Who is behind Hell Island in Holýšov? Interview with organizer Jan Halík

Jan Halík and Zuzana Plachá
With our payment system and ticket sales solution, we cover music festivals and concerts of all sizes, wine events, and gastronomic festivals. Hundreds of events, hundreds of stories. That's why we decided to venture to the venues of individual events to see what it looks like when the venue sleeps. Or rather, when it might seem to be sleeping.

Zuzana Plachá, Head of Marketing at NFCtron, accompanies an interview with one of the owners of the Hell Island festival, Jan Halík. The interview can be watched on YouTube.

Deployment of the NFCtron system as a significant milestone for the festival

Hell Island became one of the first major festivals to utilize the NFCtron payment system in 2019. In the interview, Jan Halík reflects back on the festival's inception and recalls the circumstances surrounding its creation. He also mentions important years that significantly propelled the festival forward. Besides purchasing the land where the festival takes place or the rainy 2014 edition, the deployment of the NFCtron system, according to Jan Halík, became a pivotal milestone for the festival.

"The festival with NFCtron went well. I think we were also quite well prepared. We tried to eliminate queues both during charging and when returning credit. Many of those people who criticized the system on social media later apologized and wrote that the system is great, that it simplified their stay at the festival. I think they were also happy that, thanks to the NFCtron system, they contributed to a good cause, so it had added value for them."

Having their own festival grounds is a fulfilled dream

The fact that organizers own the entire festival grounds means they can gradually improve and adapt them to the festival's needs. In recent years, the festival has been equipped with connections to the electrical grid, lighting, and asphalt roads. What are the plans for the coming years? "Basically, the biggest plan for us in 2024 is the implementation of sewage, which is quite a big bite," specifies Jan Halík the priority of this year's preparations and adds what connection to sewage means for the festival's future.

Organizers gain an overview of revenues at their event

Organizers deployed the NFCtron system at Hell Island for the third year in the summer of 2023. What, according to them, are the biggest advantages? In addition to better control of their own payment points and the elimination of cash handling, Jan Halík also mentions a completely new contractual relationship they can have with vendors: "Today, everyone who sells something here is not here for rent, but they are here on commission. I would say that the system is fairer, more open, and friendlier," he explains in the interview a step that has been facilitating their cooperation with vendors for years.

Unused credit balances support a good cause

Since the first edition of the festival, organizers decided that all unused finances, for which visitors do not request a refund, will be donated to those in need. Together, visitors to the Hell Island festival have contributed over 1.5 million CZK to a good cause. And how do organizers handle this financial amount? "Since it's a lot of money, we divide it into several parts. Half of the money always goes to a project chosen by the town of Holýšov, because we feel we should also support the town. This is usually something for children. This year, for example, it was gaming elements for a kindergarten," Jan Halík adds to the idea of support.

The second part of the funds is then divided among several organizations, where even visitors decide exactly where their funds will go. In the 2023 season, organizers distributed an incredible 422,827 CZK and informed about where the money brings joy on their blog and social media.

This year's Hell Island festival will take place from July 4th to 7th, 2024 in Holýšov. As tradition, the first day will host a warm-up party, and the next 2 days will offer a packed program, during which bands such as Divokej Bill, Walda Gang, or Harlej will perform. Visitors can also look forward to the foreign band Guano Apes, which will arrive on Mlýnský ostrov from Germany. And we can't wait for our next shared year!

The idea and enthusiasm are enough for the festival to emerge, but innovation and investment in improving the lineup, services, and overall visitor experience are necessary to keep it on the market. The payment experience thanks to NFCtron is no longer the music of the future.

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