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Festival Beer Tokens - What next?

GUEST,Dazbo at work 22 Aug 12 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 22 Aug 12 - 10:35 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 22 Aug 12 - 01:17 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Aug 12 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,999 22 Aug 12 - 05:26 PM
Blowzabella 22 Aug 12 - 08:20 PM
theleveller 23 Aug 12 - 04:11 AM
Nigel Parsons 23 Aug 12 - 04:28 AM
Nigel Parsons 23 Aug 12 - 04:32 AM
Hesk 23 Aug 12 - 05:43 AM
Vic Smith 23 Aug 12 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Aug 12 - 12:14 PM
Charmion 23 Aug 12 - 12:43 PM
steve_harris 28 Aug 12 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,999 29 Aug 12 - 03:06 PM
Van 29 Aug 12 - 07:45 PM
Bobert 29 Aug 12 - 08:01 PM
Hesk 30 Aug 12 - 02:48 AM
johnadams 30 Aug 12 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,FloraG 30 Aug 12 - 06:33 AM
johnadams 30 Aug 12 - 07:16 AM
GUEST 30 Aug 12 - 08:43 AM
Betsy 30 Aug 12 - 08:53 AM
CupOfTea 30 Aug 12 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Frug 30 Aug 12 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Joe G 30 Aug 12 - 07:04 PM
Uncle Phil 30 Aug 12 - 07:06 PM
Leadfingers 30 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM
Bobert 30 Aug 12 - 07:38 PM
stallion 31 Aug 12 - 04:43 PM
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Subject: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 10:21 AM

Just got an email about Towersey and found this:-

"Please note, this year we're trying a beer token system. This is important to note as you'll only be able to buy beer tokens from the Headless Horseman Main Bar and the Venue 65 Bar, not The Ceilidh or The Big Club Bars and cash will not be taken.. Stock up early on tokens and relax for the rest of the Festival! We hope this will cut down on some of the queing time and we have worked in some promotional deals so you get good value for money."

Does this mean all drinks are the same price? What about non beer drinks? Do we have to decide what to drink hours before the event? What if we don't drink all the tokens, do we get our money back? Will there not be even bigger queues at the Headless Horsemand or Venue 65?

Sounds like a way of conning even more money out of the festival goer!


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 10:35 AM

They use this system at the National Festival in Canberra, Dazbo, and (because the staff didn't have to find change) it really did cut down on what would otherwise have been huge waiting times with so many people trying to get served at one time.

The drinks weren't all the same price, but the pricing was certainly simplified. You bought a string of tokens (I think they were $2 and $3) and that enabled you to produce the correct amount for whichever drink you wanted. I don't remember left-over tokens being a problem!


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 01:17 PM

Many music festivals in the US take place on large tracts of rural land and vendors pay the festival promoters for the right to set up shop there. Some festivals charge vendors a flat rate, while others charge a percentage of the vendors' sales. Those who charge a percentage often use tokens or tickets as a means of keeping vendors honest. It's easy to understate sales if transactions are made in cash, and that cuts into the promoters' profits. So, all sales are transacted using tokens or tickets which the vendors redeem (less the festival's cut) at the end of the festival.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 04:11 PM

I owe my soul to the company stores.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:26 PM

"Festival Beer Tokens - What next?"

Beats me, but it's lots better than token beers, innit?


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 08:20 PM

I've seen them used in large outdoor town festivals in France, where there are lots of kiosk type bars scattered about the town. It means that there is not actual money in the tills - so, in a situation where you have lots of temporary staff working, who might not be well known to the concession owner, there's not such a worry about tills being wrong or wondering if anyone is making mistakes or, worse still, nicking anything out of the till. If someone were to rob the kiosk, they'd only get beer tokens which would have no cash value beyond the dates of the festival either. No-one's trying to cash up in a busy area - much simpler all round really

Suppose it's just a loophole closing which makes things more secure from a cash handling perspective.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 04:11 AM

Can't comment on Towersey as I only went once and didn't like it but at Gatlres Music and Beer Festival in Yorkshire you have to buy a book of 10 tokens for £17.50 for drink, food and the festival bus. This means that food stands can end up charging more than they normally would as they round up their prices rather than down and you can end up with spare tokens that are worthless after the event. It will also mean that the price of a pint is £3.50 this year. One of the reasons is that the festival takes a cut of what's spent. OK, I know it's for charity but it's inconvenient to have to queue up for a book of tickets and very expensive when you only want one pint because you're driving.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 04:28 AM

This has been common practice at the Welsh Beer Festival for many years. Where there may be a selection of 50+ beers & 10+ ciders/perrys, the tokem scheme (as noted above) means that there isonly one till handling cash.
The tokens themselves are printed professionally on A4 perforated paper. Whilst the tokens can all be separated and used as 'coins', the A4 sheet is designed to just tear off what is required. An example would be to an A4 sheet perforated as a 5*5 block with each column containing vouchers at 50p, 20p, & 3*10p. Five of these columns makes a page worth £5, and for any purchase you rip offa number of columns (equal to thenumber of whole pounds) and odd tickets tomake up the balance.
Whilst unused tokens can be cashed in (or used in future years) the festival also has a charity collection point for odd unused tokens near the exit, which allows people to avoid queueing at the till (for a refund), while knowing that the festival is not profiteering with the value ofunused tickets.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 04:32 AM

Sorry for the standard of typing above. I've just noticed that my space bar is not working consistently!


