The contactless festival season

Last updated: 06 February 2015

What do you associate with summer – vacations? Sunshine and sporting tournaments, whether the World Cup, Wimbledon or the Tour de France? What about music festivals?

For us it’s all of the above but in particular seeing how technology is increasingly helping to create an augmented and convenient experience. We’ve previously blogged about technology such as a 3D hologram of Tupac Shakur being beamed on-stage alongside Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg) at the Coachella music festival for instance, showing how digital innovation can enhance a musical experience. We turn our attention this time to the issue of paying for items (food, drinks, souvenirs etc) at music festivals. Those who have been to one know only too well the lack of ATMs available to get cash out from, and, if you’re abroad, you may also have to contend with exchange rate issues. Let alone the fact most people sleep in tents with little security from thieves on the prowl for money!

Which is why the Alfa Future People festival in Nizhny Novgorod in Russia is leading the way in offering alternatives, giving festival-goers contactless payment wristbands based on Gemalto technology. The tens of thousands of people expected to attend the event next week – which is being headlined by Avicii, Skrillex and Paul Oakenfold – are being issued with MasterCard PayPass-certified EMV wristbands that can be preloaded with credit and used to pay for everything they’ll need during the show.

It isn’t the first time that contactless payment wristbands have been rolled out; Caixa Bank and Barclays have both announced they will be making them available for faster and more convenient payments. However, the Gemalto offer at the Alfa Future People festival is hugely convenient to festival-goers who can enjoy stress free money management, improved security and shorter queues for food, drink and merchandise, especially since contactless will be the only method of payment accepted by vendors at the cash-free festival.

The wristbands are included in the price of the ticket and can be reloaded with credit as often as required via a secure website. And, when the show’s over, the wristbands can still be used to make quick and convenient payments at contactless POS terminals right across Russia.

To find out more about how the contactless wristbands will work at the festival, FAQs can be found on the Alfa Future People website.

Who knows – these contactless wristbands could even become the must-have accessory of the summer!