon Wednesday. Viewers learned the price of a week-long festival pass will increase, the festival will aim to go cash free, and executives have hired an independent engineer to avoid last year's stage collapse debacle.
According to the Capital Tickets website, festival-goers will receive one Bluesband for the duration of the festival, no reserved seating, and full festival passports will be going up on April 28 to $375 each.
Bluesfest 2012 runs from July 4-15.
Michael: We're hearing the prices for a week long pass are going up from $190 – $300 dollars is that true?
Mark: Actually not exactly – we're in the midst of starting a pre-sale today and the pass you can get for 250$ -- which is about a 10 per cent increase over last year – but we're coming up with a new pass system and what we're finding is that most people want to go six or seven days. So you can get a six or seven day pass this year for basically the same price as a pass last year.
Michael: So will that $250 in the pre-sale...will that be going up if people buy it later to over $300?
Mark: It will be going up as of Saturday for sure.
Michael: As of Saturday – so that is a significant price hike over last year?
Mark: It is
Michael: And why is that?
Mark: One is just the size of the budget and just the way that we've decided to price it we're actually rewarding people by giving them a bigger discount the (more) number of days they buy.
Michael: Now let's talk about these high tech wristbands – how are they going to make things easier for people?
Mark: Well one is going to be ease of access. Last year especially opening night – first couple of nights -- we had some long line-ups to get into the park so we're going to a new RFID bracelet which you'll just scan on your way in so it'll be a lot easier to get into the park. And the other is that chip on your wristband can also be used to load cash and to buy goods and services while you're on site.
Michael: So, it should make everything a little faster..not only getting in but once you're inside, making all your purchases a little faster as well?
Mark: It will and this technology is now being used by some of the other major festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits ... so it is a proven technology.
Michael: Can't let you go without talking about stage safety – big problem last year with the wind. What's going to be done this year to make sure that doesn't happen again?
Mark: We've hired an independent engineer out of Toronto who specializes in outdoor structures and that person is going to be giving us sort of a stamp of approval on all the setup for the infrastructures in the park. And we've also contracted an independent weather service which will give us very accurate 24-hour weather updates and forecasts. So we should be right on top of what potential weather is coming in.
Michael: We're looking forward to Bluesfest – Mark Monahan nice to talk to you.
Mark: Thanks Michael