Cashless – Freedom or Shackled?

With the announcement earlier in the week about Bestival going Cashless, what happens to your freedom at these events?

Bestival went Cashless this week, to some concerns, and cheers. Reducing the “hassle” of cash, seems like a good thing at festivals, right?
The way they’ve done it, is that you need to top up a event bracelet with money from a bank card.

There would be nothing worst than ordering a round, and not find you have enough on your bracelet, only having to run to a kiosk where you can use you bank card to top it up.

Why not just use your bank card?

Well, The bracelet also logs your spending habits, what you’ve bought and where you bought it. The bracelet is registered to you, name, address, email, phone number, ticket – all that jazz.
I doubt there’s any locational system in them, as it is just a chip with and nfc circuit, but the readers will log everything.
That data the festival can use, in all manner of ways.

Tappit Bracelet
After the event is done, do you give up any funds left on your bracelet, or do you join the “signing out” queue to get any refund?
Bestival is certainly not the first, and won’t be the last to have this kind of thing. Event organisers having data that you’ve had that one too many J├Ągerbombs is too much information in my opinion. Tappit, the tech partners say nothing about privacy. Time to request Section 15, and the Section 17 of GDPR after the festival methinks, just to be on the safe side.

It does not make festival going fun in my opinion. Festivals are for you to escape the turmoil of normal life, and let loose, and especially, not work out how much money you have, thats maths. That can get harder, as the day gets later and later.

Do you know how much you spend at festivals, or do you budget? I don’t. Granted, the only festival I currently go to is Hammerfest, and I kind of plan to spend a certain amount when I’m there. I always go over. That’s all part of the fun, freedom, and or course, the J├Ągerbombs.