GOING MOBILE: chargeFUZE phone charging kiosks can be found at venues and festivals, including BottleRock Napa Valley. (Courtesy Live Nation)
CHARGEFUZE PARTNERSHIP TO GROW TO 300 VENUES, FESTIVALS
Live Nation has announced a multi-year deal and equity investment with mobile phone charging platform chargeFUZE, whose charging kiosks are now available at 30 festivals and 45 venues nationwide.
The rollout is set to fully scale to more than 300 Live Nation venues and festivals in the coming years. Details of the equity investment were not disclosed.
ChargeFUZE co-founder and president Ryan Levy says a wide-ranging partnership with Live Nation made sense as the service was already in the works at many the company’s properties.
“Prior to ever having any larger business implication conversations with Live Nation and their new Ventures team, we were having conversations with department heads,” Levy said. “There was an appetite for our utility and the innovation behind it in their portfolio.”
Anyone with a mobile phone can rent a portable charger to keep the data flowing and the cameras rolling. Users can either return the charger to a chargeFUZE kiosk at the event or keep the charger for a fee, about $40. Lost or unreturned chargers carry a $50 fee.
Charging rates vary, averaging $2 to $4 per half hour, with a full charge taking around 40 minutes.
The chargers are currently installed at Coca Cola Roxy in Atlanta, Irving Plaza in New York, The Wiltern in Los Angeles, and multiple Fillmore and House of Blues properties, as well Ohana Festival in Dana Point, California, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival Orlando, among other venues. Levy says installation and adoption at Live Nation venues and festivals ramped up swiftly after reaching the partnership this year.
Last August, chargeFUZE announced a deal to be ASM Global’s “official charging provider,” with the service in use at U.S Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
Apart from entertainment facilities, chargeFUZE kiosks can be found at universities, shopping centers and other public locations across the country
While some artists require attendees to put their phones away during their performance, the appetite for phones at public events has exploded on the consumer side, tied to social media and recording snippets of performances during concerts. Live Nation research shared with Pollstar shows 60% of eventgoers consider social media activity a major part of attending a live music event.
Forming chargeFUZE in 2018, Levy and partner Brandon Afari, co-founder and CEO of chargeFUZE, borrowed a page from popular rideshare services used for scooters and bikes and applied them to mobile phone chargers.
“We took a similar approach to QR code scans technology and applied that to portable chargers, where people can scan the code anywhere and rent a portable charger on the go,” Afari said. “The charger has built-in functionality for any device and they could drop it off at any station in the city, venue or festival.”
The chargeFUZE app helps users find kiosks to rent a charger, but an app download is not required to charge a phone.
Multiple charging cords are available, and Afari says one of the company’s reasons for rapid adoption is because the kiosks are largely self-sustaining, requiring regular power outlets for use in most cases.
A typical large venue may have two to four kiosk stations onsite, with 300 total kiosk stations expected once fully integrated into the Live Nation network.
Along with providing a necessary service at live events, chargeFUZE presents sponsorship opportunity as well, with brands offering free charging services as part of product activation at festivals.
ChargeFUZE is joins the ranks of Live Nation’s portfolio of equity partnerships, which includes Liquid Death, TURN, Everything Legendary, about-face, and Owen’s Craft Mixers.