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Mobile Guru: Ticket to ride

Concert tickets can be a hassle to collect and unbearable to lose. Why not get the next one sent to your mobile phone instead.

Mobile Guru
Concert tickets can be a hassle to collect and unbearable to lose. Why not get the next one sent to your mobile phone instead.

With summer on its way, it'll soon be music festival season in Australia. While we're still up in arms about the cancellation of Livid, thankfully there's Big Day Out, Homebake, and a plethora of big name acts -- c'mon Scissor Sisters, announce that Aussie tour already -- due to hit our shores for what's sure to be a wild spell of parties and gigs.

The days leading up to any concert can be filled with anticipation: what to wear, deciding what acts to catch, considering how you're possibly going to afford to eat after buying that ticket, etc. But the most frustrating part is often getting the ticket. It can be a nightmare to get your hands on a ticket to an in-demand concert, as can finding time out of your busy schedule to get down to the booking agency to collect said coveted ticket. What can be worse is stressing out just an hour before the concert when you can't find that little piece of paper that is destined to secure your night of entertainment.

This is the 21st century and no longer shall we stand for such archaic methods of issuing tickets.

Recently, punters going to see Grinspoon at The Metro Theatre in Sydney signed up in droves to get a Mobi-ticket rather than receive a standard paper ticket. Aura Digital Communications worked in conjunction with the venue to allowing customers have their ticket send directly to your mobile phone, in the form of an SMS message.

The SMS ticketing system allows concert-goers to receive venue information alongside a barcode, in the form of a picture message, which is scanned by a ticket attendant for entry at the door. So, instead of waiting to receive your ticket in the mail or having to make the trek to the venue for collection, the electronic ticket is sent in a matter of minutes. It is reported that 52% of people booking tickets chose the newfangled method -- an amount possibly fuelled by the prospect of cheaper drinks that sweetened the deal.

Mobi-tickets have also been used to gain entry into Jet and Gomez concerts and upcoming gigs that will use the system include SUM41, Machine Gun Fellatio, Beautiful Girls as well as a series of national dance parties leading up to summer.

In other mobile phone ticketing developments, budget airline Jetstar is offering an SMS flight booking service with the help of Optus and a messaging system by wireless solutions provider Start Corporation. Users of the service, dubbed JetSMS register their details online, then send an SMS message to 0411 JETSTAR (0411 538 767) with details of the flight they'd like to book, and receive confirmation of a successful purchase in as little as three sent messages. Qantas is also trialling a system in which passengers can use barcodes sent via SMS as a virtual boarding pass.

What do you think? Would you trust your phone with your tickets or are you just as likely to lose your handset? What else would you like to use a mobile phone ticket for? Talk back to me below.