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PlayPass Hails Breakthrough Summer For Cashless and RFID at UK Festivals

PLSN Staff • International News • October 2, 2019

The PlayPass crew at the Festival.


BELGIUM – Cashless and NFC specialist PlayPass enjoyed a record-breaking summer, operating at over 250 events across 22 countries across five continents and processing 12.82 million cashless transactions, worth €78 million Euros. Globally, 2019 has seen the company grow its event roster by 40%, May-Sept 2019.

More details from PlayPass (

The UK has seen the sharp end of this growth curve, with a 400% increase in events embracing the company’s event tech solutions. This year saw PlayPass deliver more than 80% of the UK’s commercial cashless and RFID festival activations, reinforcing its position as the market leader and building on a solid four-year track record for reliability in festival fields.

Whilst many implementations focused on going fully cashless, some events used the technology to combat accreditation fraud, while others created a more immersive visitor experience. One even used it to motivate people to climb walls!

The system works by having the attendees sync an RFID bracelet to their individual bank accounts, much like using your ATM card. But at the kiosks one simply taps their bracelet against a pad to deduct the funds instantly, cutting times on lines to a fraction of the old days. People can also add additional cash to the wristband if they’d like and get a refund for any unused amount after the event ends.

Black Deer was one independent festival that used PlayPass for the first time in 2019 to go fully cashless and streamline their crew accreditation. Operations Director Chris Russell-Fish reports: “I’m delighted to say that it’s worked brilliantly. We’ve had no queues, the system has been easy to use – far better and more secure than dealing with cash – and our spend per head has been significantly higher than last year. We’ve had great feedback from the audience, traders and bar managers and I’m sure we’ll look to enhance it further next year.”

Steve Jenner, PlayPass’ UK managing director, relays his pride in the varied deployments, stating: “This summer has seen the UK festival and events sector embrace the many benefits this NFC technology can bring.

“It’s been a momentous summer for our team, who have delivered consistently through some challenging conditions and we are very fortunate to have worked with some truly innovative organizers at the fore of introducing this fast-evolving event tech to the market. Ultimately this is all about driving our clients’ economic efficiency and improving their audience’s experience through better engagement and intelligent data use.”

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