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Hesk
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 05:43 AM

It seems to be yet another way of making Towersey move further away from it's original concept of a nice traditional village festival.
Fortunately there is still the "Three Horseshoes" pub and barn where beer is still served in the usual way, presumably, and free entertainment can be made and experienced in the good old way.
There is to be a memorial sing to remember Len Berry, of "Portway Pedlars" fame, on Saturday night at 8pm, in the barn.
I will leave it to others to give precise details of the format.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 10:26 AM

The token system that Bee-dubya-ell describes worked well on our visit to the States for the wonderful cajun music festival in Lafayette - http://www.festivalsacadiens.com/index1.html - and it applied to food and crafts as well as drinks.
The whole festival was free admission but people were asked not to bring their own food and picnics to the event so that the festival could pay its way from their cut of all the stall takings. It also meant that the stall holders paid according to the amount of business that they did rather than a flat fee.
The whole system seemed to work very well.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 12:14 PM

It's just a good idea not to have cash sitting around.

The church on the corner has a festival every summer. Last time I volunteered, the take was $17,000. All the booths take tickets, and the tickets are sold at a central table.

One year, somebody noticed a bunch of sullen teenage males hanging around and watching the ticket sales. The cops were called, and the youths tore off across a busy street. The cops, however, are more experienced at rounding people up than the youths were at getaways, so they were apprehended. Turned out, they were armed and planning to rob the festival.

After that, it became policy to remove cash (inconspicuously)from the grounds at very frequent intervals.

Dishonest vendors, employees with sticky fingers, druggies looking for money - there are lots of reasons not to let cash accumulate around town.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 12:43 PM

If the beer tokens offend, stay away from Ontario.

The licensing laws governing the consumption of alcoholic beverages at outdoor events require the confinement of drinkers to a compound (usually a marquee tent surrounded by snow fencing) guarded by lumpy young men tasked with checking the identification papers of everyone not actually sporting a rack of medals from the First World War. Children and adolescents are not only forbidden to consume what is on offer; they are forbidden to enter.

The marquee is normally located well away from the stage or playing field, and sightlines are systematically blocked. The decision to have a beer is therefore also a decision to miss part or all of the event.

Beer is served in large plastic cups; no bottles allowed. The choice is limited to the blandest products of the biggest brewers. One stands about on the trampled (often muddy) grass swigging the stuff down as fast as possible, surrounded by others doing exactly the same thing.

On the whole, I'd rather drink water from a jam jar.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: steve_harris
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:17 PM

No, no refunds on unused beer tokens at Towersey. It did reduce the queues at the bars though down to almost zero - hardly anyone was buying drinks! Towards the end of the last day, some of the bars started offering "1/2 price" beer which further annoyed those who'd stocked up on tokens.

My liver says "Thank You" to Towersey for the scheme. When I saw 10 pints for £38, it brought home to me how much I spend on beer in a new way. Also the 20 pints for only £72 (saving £4) would have customers encouraged to exceed the Department of Health guidelines.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 03:06 PM

"On the whole, I'd rather drink water from a jam jar."

I agree with the sentiment, but I'd rather drink beer from a jam jar, which I do at home. In fact, it is a Mason jar that once had peach jam in it. Took me four years so far and I still ain't finished rinsing it out.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Van
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 07:45 PM

I usually get my beer vochers out of an ATM in the High Street.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 08:01 PM

This is how the festival promoter gets a cut... If you use the honor system then people just pick an amount and the promoter gets screwed... If ya' buy the tokens from the promoter and then charge whatever you want (doesn't matter) the tokens are then turned in to the promoter and he gives you the 80-90% back in cash...

It's a good system... I mean, the promoter is bearing most of the financial burden and if the festival gets rained out or is a bust, guess what... He loses... If you want more festivals to be a success then just accept this as a means to grow them...

B~


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Hesk
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 02:48 AM

Steve,

Thanks for giving us the info about how the system worked at Towersey. I must say I am mystified by some of the comments supporting the idea.
To be unable to get refunds afterwards for unused tokens, is not in the spirit of the friendly village festival, this once was.
There is also something distasteful about having to plan how much you are going to drink, in my opinion.
I hope that they see sense for next year.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: johnadams
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 06:31 AM

My experience of drinking at Towersey this year matches that of Steve Harris. I baulked at the idea of spending £40 in advance and bought just a few tokens so I could drink beer at the venues without a token kiosk. I ended up mostly drinking bottles of wine I'd bought to the festival myself. The festival beer was expensive too at £3.80/pint for all beer, weak or strong.

I also found it tricky to plan ahead and have 3 irredeemable tokens (value £5.70) in my wallet.

I understand the advantages of a token system but the Towersey one was crude and unhelpful and will probably result in a drop in sales unless improved next year.


