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Barclaycard and AEG: enhancing the live entertainment experience

"We think of Barclaycard as partners, not sponsors," says Paul Samuels, AEG’s Executive Vice President, Europe.

"We chose Barclaycard not because of financial investment, but because of their innovation, creativity and know-how; for their ability to enhance and enable a better experience for the consumer."

 

In Hyde Park, that experience produced something unique. The 10-day event in July 2014 included performances from some of the biggest names in music, including Arcade Fire, McBusted, Tom Jones and Black Sabbath. During the day, the grounds opened up to London at large, with bars, yoga and fitness classes, film screenings and more.

Crowd with hands in the air
bPay band is a fantastic idea. It contains contactless technology, so it’s your wristband into the festival, plus you can just tap it on a terminal to pay for drinks and food.

Through it all, there was Barclaycard's bPay band, a wearable device for making contactless payments.

"bPay band is a fantastic idea," says Paul. "It contains contactless technology, so it’s your wristband into the festival, plus you can just tap it on a terminal to pay for drinks and food. All the terminals at British Summer Time were supplied by Barclaycard – from the ice cream man to the pizza place to the bars and band merchandise – and all of them supported contactless payments. It's so much quicker to tap and go, and lines were much shorter.

"From a business perspective, you can sell more, and from a consumer perspective you can spend less time queuing and just enjoy the party."


AEG logo

In addition to payments, Barclaycard's contribution included high-profile attractions like the VIP hospitality area, freerunning performances, and the Better View platform, which carried Barclaycard and bPay customers 100 feet up for an unbeatable view of Hyde Park and London.

Still, Paul is adamant that you'll underestimate Barclaycard's contribution if you don't also look behind the scenes.

"When it comes to the concessions, the point of sale, Barclaycard has an entire team working on that equipment. Even just making sure the wi-fi is working.

"From a business perspective, that's so important to us. All the stalls are independent, so we as the owner of the festival have to support them and make sure they succeed, and we have to be able to keep track of how they're doing."

"It's not just about what a great consumer experience Barclaycard creates. It's also a very good business tool for us and all our sellers."

Paul Samuels and London painting
Barclaycard have to move really quickly to get our presales up and running, but they're very flexible. They realise how the industry works.

2014 was the second year that Barclaycard and AEG have worked together, and according to Paul, the partnership is just getting stronger.

"It's about flexibility," he says. "In a normal marketing campaign, you'd say 'I'm going to sell my item on this date, and the advertising will start on that date,' but with on-sale tickets it changes all the time. You always think you can plan, but sometimes it happens at the last minute.

"Barclaycard have to move really quickly to get our presales up and running, but they're very flexible. They realise how the industry works, that things can't be planned as much as you'd like."

"Ultimately, you need to work fast – and that's something Barclaycard are just very good at doing."

Volunteer scanning bPay band at festival