The hard rock Valhalla of Download Festival is about to kick off, but early arrivals at the event have already experienced problems with the festival's new cashless payment system. However, Live Nation have told Gigwise that the situation is under control.
In an attempt to cut down on time and make queues more efficient at the metal event, Download have this year introduced a system where festival-goers pay for drink, food and items at the various stalls with a barcode on wristbands pre-loaded with money.
However, it seems that all has not been running smoothly. Festival-goers have been complaining of longer queues than ever, with many finding that their wristbands do not contain the money they loaded on. With no failsafe, back-up or cash alternative, hundreds have been left frustrated.
"Why has my festival been spent in queues still no sign of getting anything sorted and been unable to purchase food or drink since yesterday?" wrote festival-goer James Griffiths on their Facebook page. "I've so far been stood in the sun for over an hour and a half getting burnt and starving, and I am still only about half way to the front."
He continued: "People are throwing up in the queue from hunger or exhaustion. Just been told by a steward that if we leave the queue to go to the toilet we will have to re-join at the back, which is now further away than when I joined. We've been drinking the water handed out to us and everybody is desperate and dancing with crossed legs."
Another Twitter user has uploade this video of the queue:
Meanwhile, other festival-goers who have been on site since yesterday inform Gigwise that they too have had problems in topping up and systems crashing, as well as those have added balance in the last 48 hours finiding no money on their barcode accounts.
Download have since responded on Facebook: "We’re putting more people in to help and we’ll get to you as soon as we can."
A spokesman from organisers Live Nation told Gigwise: "Download’s new ‘cashless’ RFID system has encountered some minor technical issues, affecting around 1% of attendees, which has resulted in extended queuing times at some information points.
"Many of those queuing will have seen the way we have responded by opening additional help desks, and the queue has now gone. However, we would like to extend our apologies to any festivalgoers inconvenienced in any way by these issues and assure everyone that they have been and will continue to be dealt with by a brilliant and dedicated team of engineers and festival staff."
This weekend's Download Festival at Donington Park sees Muse headline alongside Slipknot, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest, The Darkness, Slash and many more. See here for tickets and information. Fall Out Boy recently spoke to Gigwise to defend Muse against the controversy of their headline slot.