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 its own virtual currency — the OMF token — at the University of California, Berkeley's William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre. The inaugural event will be the first musical entertainment experience to process booking fees on a live blockchain application — the ethereum network — and hopes to appeal to the San Francisco Bay Area's tech crowd.
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 cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin). General tickets are being released tomorrow starting at $29.
The one-day line-up, which has been announced on the festival's website, will feature electronic dance musicians Zedd, 3LAU, and Matt + Kim, hip-hop icon Big Sean, and pop singer Charlotte Lawrence from 5 P.M. to 11 P.M. on October 20.
Headlining artist 3LAU, whose real name is Justin Blau, is organizing the festival with the help of music and cryptocurrency veterans from Creative Artists Agency, Paradigm Talent Agency, Spotify, Billboard, Prime Social Group, CID Entertainment and SINGULAR DTV.
In an interview with CoinDesk, Blau said he has been working on the project since August of last year in search of a cryptocurrency use case that would streamline the music market and cut out industry middlemen. Throughout his music career, Blau has seen street scalpers, Craigslist and ticketing vendors artificially drive up prices for music event attendees, scam innocent buyers, and squeeze out profits from musicians and agents.
Our Music Festival envisions a decentralized, end-to-end, direct-to-consumer music ticketing pipeline that makes supply and demand economics fully transparent and ticket users digitally verifiable to optimize pricing on all sides and avoid these headaches, features which Blau claims are not supportable without blockchain technology.
Though StubHub and TicketMaster calculate pricing analytics, many traditional ticket options are manipulated or fraudulent, obfuscating the actual mathematics. Without these bottlenecks, Our Music Festival customers will be able to curate events and tickets will be inexpensive relative to standard-fare price tags that typically reach hundred dollar markups, he says.
Event attendees will also be encouraged to stay loyal to the music-going experience. Blau added that ticket holders will be buying into a tokenized ecosystem where upgrades, merchandise, concessions, and rewards can be digitally exchanged through an all-in-one community portal integrated into the blockchain booking platform.
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, then later remixing hit songs from pop sensations Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Adele, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.
In between gigs touring the Electric Daisy Carnival and debuting at the Hakkasan, Rehab, and Drai's nightclubs on the popular music festival and Las Vegas residency circuits, he has 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. The recent surge of star power has led many to believe that mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency payments is on the horizon, but others remain skeptical.
In an email, Trey Ditto, a representative for the EDM DJ, 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