The importance of cashless systems at electronic dance music festivals
Music festivals are a tried and tested tradition. From the early days of Woodstock and Glastonbury, through to the modern Coachella and Tomorrowland experiences, they have long been heralded as a perfect summer activity, but previously it was all too easy to lose personal belongings and money.
In the beginning, tickets were purchased from the entrance to a venue, or at ticket stalls. Both of these methods required queueing for significant lengths of time. But, with the advent of modern technology, the internet and payment processors, these have swiftly been replaced.
PayPal is a leading global payment processor and it trialed its product in conjunction with radio-frequency identification (RFID) bracelet technology to see what a cashless festival would look like. Interestingly, RFID Journal reported on how the vendors at Low Festival who took cashless payments reported a 20% increase in sales as a direct result of the experiment.
In using technology that removes the need for cash, events can drastically decrease the time people spend waiting in line for drinks and meals, while also minimizing their risk of losing money. It is vastly easier to lose cash than a bracelet worn on the wrist. Furthermore, attendees can designate a specified amount to load onto the device and so, at worst, only risk losing what it is on the bracelet.
Payment processors, such as PayPal, are used in many industries worldwide. The iGaming sector is one that has thrived with the emergence of such technology. For example, now you can try your luck at various online casino games using PayPal as a deposit method. Moreover, this isn’t the only sector to benefit from modernizing its payment methods, as the health and fitness industry has also become more accessible since accepting membership payments via PayPal.
The US was among the earliest adopters of RFID technology at music festivals and this led to an increase in staff efficiency, as per IDC Band. In using the technology, those working at festivals were more easily able to identify the busiest areas of the site and direct more people to them. Likewise, the reduction in administration work, such as greater processing speeds, meant less staff were required overall and wage bills could be cut to save money. Thus, it could be spent elsewhere, such as hiring more artists to perform or sourcing more vendors.
While across the border, Canadian festivals too have been a leading adopter of cashless payments, highlighting just how crucial it will be to the future of live music events. Digital Dreams, one of the country’s largest electronic music festivals, utilized RFID bracelets which in turn sped up entrance queues and reduced the number of fake tickets being sold.
As many explorations have shown, a cashless system is an ideal match for music festivals. The event itself benefits from enhanced efficiency while the attendees do not risk losing cash. Both parties are also reassured that ticket fraud is on the decline. Given the world appears to be creeping ever towards a cashless society, it would seem so too is the future of the music festival industry, and that would be for the better.
Image Credit: Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG, taken from Concept