From a few cents to several tens of euros, multiplied by the number of participants in the festival … No need to pull out the calculator to understand that the thousands of euros of cashless, this device that allows you to credit a bracelet with your bank card, they are not always claimed at the end of the holidays.
“ 70% of festival attendees create an account before the event. That is to say, they will be automatically refunded without having to do anything. Among the remaining 30%, some will create their own account after the festival to get their money back. But a minority left him, explains Jérôme Tréhorel, director of Vieilles Charrues, which gathered 224,000 people in mid-July. Participants in the 2022 edition had until August 9 to claim the rest. Otherwise, the site indicates it “The credit is definitely lost”.
Between 50 and 100,000 euros unclaimed every year in Les Vieilles Charrues
Each year, however, these are “Between € 50,000 and € 100,000 Which are not claimed by festival goers, the director believes. “This sum is transformed into donations for our investments, our projects for the following year”.
According to the organizer, fewer and fewer participants in the festival do not recover the euro accredited. “The goal is not for the money to stay in the accounts, but for festival attendees to have confidence in this payment solution. We are not here to make money off their shoulders. We do not charge any administration or account management fees. This solution coast in the Vieilles Charrues “Jérôme Tréhorel shade.
“Between 5 and 10% of festival attendees do not claim their Hellfest credit”
The other great western festival, Hellfest, also a cashless fan since 2015, has decided for the first time this year to donate the remaining money to associations.. “We offered festival attendees to pay their credit to four associations: WWF, Action Against Hunger, Solidarity Women and Pasteur Institute. Usually the sums paid went to the Hellfest production. It was part of our recipes “ lights up Eric Perrin, spokesperson for the great metal festival. This year’s two-weekend event brought together 420,000 people. “Between 5 and 10% of festival attendees do not claim their credit “Says Eric Perrin.
In 2019, out of 180,000 festival attendees who participated in the 4-day format, 11.5 million euros were spent on drinks and food via cashless.
A device adopted by festival goers
For seven years, this means of payment has been popular in festivals. The Vieilles Charrues were the first to experience it, according to its director. According to Weezevent, a leading company in Europe, this summer “200 million euros have gone through these electronic chips, confides Pierre-Henri Deballon, co-founder and director of Weezevent.
It is not only festivals that use this solution, but also sporting events or fairs … The manager ensures that Weezevent’s economic model is not based “On the turnover achieved by the event, nor on the money deposited”. An operation shared by Antoine Pecquet, co-founder of Weecop who also offers cashless solutions. “We do not receive any money or commission.”
Read also: Map. Find out about festival attendance records in the West this summer
Rare events do not pay back at all and she shudders
On the other hand, these companies sell their technology to organizers: “About 1 euro per chip used and we provide teams to ensure implementation on site”, explains the director of Weezevent, also one of the main players in dematerialized ticketing in France.
According to the professional “Between 4 and 5% of food and beverage revenues are not claimed or recovered by participants “. Knowing that for certain events, “This is over 10 million euros in revenues from drinks and food alone”.
According to the leader, “99% of events reimburse people within a fixed period of between two weeks and two months”.
For example, Beauregard festival-goers in Normandy still have until 15 September to recover the euros deposited in their account at the beginning of July.
What about rare events not to be refunded at all? “We see negative sentiment among customers. This creates the opposite effect to what is intended. People don’t want to lose money, so they top up small amounts and consume less to adjust their spending “Says Pierre-Henri Deballon.
Avoid cash at the festival
Others, such as the Bout du Monde festival, are still among the few to use “tickets” to be exchanged at refreshment bars. But Jacques Guérin, director of the Finistère festival, recognizes this “This year there was a long line to buy tickets. We could opt for this payment system in 2023 or 2024. We stop nothing. But we don’t want to look like everyone “.
However, those who opted for cashless would not turn back. “We used to work with tokens. When they were lost, no refunds were possible. Furthermore, we prevent the circulation of money on the site. We also see that more people go to the bar because transactions are faster. The average basket has increased “ indicates the Hellfest representative.
An opinion not necessarily shared by Jérôme Tréhorel of Vieilles Charrues where the average basket is between 11 and 20 € per day, per person.
On the part of the organizer, the cashless and its numerous recorded data also make it possible to adjust the beer barrels or to supply the stand with fries, depending on the observed consumption. “It also allows us to see the stands that work more or less well. From one year to the next, we increase about 10% of our catering offer “adds the manager of Vieilles Charrues.
This system also saves organizers from stressing out the entire weekend waiting to put it in the bank. “We had all our little tricks to carry the money that had been dormant in one place all weekend.”, says Jérôme Tréhorel. But that time is over. From now on, the money doesn’t ring and stumble anymore. He happens to sleep in the electronic bag of festival attendees.