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The Future will be 100% Cashless Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Since 2015 numerous music festivals in the UK have been either partly or fully cashless, however, with the impact of COVID-19 and the emphasis on cashless payment in everyday life the music festival industry must prepare to go 100% cashless in 2021. How prepared are the diehard cash payment festivals for what will become the new normal for payments? 


Of the 250 major music festival that take place in the UK every year almost all have implemented cashless payments but not all are 100% cashless. Vendors still accept cash and many festival sites have ATM machines. With new restrictions coming in for 2021 now is the time to prepare to go 100% cashless.

The expectations of event goers is to have a cashless experience as long as this is clearly communicated by the event organisers there should be now surprises and customers can be fully prepared. As an organiser there should be a stipulation to all vendors that they must have the capability to accept cashless payments and that the organisers will not accept the tendering of cash for any sales. Vendors need to work closely with event organisers to ensure they are ready to work with the preferred technology. 

Technology Solutions.
The two main technologies being utilised at music festivals is NFC (Tap and pay, mobile wallets for example) and RFID wristbands. Most festivals seem to be leaning more towards RFID technology as it does not require a Wi-Fi signal, phone or bank card. RFID is also suitable in more remote locations because it doesn’t need Wi-Fi to allow payments so being in a festival field won’t be a problem.  Event goers would need to pre-register an account and preload some money onto the wristband.

Benefits of Going Cashless.
For the event goers they are going to experience shorter queues at vendors with faster transactions. In addition, having and RFID solutions means that event goers no longer have to be concerned with carrying cash, bank cards or their latest smartphone. The incidence of petty theft should all but disappear making for a happier and safer environment for all. The event organisers and vendors could well see an increase in overall spending too as people have a tendency to spend more (typically 25% more) using cashless when compared to the old school paper money. If data collection is implemented (within GDPR regulations) it is also possible to discover more about audience purchasing behaviour during the music festival and the insights will be invaluable to future vendors and sponsors. No doubt various government initiatives and revised health and safety regulations surrounding new restrictions relevant to Coronavirus infection prevention will encourage cashless payments. Music festival organisers are going to have no option but to implement cashless payment technology for 2021 events.

When using a live music event software management platform like FestivalPro users get all the functionality they need to implement and manage a music festival cashless programme. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has built in features specifically for RFID wristband technology making it easier to convert 100% to a cashless music festival.   

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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