Weezevent and PlayPass merge to become the leader in cashless event solutions

Weezevent and PlayPass merge to become the leader in cashless event solutions

The two Euro­pean lead­ers in cash­less pay­ment solu­tions have merged to form one com­pa­ny, offer­ing their com­bined exper­tise to the leisure and enter­tain­ment sector.

The new­ly merged group will now be rep­re­sent­ed by six offices with more than 100 employ­ees and over 1200 cash­less event clients around the world includ­ing major music fes­ti­vals like Lol­la­palooza (in Paris, Berlin and San­ti­a­go), Rock Wer­chter, Main Square, Hellfest, Rock En Seine, Fre­quen­cy and Nova Rock, and promi­nent sports brands like For­mu­la 1, Red Bull Air Race, Paris St. Ger­main FC, Lau­sanne FC and the William Hill World Darts Cham­pi­onship. The com­bined offer­ing will rep­re­sent an annu­al turnover of over £400 million.

Cash­less pay­ments at events have become increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar in recent years, offer­ing a rev­o­lu­tion­ary way for organ­is­ers to man­age onsite sales and improve attendee expe­ri­ence. The use of NFC (Near Field Con­tact) wrist­bands or cards has been wide­spread across Europe, spear­head­ed large­ly by Weezevent and Play­Pass — and this suc­cess is hoped to be repeat­ed in the UK.

The merg­er will see Steve Jen­ner of Play­Pass and Olly God­dard of Weezevent joint­ly head up the group’s UK divi­sion. The deal will also lead to the expan­sion of the group’s offices in Paris, Madrid, Antwerp, Lau­sanne and Mon­tre­al. The in-house devel­op­ment team will also be expand­ed with fur­ther invest­ment to con­tin­ue the devel­op­ment of its high­ly dis­rup­tive pro­pri­etary technology.

Weezevent’s CEO, Pierre-Hen­ri Debal­lon, had this to say about co-founders of Play­pass, David De Wev­er and Dale Hofkens: “David, Dale and their teams share the same pas­sion and vision as Weezevent for deliv­er­ing a world class cash­less expe­ri­ence, and after eight years of healthy com­pe­ti­tion, the time has come to form a new team that is stronger, more ambi­tious and more con­fi­dent than ever.”

De Wev­er added: “Our two com­pa­nies are high­ly com­ple­men­tary and the con­sol­i­da­tion of our exper­tise and expe­ri­ence now makes it pos­si­ble to form the leader in cash­less event solu­tions. The return to a nor­mal post-Covid sit­u­a­tion will accel­er­ate the adop­tion of cash­less every­where. This is about being ready for the mar­ket while con­tin­u­ing to innovate.”

The fact that this merg­er has tak­en place dur­ing a pan­dem­ic that has affect­ed the entire events sec­tor for more than a year high­lights the need for coop­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion in mov­ing for­ward towards a return to nor­mal. Pre-orders for click-and-col­lect drinks, social dis­tanc­ing mea­sures and adapt­ed access con­trol pro­to­cols for mass  gath­er­ings, are all now catered-for in the group’s lat­est  prod­uct set.

“2020 promised a much wider adop­tion of cash­less tech­nol­o­gy at events before our indus­try was put into lock­down. Though this nat­ur­al pro­gres­sion was inter­rupt­ed, we are look­ing for­ward to a pro­duc­tive 2021 and beyond, and our merg­er with Play­Pass will put us in an even stronger posi­tion to deliv­er what con­sumers want and events need,” said Olly Goddard.

Steve Jen­ner added, “As a com­peti­tor we have always held the utmost respect for Weezevent, in par­tic­u­lar the strength of their tech­nol­o­gy, team and com­mit­ment to improv­ing the vis­i­tor expe­ri­ence. To join forces with them at this time is a real­ly excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for us, our clients and the UK’s live events indus­try, plac­ing us in a much stronger posi­tion to not only help the sec­tor get back on its feet faster, but to emerge stronger than ever.”

UK fes­ti­vals plan­ning their return this sum­mer using the group’s cash­less tech­nol­o­gy include Stan­don Call­ing, 2000Trees, Black Deer, Arc­T­an­gent, Lake­fest, Nev­er­world and the inau­gur­al UnLocked Fes­ti­val, with more to be announced over the com­ing weeks.

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