Tickets for the first music festival set to be powered by blockchain technology are now on sale. Scheduled for this fall, the Our Music Festival is launching the OMF token at the University of California, Berkeley’s William Randolph Hearst Greek Theater. The inaugural event hopes to appeal to the San Francisco Bay Area’s technology crowd and will be the first musical entertainment experience to process booking fees on a live blockchain application — in this case, the ethereum network, an alternative version of the bitcoin blockchain.
Pre-sale tickets start at $25 and can be purchased as standard digital passes directly from crypto.ourmusicfestival.com and ourmusicfestival.com using U.S. dollars and the cryptocurrencies bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin. General tickets are being released tomorrow for $29 and will also give access to the one-day line-up. Electronic dance musicians Zedd, 3LAU and Matt + Kim, hip-hop icon Big Sean and pop singer Charlotte Lawrence are due to perform on-stage from 5 P.M. to 11 P.M. on October 20.
One of the headlining artists, 3LAU, whose real name is Justin Blau, also happens to be spearheading the event. The project has been a year in the making and represents a collective effort to fix the music industry with like-minded professional veterans who have worked at some of Hollywood and the Internet’s biggest talent agencies and music groups — Creative Artists Agency, Paradigm Talent Agency, Spotify, Billboard, Prime Social Group, CID Entertainment and SINGULAR DTV, to name a few.
Our Music Festival, home to a decentralized, end-to-end, direct-to-consumer music ticketing pipeline, plans to stop ticketing vendors from scamming innocent buyers, artificially driving up prices, and squeezing profits thin for musicians and agents — problems commonly seen with Craigslist merchants and street scalpers that have long troubled the team behind the event. By making supply-and-demand economics fully transparent and ticket buyer identities digitally verifiable with blockchain technology, Our Music Festival can skip over the middlemen and streamline the music market for good, Blau told CoinDesk in an interview.
Even with ticket sellers that calculate pricing analytics — think StubHub and TicketMaster — many ticketing options offered through them are manipulated or fraudulent anyway, obfuscating the actual mathematics. Blau explained that without these bottlenecks avoidable only in a blockchain system, Our Music Festival fans can freely curate events and purchase tickets that are less expensive than standard fare price tags, which typically reach hundred dollar markups and do not allow for customization options.
Event attendees can also be encouraged to stay loyal to the music-going experience. Blau added that the tokenized ecosystem plans to let customers instantly exchange upgrades, merchandise, concessions and rewards via an all-in-one community portal that will be integrated into the booking platform with a recurring incentive structure, which he says enforces a sense of social belonging.
No crypto novice
The 27-year-old American music producer shot to fame in the early and mid-2010s for collaborating with EDM notables Dash Berlin, Alesso, Afrojack, R3hab and The Chainsmokers, and for remixing hit songs from pop sensations Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Adele, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. As a Washington University of St. Louis finance student, Blau gave up a career on Wall Street to create dance music around the same time the Winklevoss twins introduced him to bitcoin.
Since then, in between gigs touring the Electric Daisy and Electric Zoo carnivals and debuting at the Hakkasan, Rehab and Drai’s nightclubs on the popular music festival and Las Vegas residency circuits, Blau has frequently posted about cryptocurrencies on social media. Just a few days ago, he uploaded the first page of Satoshi Nakomoto’s bitcoin white paper onto his Instagram Story.
Like Paris Hilton, Scott Disick, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and, as of Tuesday, Kim Kardashian, Blau is a member of a growing celebrity club that shares an interest in alternative financial systems — a recent surge of star power that has led many to believe mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency payments is on the horizon. Others have been wary.
In an email, Trey Ditto, a representative for the EDM DJ, anticipating skepticism towards the trend of the rich and famous, wrote that Blau is genuinely passionate and well-versed about virtual currencies:
“Justin has put a lot of his music on hold to focus on this project…the truth is he spent the past 18 months diving into all aspects of blockchain to immerse himself in the industry. So, he’s not just some DJ trying to use his fame to get into crypto and make some money.”
Correction: Our Music Festival was initially scheduled to take place at the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco. This information has been updated to reflect the change in venue.
Image via 3lau Facebook