Red Rocks rejects biometrics for event entry

A push to get Red Rocks Amphitheater to reject the use of biometrics for event entry proved successful after months-long mobilization by artists, activists and human rights organizations. The event venue located in Colorado announced it will abandon palm scanning for event entry and will ban all biometric surveillance at its events.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Jeff Rosenstock were among the 300 artists that signed the campaign open letter, calling out the human rights and privacy concerns associated with Amazon’s palm scanning, along with many leading human rights organizations, according to a press release issued by Fight for the Future.

“Red Rocks’ decision to abandon Amazon palm scanning puts the venue on the right side of history, as a defender of human rights and the privacy of music fans,” Leila Nashashibi, a campaigner at Fight for the Future, said.

Campaigners are now “doubling down on calls for AXS, AEG Worldwide, and all entertainment companies and venues to reject biometric technology once and for all,” according to the press release.

Other venues should similarly listen to the hundreds of artists, organizations, and fans who don’t see this technology as “convenient” but recognize it as a tool of corporate surveillance and super-charged state violence,” Nashashibi said. “As we speak, AXS is trying to bring palm scanning to a number of new venues—including Mission Ballroom in Denver—making our fight to keep events free of biometric data collection as urgent as ever.”

The open letter included Amazon’s history of “collaboration with law enforcement” and said that biometric data collection from palm screening could track and target individuals such as political activists, people of color, and other marginalized groups.

While Red Rocks’ victory has campaigners feeling victorious, the real push is to reject tools that collect biometrics at all venues and live events, according to the open letter.

“This victory at Red Rocks demonstrates what’s possible when we take action together, and we invite artists, organizations, and fans everywhere to join the ongoing effort to ban these tools by adding their names to the open letter at,” Nashashibi said.


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