Bestival and Camp Bestival to go ‘cashless’

The festivals will begin issuing contactless wristbands this summer

Bestival and Camp Bestival have announced that they will be going cashless, after signing a three year deal with multinational organisation Tappit.

Festival goers will be issued a wristband with a contactless chip, which will also track their usage to provide ‘insights into the habits of fans’. The wristbands can be topped up with cash at a number of on-site locations and then used to make payments at the event.

“Bestival has always been about escapism, creating an otherworldly wonderland, where you can leave all the stresses of real life behind”,  Bestival co-founder and curator Rob da Bank told Music Week.

“We think Tappit’s wristbands can be a big part of that, reducing queues and hassles and making things a bit more care-free for festivalgoers. They also give us the sort of real-time data insights that can help us with a lot of things like crowd management. We eventually foresee it all going totally cashless, which will make the whole Bestival experience even more easy going for everyone.”

Contactless wristbands have long been a feature of many European festivals but have been slow to take hold on the UK scene. Download was the first festival to use the system in 2015, but experienced “minor technical issues”.

Bestival

Tappit CEO Jason Thomas said: “The process of going cashless isn’t as costly, complicated or time-consuming as people may think. Working at a strategic level with Bestival, we’ve been able to establish a cashless payments infrastructure in less than a month. Event owners using tappit benefit from a proven return on investment, improved customer satisfaction and greater business insight.”

Bestival was one of three events to announce that they were banning the sale of ‘harmful’ plastic glitter from their site earlier this year, due to environmental concerns.

Camp Bestival kicks off tomorrow (July 26) at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, and features Simple Minds, Clean Bandit, Rick Astley and more.

Its sister event Bestival is hosted in the same grounds the following weekend (August 2-5), and stars the likes of M.I.A., London Grammar, Silk City (Diplo and Mark Ronson), Grace Jones, Plan B and Chaka Kahn. It will be the event’s second year there since moving from the Isle of Wight in 2017.