The SeaNaps Experiment

In 2017, SeaNaps created its own model of payment, based on fair trade and social economy principles. It relies on the rising technology called “Blockchain”, which was originally designed in order to support the crypted currency Bitcoin and now offers lots of possibilities, among other things in terms of:

– Transparency of payments
– Distribution of risks and trust
– Protection and certification of Identity and intellectual property
– Creation of intelligent contracts for wealth re-partition among different contributors to a same project

But let’s talk about our case. We used it proceeding the following way:

– Each artist/group had a fixed minimum payment agreed and secured, in euro and independently from the success of the festival.

– All payments made during the time of the festival were being executed “contact-less” thanks to RFID bracelets given to festival goers, which they flashed on our seller’s terminals in order to charge or uncharge them with a digital transitory currency, called the “Lip”.

– The festival being free-entrance, those payments concerned the selling of gastronomy (food and drinks), and diverse products (vinyls, merchandising, goodies, etc.) on the festival’s location.

– For all these transactions, and before the festival, we established an official distribution key taking in account all partners involved in the production of the event (the festival, the gastronomy and products suppliers, the diverse service providers and, of course, the artists and groups performing).
Below, SeaNaps’ drinks redistribution rules, depending on the location and the day of their consumption:

– This distribution key, associated to a mechanism-code executing it automatically every time it is required, is similar to what we call a “smart-contract”. Every time a drink or a slice of food was being sold (via a festival-goer flashing his/her bracelet for the sum required), the money used to pay was automatically split (in the proportions decided before) to go in direction of the “wallets”, collecting their due share on this sum.

Each product bought in the festival’s hence virtually contained a “digital hat” for the artists (like those which usually get passed in cafés and bars after a concert, as a gesture of goodwill from the audience), but also for all contributors of the festival.

The whole process of establishment of the distribution key and its transparent execution were documented and followed as an economical, political and sociological experiment, which aims at finding new ways to enhance the artists’ influence and importance in the economy of a cultural event, and on the local economy hosting it.

The direct scope and impact of this action were obviously unpretentious, and did not revolutionize the daily situation of its partners in four days. But the symbolical and pedagogical experience for SeaNaps, its partners and its audience, were rich of lessons. All those redistribution keys were visible and consultable at the various physical selling points or on the festival’s website. It was also possible to follow, live, the evolutions of each account in absolute terms and not only in percentages on the downloadable mobile app. The possibility of donations was also encouraged, sending a higher stake to the accounts of artists, volunteers, and associations.