How NFC is revolutionizing festivals

NFC contactless wristbands

Tap and Go: How Near Field Communication is Streamlining and Enhancing Festivals


Imagine dancing to your favourite bands. You also see hanging out with friends and enjoying the sun. Festivals are all about having a good time, but it’s a huge job to manage everything.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology has changed the game for festivals. With large crowds and high stakes, the NFC helps make everything run better. Let’s explore how festivals use NFC to enhance their awesomeness.

Easy Entry with NFC wristbands

Back in 1995, the Glastonbury Festival had a huge problem. Around 80,000 people sneaked in for free due to weak fencing. Now, NFC wristbands have fixed that issue. The wristbands show who’s got a ticket and who doesn’t. They help organizers track the crowd. They also track busy and quiet areas, making crowd control easier.

With NFC wristbands, losing tickets is a thing of the past. Also, the wristbands become cool keepsakes with the festival logo. They’re much better than old crumpled tickets.

Thanks to NFC festival organisers can now see exactly who has a ticket, and who doesn’t, as well as track the exact number of festival goers on site at any particular time. It’s done with NFC Wristbands which have been proven an ideal solution for festival organisers looking to tighten up their ticketing and crowd control procedures. NFC Wristbands also give organisers the potential to perform location monitoring showing those areas of a festival site that are very busy at any given time, and those which are more sparsely populated.

Cashless Payments

One of the coolest things about NFC at festivals is cashless payments. Instead of carrying cash or cards, you tap your wristband to pay for food, drinks, and merchandise. It’s super convenient and safer since you don’t need to carry your wallet around. In the same way that you can now pay for products over the counter with a swipe of your smartphone, at festivals, revellers are reaping the benefits of tapping their NFC Wristbands, instead of reaching for their wallets.

For organizers, it’s a win too. No more handling cash, a quick tap to pay. You can top up your wristband with money, and if you run out, visit a top-up station. Easy!

From both a convenience and security aspect, it makes sense. Festival-goers don’t need to take their wallet or purse out into the crowds, and can instead leave their valuables in a more secure location. Meanwhile, not having to search for the correct amount of change makes buying beverages, food and merchandise a whole lot easier.

Bar and catering staff no longer have to deal with cash, as everything is done via the wristband. Attendees typically top up their wristband with a desired amount of cash. All they need to do when they want to buy something is tap. If they use up all their funds, it just takes a quick trip to a top-up station to replenish the money on the NFC Wristband.

Boosting Sales and Marketing

NFC wristbands not only make spending easy, but also boost sales. Studies show that festivals using cashless systems see a big increase in revenue. For example, at the Isle of Wight Festival, 98% of attendees found NFC wristbands easier than cards. And, 100% wanted to use them again.

Festival organizers also get valuable data from NFC wristbands. They can see what people are buying. They use this to make better marketing and sales decisions.

Access Control

Access all areas?

Another challenge for the festival organiser is controlling the access which is granted to the various areas of the site – this goes for the revellers, as well as the festival workforce. NFC Wristbands can ensure that only the right people access the right areas. It could be access to the VIP areas for those festival goers with backstage privileges; access for on-site crew members to areas where machinery or vehicles are stored; or access to portacabins and office spaces for festival organisers – it can all be made so much easier by implementing NFC Wristbands.

Different NFC options

NFC technology isn’t only about wristbands. There are other cool options like NFC key fobs and jewelry. These can be handy for festival staff or attendees who prefer different styles. NFC cards are another option, making cashless payments quick and easy.

Extra Perks for Festival-Goers

NFC wristbands can also offer extra goodies. Imagine getting an exclusive live set download from your favourite band. You also get early access to tickets or a chance to win free tickets next year. And all with a simple tap of your wristband.

