“I don’t want Big Brother at my shows”
The campaign was launched by US-based digital rights group Fight for the Future on Tuesday (September 10). It calls on fans, artists, festivals and venues to oppose the use of facial recognition technology in live music settings.
The advocacy effort comes after news that Ticketmaster has invested in facial recognition tech, “which puts undocumented fans, fans of colour, trans fans and fans with criminal records at risk of being unjustly detained, harassed or judged,” the campaign’s website reads. Fight for the Future also notes that “even smaller bars and venues have been experimenting with” facial recognition.
Other musicians and bands that have joined Fight for the Future’s campaign against facial recognition surveillance are Thievery Corporation, Anti-Flag, Gramatik, The Glitch Mob, Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem, Laura Stevenson, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and B Dolan. Summer Meltdown, a music festival in Darrington, Washington, has also committed to not using facial recognition technology.
Many of the above acts have taken to social media to spread the word about the campaign. See some of their statements below:
Last year, it was reported that Live Nation Entertainment – the parent company of Ticketmaster – was partnering with a company called Blink Identity. The Austin, Texas-based startup “has cutting-edge facial recognition technology, enabling you to associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show,” Live Nation’s president/CEO Michael Rapino told investors at the time.