Coachella, FTX US to Auction Lifetime Festival Passes as NFTs on Solana

In brief

The annual Coachella concert festival will auction off lifetime passes as Solana NFTs.
Coachella will sell the passes and other NFTs in partnership with FTX US.

NFTs could be an important piece of technology for the future of both the music industry and event ticketing—and now here’s a high-profile project that combines both.

Today, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival announced that it will release NFTs together with FTX US, including lifetime passes to the annual concert festival. The Solana-based NFTs and access passes will launch this Friday, February 4.

Coachella will auction 10 Key NFTs that serve as lifetime passes to the annual music festival in Indio, California, as well as access to all Coachella virtual events. The NFTs—which are tradeable—will also include special perks for the 2022 festival, including benefits like front row access, dinner made by a celebrity chef, or on-stage access at the Sahara Tent.

Coachella’s lifetime pass NFT Keys. Image: Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Additionally, the festival will release two other NFT collections. One will be limited to 1,000 pieces at $180 apiece and can be redeemed for a physical photo book from the festival, while another NFT collection will be purely digital and span 10,000 pieces at $60 each.

The NFTs will be sold both through Coachella’s own NFT portal and the FTX NFTs marketplace. Coachella will donate a portion of proceeds across a trio of organizations: Find Food Bank, Lideres Campesinas, and GiveDirectly.

An NFT is a blockchain-backed deed of ownership for a digital item, and can represent artwork, video files, collectibles, and more. It can also have utility, such as an NFT that provides access to gated online communities and exclusive live events—as in the case of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a popular profile picture project favored by celebrities.

Sam Schoonover, Coachella’s Innovation Lead, told Decrypt that the immutable ledger of a blockchain is an ideal way to prove ownership and gate access to physical events.

“Since each NFT is a permanent record verified on a blockchain, they have the unique capability to securely guarantee their owner permanent rights to [in real life] experiences too,” he said. “We think lifetime access to Coachella is a perfect use case for NFTs. These Coachella Keys are digital items that provide real value to their owners over the long term.”

While Ethereum is currently the leading platform for NFT collectibles, Solana has emerged as a rising alternative due to speedier transactions, lower fees, and lesser environmental impact. Schoonover cited the last two as key reasons that Coachella chose Solana, particularly for buyers who may be interacting with NFTs for the very first time.

“We needed to mint our NFTs on a platform that’s environmentally sustainable, inexpensive, and doesn’t require high transaction fees to move tokens or assets around in order to make a purchase,” he said.

Coachella 2022 will take place from April 15-17 and 22-24, and will be headlined by Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Kanye West. Additional artists include Lil Baby, Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Run the Jewels.

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