It’s that time of year again, your favourite time of the year because the annual festival you have been dreaming of going to or couldn’t possibly imagine missing is here. Music festivals come with their own load of challenges that later turn into the best stories to tell. From the unimaginably long queues to the unspeakable bathrooms right down to that last beer you really shouldn’t have had. Worldwide we experience a similar atmosphere when going to any music festival. It is what makes them magical and essential.
But with the long list of things to remember, handling your cash really shouldn’t be one of them. If we can eliminate the essentials, like preparing our food, tent, clothes, alcohol, smokes or cash, we are finally given the opportunity to really enjoy the experience. Music festivals take us away from real life. Away from the responsibilities, errands, pressures, away from it all. Here, now, you are you and the music can feed your soul. Heck, we deserve it. To let go. To breath deep. To temporarily live in the reality we create. Paradise. Sounds great, but let’s bring it back to the problem: preparation. Someone seriously needs to fix this cash issue.
The last festival I was at I noticed a few things. 1. I wasn’t sure the cash I had on me was going to last me (assuming it wasn’t stolen or lost). 2. I wasn’t sure there were going to be reliable ATMs or online banking options to get more money God forbid I ran out. 3. What if my cash WAS stolen or lost? Then what? 4. Why on earth is there such a long line don’t you just grab your beer, pay and let me get mine? No beuno. I was really struck by these unnecessary worries when this was supposed to be the time to relax, let go, and ultimately, rock and roll.
The answer? Events should go cashless. Consider this, a cashless event quite simply means the worry and concern about physical cash is eliminated. No cash, no worries. Let’s look at my list once again.
1. My cash quite literally can never run out, because well… a) there is no physical cash to run out and b) if the balance on my cashless card or mobile device runs low, I can simply top it up right there at the festival. 2. No need for long lines at ATMs, worrying about them not working, or those sneaky bank charges. 3. My money can’t be lost or stolen, and if my mobile device or cashless card is lost or stolen, I can simply get a new card. In other words, my balance will always remain the same! In fact, some events are so ahead of the game that their use of RFID or NFC enabled wristbands make it impossible for thieves because “These wristbands can then be used to transact around the festival site. Since these wristbands are attached to your wrist, voided if cut and registered to your person” 4. No queues! Grab your beer, tap your card, party. With cash taken care of there is nothing stressful occupying your mind to stop you from the getaway you deserve.
This isn’t the plot line for a futuristic movie starring Will Smith, this is a reality. In fact, festivals all over the UK are already making the transition. Big events such as Lollapalooza and Outside Lands are already using e-payments, which makes you wonder why so many smaller festivals are dragging behind. According to UK Music’s Measuring Music report, the ‘Live Music’ industry segment saw an increase in the economy between 2012 and 2013, in addition, the report shows that most of the events are attended by visitors. Now wouldn’t it be cool to have an easy cross-border payment method to cater for the biggest segment of contributors to the country’s economy?
I can’t wait to see more events adopt the cashless systems so I can truly enjoy the music I love, amazing food and of course THOSE bathrooms.