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First cashless UK venue opens this month

The UK is to get its first cashless music venue.

It is thought Stage in Basingstoke will be the first venue in the country where cash won’t be accepted behind the bar when it opens later this month.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) payment technology is already in widespread use in the festival world, and a number of festivals are totally cashless, including Sziget, Standon Calling, Snowbombing and SFX events Mysteryland USA and the not-happening-this-year TomorrowWorld.

Download was briefly cashless last year but returned to a range of payment options for 2016 after its RFID system crashed on the 2015 festival’s first day.

“It keeps the venue safe: there can’t be a robbery of cash if there’s no cash in the venue”

Adam Hornblow, CEO of Stage Live Ltd, which owns the 1,400-capacity venue, tells Heart: “[Cashless] keeps the customers safe, it keeps the bar staff and your employees safe – and if they get given a tip they just keep it.

“If they’ve got any cash we know it’s theirs because it’s not ours, and it keeps the venue safe: there can’t be a robbery of cash if there’s no cash in the venue.”

Stage opens on 29 April with a show by The Boomtown Rats, Max Milner and Belle Roscoe.