Onsite at Sound City this year was PlayPass, and Insights spoke with its UK Business Development Director Steve Jenner about the RFID supplier’s latest developments. “We’re very excited to have just confirmed our second full-scale UK festival, Standon Calling,” said Jenner. “Just like Eastern Electrics – the first one we confirmed in the UK – they’ve already done cashless in the past so it’s a great testament that they’ve chosen to use our system this time. They’re very keen to use Playpass’ capabilities to allow people to load up credit before the festival and receive refunds afterwards, which makes their cash management onsite easier. We’re in talks with a few other festivals right now, which we’re hopeful about but we can’t announce those quite yet.”
After the high-profile failure of the cashless system employed by Download last season, the UK market has had understandable reservations about a widespread adoption of RFID technology. The biggest barrier for cashless suppliers is the festival market’s perception of its reliability, and this, according to Jenner, is a myth that needs collectively dispelling. In an effort to do just that, PlayPass recently released a guide for independent festivals who are considering going cashless.
There is still a risk factor involved in the technology of course, but PlayPass mitigates that through “forensic planning”, working closely with organisers, and the use of a chip called the Mifare Ultralight C, which utilises military-grade encryption and is a lot more sophisticated than the one many of PlayPass’ competitors use. That one, the Mifare Classic, is “okay for access control but ideally you need a lot more secure of a chip for cashless,” said Jenner.
The unique selling points of PlayPass go beyond that though. “Our system was built from the ground up specifically for use on large-scale outdoor events,” said Jenner. “Our first major client was Rock Werchter in Belgium – we processed half a million tickets with that so it’s been a steep learning curve. PlayPass’ system doesn’t at all rely on the Internet, which is really important. We try to present a ‘best of both worlds’ option, so that you can do all of the core functionality offline, but if you do have Internet access then you’re granted additional functions like auto top-up and real-time insights on customer expenditure. Finally, there’s our track record – we haven’t failed yet, touch wood.”
Content found on this articel by Festival Insights
Liverpool Sound City