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Download Festival to go cashless

By | Published on Friday 8 May 2015


Live Nation’s Download Festival is going cashless, having revealed plans to exclusively used RFID-chipped wristbands for taking payments for food, drinks and merch on site this year.

RFID technology has been doing the rounds in the festival space for a while now, though hasn’t been adopted as quickly as some expected it would be, especially not as the sole payment method on site.

The RFID chip in the festival-goer’s wristband can be charged up with cash online, and then used at bars and stalls by tapping your wrist on a little device in a way that often looks like your banging your fists in rage.

The logic is that it saves festival-goers from having to carry cash and debit/credit cards, which has security benefits, and it should speed things up at the counter as people won’t have to exchange money or type in pin numbers. It can also make it easier to stop under-18s from buying booze, in that the chip can know their age, though where that is the case I’m sure the kids have already figured out some kind of work-around.

Download Festival’s cashless service will be powered by German firm YouChip, with the chipped wristbands called Dog Tags to make them feel a bit more on brand. It remains to be seen how festival-goers react to being forced to go the cashless route.