WRISTBAND AXS: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which kicks off later this month, is one of many festivals serviced by Axs. (Getty Images).

Ticketing platform Axs has acquired a majority stake in WRSTBND, a leading provider in access control, credentialing and point of sale solutions for live events and venues.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Axs is owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group.

WRSTBND founder and CEO Conway Solomon says the deal sees WRSTBND gain the support of the AEG-owned ticketing platform while allowing his company to grow and operate independently.

“WRSTBND is staying as a separate entity as a brand of our own, and we’re going to continue to run it, grow it, and we’ll have all the support and resources of AXS behind the scenes,” said Conway, who formed the company in 2019 with partners including chief technology officer Jonathan Foucheaux.

Solomon says WRSTBND was not looking to sell, but was approached by AXS with a compelling offer that makes sense for both sides.

The deal sees the New Orleans-based firm effectively replacing AXS’s in-house access control and RFID system previously being used at the company’s festival clients, which WRSTBND will begin servicing in 2025.

Solomon says WRSTBND was used at about 160 events last year, with more than half being music festivals and another 30% taking place at sporting events. WRSTBND’s sports operations include handling credentialing for Major League Soccer and NFL events including the Super Bowl, NFL Draft and other events, easily totaling hundreds of thousands of credentials.

While WRSTBND will gain festival clients through the dozens of festivals produced by AEG Presents and Goldenvoice, including Coachella and Stagecoach in Indio, California; New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and many others, Solomon says the potential goes beyond.

“Axs doesn’t just serve the AEG festivals and venues,” Solomon said. “Getting to be out there together, marketing to new clients and businesses we can bring in to together is super exciting.”

One example is the United States Golf Association, where Solomon and WRSTBND first began working with Axs and which led to further discussions.

Solomon says festival wristband access control is considered the company’s bread and butter and best-known service, and he sees room for growth in specialized POS, credentialing and access control, such as frictionless upgrades and bundling options where fans can purchase amenities on one platform rather than having to go back to the box office or seek further assistance.

“We have found a partner that has the same vision and frankly has a far greater reach,” he said, noting international festivals in particular.

Solomon attended Coachella last weekend for a hands-on look at operations and WRSTBND may work some smaller festivals this year toward ramping up for the 2025 rollout.

“The world of credentials, point of sale, all the stuff that we do from sponsorships, data activations and other additional services, that’s exciting, because we’re going to have a lot of that to add on to these festivals,” Solomon said. “We’ll be growing a substantial amount, not just to support them, but to keep growing our own customers. This isn’t a wrap-up or merger.”

“The longer term is the venues,” he said. “There’s a lot to accomplish and provide value within the festivals, but venues are very much part of the vision.”