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 06:33 AM

Can you use the unused tokens next year?

Ely was a little bit for me spoiled the other year because of their deposit system on the glasses. There were a group of young teenagers who were going round nicking the glasses - sometimes before you had finished your drink - and the licencee was silly enough to accept them.
Florag


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: johnadams
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 07:16 AM

FloraG.

It's not known if the token scheme will be in use next year and if it is, the printed paper tokens will have to be different as a good scanner and a current token could ensure a supply of free beer for the duration of the next festival.

With regard to Ely and the glasses - you could always take a tankard

;-)


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 08:43 AM

I didn't object to the "Token" system as such but it did mean that a pint cost £3:90 which I did object to

Dave


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Betsy
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 08:53 AM

I've seen it work on the continent but generally it was only one brand beer being served which was always good - but as others will point out - no choice. True it cuts down queues - with no money changing hands.
Over here, I fear that that there are a few issues. OK - to cut down queues , but primarily for accounting purposes i.e. to stop Bar Tenders fiddling / handling money. There's also a bonus of people being half pissed and waking up next morning with beer tickets left in their pockets . They also register as sales as there is no opportunity to return them after the event , however I believe there was opportunity to exchange tokens for cash on leaving the event.
The prices Johnadams and Steve Harris talked about £3.80 are disgusting and they are right to bring them to our attention - let's do our homework before buying tickets to such events !!!!
On THAT Subject Ray Padgett wrote quite rightly about drink prices in Whitby. A month ago I was charged £ 3.08 in the Elsinore for a pint of shandy - disgrace, he gave more examples. What Ray didn't point out is that Whitby ( where the Angel was )has a Wetherspoons under construction which might help things / prices, and , who knows, would Wetherspoons make an exception on Folk Week on their non-music policy? Folk could try-unlike approaching Grumpy Humphrey


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 04:40 PM

I've seen a variation on this working at a number of US festivals - tickets rather than tokens -particularly when held at large fairground venues, used for both food and drink. Usually it's $1/ticket and then the portions of food or drink are scaled to whatever number of tickets.

I'm sure this makes more money in rounding up all the prices, but it does indeed make for shorter lines. Besides, these days trying to get the people who work the low paying food service jobs to make change? Get serious. Without a digital register to tell them what the change is they can't cope! Being haned the exact number of tickts works for even the dimmest bulb of a server.

Joanne in Cleveland (with one Irish fest ticket left in my pocket...)


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 05:24 PM

The use of tokens is a complete and absolute rip off. Over the past few years I have been to a number of festivals (not folk) where a token system was in operation .... all drinks £5 !!! daylight robbery. Also have seen festivals indicating that food cannot be taken in ..... seen the result of this at other festivals too .... burgers £6/7.   Scream !!

Frug


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 07:04 PM

Interesting!

Many CAMRA beer festivals have operated token systems for years without much problem - I'm more concerned about the £3.80 a pint! It was £3.30 at Shrewsbury which I thought was beginning to get a bit steep (though the choice & quality were excellent)


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 07:06 PM

We use a ticket system at the North Texas Irish Festival. We sell beer under the license of the guy with the beer franchise for Fair Park, and he uses a ticket system for all events. Our beer booths are staffed by volunteers. They've all had a TABC training class, but most of them aren't used to handling money or making change. Volunteers making change in a crowded booth with long waiting lines would be unreasonably slow.

The price of beer? Yeah, our prices are higher than some places in town, but selling beer is our biggest source of funds for everything else we do. We have bills to pay. I go to other festivals and tickets for festivals that don't sell beer are more expensive, usually twice or more. Beer selection? We get our beer straight from a distributor for Guinness products, and are limited to products that they handle. We have 8 or 10 choices, but often are asked for beers that we don't have. People laugh at our Coors Light tap at the Irish Festival, but we always have it because we sell a lot of it.
- Phil (who has a few leftover tickets on his bookshelf)


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM

Towersey (particularly) USED to be a Village Festival with ALL profits going to improve the village . One HAS wonder if this is still the case or is it all going to boost someone elses Cash Flow !
When I was a regular weekend attendee , we 'bought' the Field , then raised the cash to build the Rugby Pavillion .nds
At £3.80 a pint and NO refund on unuused tokens , that seems like a Rip Off of the first order


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 07:38 PM

Bottom line??? Stuff costs more at festivals... That is reality... Especially when the promoter doesn't allow coolers meaning that you gotta buy from the vendors...

But let's get real here... We love festivals, right??? And that means that the folks that put them on need to, at the very least, break even...

I've used to promote concerts... It's very risky and very expensive... Break even isn't a given...

I mean, if you want a cheap pint then buy it at a corner bar/pub with a TV in the corner...

Sorry, folks, but this pissing and moaning is short-sighted...

B~


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Subject: RE: Festival Beer Tokens - What next?
From: stallion
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 04:43 PM

The scarborough seafest (now a pop festival) had a beer tent where you had to buy a plastic glass first, we all took our own plastic glasses and the bar refused to fill them, in spite of being stamped 1 pint, we had to buy 1 glass and get it filled six times! I only wanted a half pint of beer!


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