In our recent State of Live report, we surveyed over 500 event fans from around the world in a bid to find out what they think is the good and the bad with live events. From our fan survey, we unearthed two major problems with festivals, and have a conveniently easy solution.

We wanted to know the nuance of their experiences. We wanted to develop some insight into how event producers can hone their operations and respond to the quiet complaints. Because those quiet complaints can really stack up.

Download: Intellitix’s inaugural State of Live 2017/2018 report

Festival fans are sick of standing in long lines to spend too much money.

Over 60% of fans surveyed felt that attending a festival was too expensive, while 58% cited long wait times as their biggest frustration.

Think about it. There are few things as infuriating as standing in line for an extortionate, warm festival beer as you feel your buzz burn off and your bladder filling up.

You’ve already waited 15 minutes, and you’ve probably got another 15 to go.

But aside from placating your buzz, long lines at the bar eat into your bottom line. And hinders event producers from being able to reduce prices to a level that works for them and the fans.

“I think generally most people expect lines. I don’t really mind as long as they seem to be managed well and moving. What is less expected are long queues for food, drinks and toilets inside the festival,” said Jessi, blogger at UK festival blog Where’s My Tent?

Read: Scientists Have Found a Way to Cut Wait Times for the Bathroom

This can be a real pain as I’ve gotten lost when it’s taken ages at the bar and I can’t find my friends afterwards. I’ve noticed events regularly miscalculate how many amenities are needed for festivals of various capacities.”

state of live events

“Drink prices have to change,” disclosed another respondent when asked about the problems with festivals. “$15-$18 for a drink?! Are you kidding me? Are they literally trying not to make money?”

In the State of Live we also discovered that 78.7% of fans would go to more events if they were cheaper. So really, these are problems with festivals that need addressing.

But it’s important to remember that merely beefing up the headcount behind the bar doesn’t scale. You need to focus on maximizing efficiency as opposed to just packing more staff behind there.

But you know, we hate to get all pitch-y on you but….

Solve both these festival problems with RFID for cashless payments.

An RFID solution can reduce the average transaction time from 90 seconds to 15 seconds, while delivering as much as 30% higher spend per guest.

The result is that you can simultaneously slash those wait times, increase revenue and pass the savings back onto the customer.

“The cashless system streamlines the transaction process by eliminating cash handling and making change allowing for quick transaction and shorter wait times,” explains Justin Moffat, head of business development at Intellitix. “Patrons don’t have to worry about pulling out their wallet and there’s no wait for transaction times.”

Download: Cashless 101: Everything You Need to Know

“Cashless purchases have been incredible so far,” one fan told Intellitix. “One of the worst parts about going to festivals I find is waiting in long ATM lines to get cash. And just always worrying about having change in your pocket that you’ll lose. Having one tap-and-go like I do for all my other purchases is so great to have at festivals”


But vendors dig RFID for cashless payments too. “We’ve seen a huge increase in sales from what we typically see at a music festival like this,” one vendor told us. “People are more willing to buy as they’ve already got money on their card that they feel they’ve already spent. Now they’re just tapping away all afternoon.”

Not only are they making more money and eliminating the cumbersome and, frankly, sketchy cash, they are getting data. 

Cashless means lots and lots of data

RFID-enabled technology lets event organizers know exactly where their audience is spending their money through real-time reporting. The advanced technology will digitally record transactional details including top-ups, item SKU, merchant location, POS terminal, date and time, and individual wristband UID.

These comprehensive insights allow event organizers to ask (and answer) the tough questions like: Which best-selling vendors and menu items do we want to continue with? What was the average spend per head and how do we increase this? How do we maximize overall profits next year?

Read: 7 Reasons Why Food and Drink Vendors Prefer Cashless

By re-engaging with patrons’ post-event through targeted email offers including pre-sale tickets, discounted merchandise swag, new product releases, in-store or online coupons and more, event organizers can also leverage event data and turn guests into high-spending customers.

Whether or not you think RFID for cashless payments is right for your event, you should be looking very closely at the lines forming around the bars. Unless they’re catastrophically long you’re unlikely to hear much about it on social media. But trust us, prices and lines are the fans’ biggest problems with festivals and you can do something about it.