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Download Festival and Cashless. Why this is sooo 5 years ago

When the Daily Mail starts talking about Download Festival, you know something big has happened. Believe me, I can say that, as I was part of the team who worked on the festival in the early years. Now that I’m older and wrinklier (although my love for rock & metal hasn’t totally subsided), it slightly bothers me that now that I’m working with Tappit, Download still raises its head…

When our team goes to chat to event organisers, often the topic of Download and that annus horriblis (to quote the Queen) comes up – when the cashless system didn’t work. The main point that needs to be made, is that times have changed.

To help put things into perspective, here are 4 products and pieces of tech that have changed massively since they first entered onto the scene.

1. Netflix & Spotify

Despite the ever advancing updates on physical media, either with music evolving from records to mini-disc (remember them?), or film going from Betamax to blu-ray, no one expected streaming to become the ever-present medium it now is.

2. Shouting at smart plastic

“Hey Google”, “Hey Alexa” – unmistakable phrases heard in many homes across the globe. The meteoric rise of the smart speaker and connected home has been unprecedented.

At the start of 2016, the extent of the “smart” speaker was simply producing a slick, cool-looking, normal speaker. There was no hidden voice and no intelligence behind the shiny exterior. As the year rolled on though, more Alexa and Google speakers found their way into the home.

This year there will be 70 million smart speakers in homes across the US alone. That’s some going given they didn’t exist three years ago.

3. Electric cars that aren’t milk floats

This one dates me as the milk float is rarely seen these days, unlike proper electric cars. In 2008, the first Tesla Roadster drove onto the scene. In 2017 the Tesla Model 3 started rolling out, and they are now building an estimated 5,741 cars per week. That’s still behind the likes of Ford, but this is just one factory in the States. In just over 10 years 50% of all manufactured cars are forecasted to be electric.

4. Cost effective and convenient taxis

The taxi industry is one that definitely felt the quake of silicon valley disruption.

In 2012 the sharing economy started to kick-off and the likes of Uber and Lyft become synonymous with car hire. So much so that in 2019 they have reached the same lofty height as hoover and sellotape. You don’t “get a car”, you “get an Uber”. There are 15 million Uber trips completed every day.



Hindsight is 20/20, but the signposts for all of these examples are similar. They changed systems and processes that were becoming outdated and were bold and disruptive.

In just 10 years only 1 in 10 payments will be done in cash. Cashless IS coming, your choice is whether to lead or follow.

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