The Evolution of the Wristband
From the smoke covered days of hillside rocking at Woodstock to the flashing lights and teeny bopper screams that engulf Justin Bieber, concert and festival organisers have been behind the scenes, ensuring all safety and entertainment aspects are covered with each event. One vital component is the venue access and subsequent regulation of bonafide concertgoers as opposed to the chancers. There have been experiments over the years as to what the best method of control is but the reality is there is only one choice, the modern wristband. However, it took many years for the solution to be found.
1. Simpler Times
In those early, trusting days, concertgoers would pay the entrance fee and enter the venue without any further need for verification. Unfortunately, there are always those out there looking for a free gig, so perimeters would be breached, numbers would increase, but the organisers would lose out. They were still a long way from the discovery of the modern wristband.
So every paying customer was issued with a ticket, just one ticket, that they would have to keep on them at all times. However, a group of friends got together, gave their ticket stubs to the nominated hero who exited the premises and distributed the stubs among the outsiders, guaranteeing them free entry and an afternoon of musical entertainment.
So – still years away from the wristband discovery – event organisers hit the stationery shops and got stuck into the adhesive aisle where they found the bright, multi-coloured stickers which they believed to be the answer. Music lovers flocked to the next few concerts where they were adorned with luminous green, pink or orange dots on entering the gates. Things went well. Until the same group of underfunded music lovers found the stationery store aisle and bought a selection of stickers. Perimeters were once again breached, and organisers had to sit down and reassess the situation.
On a second visit to the stationery store, a new aisle was discovered. Unfortunately, this aisle did not contain wristbands. Instead there was a wide array of stamps, varying in shape and design, with multi-coloured inks to accompany them. A new solution had been found. There were just so many options to choose from, they could even be custom made, so emulating them would be nearly impossible. Sadly, it didn’t take long for the gap in the system to be found. By simply exiting the venue, friends could lick the stamp and pass it on to their poorer friends and access was unlawfully gained once again.
5. UV Stamps
Taking it one step further, organisers started getting quite technical, ordering the latest UV ink in bulk, along with UV detectors. This was definitely a step in the right direction as the ink was not easily transferrable. Unfortunately, with enough partying and sweating, ink does tend to run so even the legitimate concertgoers were losing the mark and a better system needed to be found.
By this stage, organisers were getting close to the perfect system – the modern wristband – they just hadn’t quite found the perfect material. Paper wristbands were more permanent than ink and difficult to swap, but not impossible. They were also somewhat flimsy and could tear off unintentionally. Success was just within reach.
7. Modern Wristbands
And then it happened. Nobody knows the true origins but rumour has it that one chosen event organiser had to spend time in hospital, probably for stress-related issues. When she awoke, she found the answer. The Tyvek medical wristband, worn by all inpatients, would prove to be the perfect venue access control. The basic medical wristband was further developed using various materials. In addition to Tyvek, vinyl and fabric were also experimented with and found to be strong enough to withstand hours of partying; bright enough to make identification easy; specially designed to prevent transference between concertgoers and so fantastically attractive that they would become collector’s pieces. The perfect solution had been found.
These days choosing between Tyvek, Fabric or Vinyl Wristbands can be a tricky decision. For more information on choosing which wristband is best suited to your event, have a read through our useful Wristband Buying Guide.
For fast, reliable and quality event wristbands in Johannesburg, tyvek wristbands, silicone wristbands, access control wristbands and more contact IDCBand today. IDCBand is South Africa’s leading event wristband supplier and supplies wristbands and other security and promotional items for just about every event and function.