It’s a merchandiser’s and marketer’s dream. Cashless payment has other benefits too. They have made festival organisers worldwide take notice. Evidence suggests that NFC Wristbands can boost sales. After all, if you have money on your wristband, you would likely spend it all at the event. You would do this to save it from going to waste. Intellix, the media platform for the events sector, found that festival organizers can increase their revenue by up to 87%. They can do this by switching to a cashless payment solution. At the Isle of Wight Festival, a Mastercard study showed that festival goers loved a cashless payment system. This was while the festival was happening. It used wristbands. Almost all revellers agreed on the NFC Wristbands’ effectiveness. Some 96% said they were quicker than cards. And 98% said they were easier than paying with plastic. All 100 per cent of those quizzed said that they would like to use wristbands again at live events to make cashless payments. MasterCard published the study’s results. Hany Fam is the President of MasterCard UK & Ireland. He said: “The project was the first test of consumer acceptance of a ‘cashless’ world. This idea has been much talked about at festivals. We look forward to adding PayPass prepaid wristbands. They will let people use them for access and payments. We will expand their use to more festivals and events across the UK.” The Isle of Wight Festivals have gone cashless. Cashless festivals include , Vanfest,   Sziget , Open’er and Tommorowland  are examples.  Sales reps and others both expect the benefits of NFC Wristbands for cashless payment. There is plenty of valuable data to be had for marketing chiefs. That’s because festivals offer an opportunity to analyse consumer buying habits on a large scale. NFC Wristbands can provide many insights. These include the product preferences and buying patterns of festival goers. Once we collate and analyze this data, it helps us make smarter marketing and retail decisions in the future. 

In the world of NFC, there is no right way to carry the technology. That means, if NFC Wristbands are inconvenient for any reason, you have many alternative NFC Products. They could do the job just as well. NFC Keyfobs and cards are a great access control option. They can be a winning solution for festival staff who drive vehicles for their jobs. They can, of course, be fully branded with a festival logo, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. NFC Jewellery might be the best idea for those who wish to make their NFC Tag as subtle as possible. Jewellery embedded with Contactless technology is part of the wider ‘wearables’ market. It can give festival teams multi-factor authentication. It acts as an extra security layer and removes the need to memorise or store many passwords. Then there are NFC Cards, which can offer the edge over traditional credit and debit cards in a festival environment. That’s because they can be used by festival goers for cashless payments which are quicker than more traditional methods, while also allowing revellers to leave their valuables in a secure place, rather than bring them out into crowded areas. And don’t forget that there is pretty much no limit in terms of where you can embed NFC Tags; anything from posters to beer mats and simple stickers. So festival organisers have a world of possibilities at their fingertips, whether they are focused on marketing, sales or logistics. That ‘little bit extra’ Some of the best brands never stop ‘giving back’ to their customers, so why should festivals be any different? NFC products  are a great way for festival organisers to leave a little surprise in the hands of festival attendees.

Thanks to NFC technology, you could offer several enticing giveaways. How about the exclusive download of a live set recorded by a popular band at a previous festival? Or perhaps a link to a landing page which offers priority in a ticket ballot for the next event? You might even direct the wristband holder to a competition page which gives them the chance to win free tickets for next year’s occasion. It is all possible with the simple swipe of a smartphone. Finding order in chaos Festivals allow us to unwind in merry, exciting, and often chaotic environments. The event should let attendees get lost in an amazing atmosphere. The organizers need to be the exact opposite of chaos! NFC is helping organisers to tighten their grip on festivals, and that all adds up to more fun for festival goers.


Making Festivals More Fun

Festivals are all about having fun, and it’s the NFC that helps make that happen. NFC makes everything smoother and more organized. It lets you focus on enjoying the music and the vibe.

You can now  enjoy being at a festival without the worry of losing your cash and cards or  having them stolen.

NFC technology continues to advance making an impact, on festivals. As this technology progresses and security issues are resolved we can anticipate the emergence of creative applications. Picture being guided to the restroom using your wristband amid a performance or effortlessly topping up your digital wallet without having to leave the festival premises. The possibilities seem endless.

The future of festivals appears promising, with NFC technology leading the way towards a secure and interactive experience. By incorporating this technology festivals can concentrate on delivering an experience, for their attendees creating memories that endure after the final performance.

With NFC technology, festivals are becoming safer, more efficient, and more fun. So next time you head to a festival, your NFC wristband will do a lot more.

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