The NFCtron system already belongs to the festival, and we don't want to take a step back, says Rock for People director Michal Thomes

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 go to the venues of individual events to see what it looks like when the area sleeps. Or rather, when it might seem to be sleeping.

Zuzana Plachá, Head of Marketing at NFCtron, conducts an interview with Michal Thomes, the director of the Rock for People festival. You can watch the interview on YouTube.

What will you learn from the interview?

  • How Michal Thomes evaluates the implementation of the NFCtron system at the event.
  • What changed for Rock for People during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • How preparations for Ed Sheeran's 2 concerts are going.
  • Whether the demands and expectations of festivalgoers are changing and if it has any impact on event preparations.

The NFCtron system has solved invoicing for vendors and brought more convenient payment options for visitors

The Rock for People festival has been using the NFCtron payment system since 2021. Visitors have the option to top up their wristbands with a chip for payment online before the event and pair it directly with their ticket. They can leave cash and credit cards in their bags, lockers, or tents and fully enjoy the four-day festival.

And how does Michal Thomes, the festival director, perceive the implementation of the system in hindsight? "We see it from two sides. For the visitor, it's certainly a convenient way to pay, making their life at the festival easier. For us as organizers, it brings many advantages that have certainly been mentioned many times. Among the most basic, of course, is having an overview of what's happening at the festival." These relationships were previously quite opaque, so according to him, the NFCtron system gives organizers insight into what's happening in that sphere that they don't directly organize themselves.

Not every edition succeeds, or a growth full of challenges

Rock for People is one of the largest festivals in the Czech Republic, but it is also one of the oldest. The first editions took place in Český Brod, and the success and growth of the festival forced the organizers to find a new space for the event. They eventually found it at the former military airport. "We moved here to Hradec Králové, when there was a greater focus on the international scene, and then through some stronger and weaker editions, one of the memorable ones being in 2012 when we had Faith No More as headliners, but two storms gathered over the area. There were firefighters and emergency services in the area, and our team feared for the lives of the visitors, but in the end, everything fortunately ended with only economic damages," adds Michal Thomes.

"Then there was a bigger restart in 2019 when we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the festival, and again it was successful and looked good. In 2020, there was, or should have been, a record-breaking edition; we were sold out at the end of January and were expecting the biggest edition ever, but then COVID came, so the strong edition with Green Day as headliners was postponed twice. First to 2021, then to 2022, when the postponed plans were finally realized. It was really a monumental edition when we had a large stage from abroad here for the first time."

Park 360 is no longer just about Rock for People

Ameba Production is a year-round lessee of the airport area, which has been named Park 360, and this year, besides Rock for People, the area will also host the Kefír festival, and the entire festival market is also waiting to see how Ed Sheeran's 2 concerts turn out. How are the preparations going? "The area itself is capable of accommodating a large number of visitors. What we are mainly solving is actually making it comfortable for visitors to get here and also to leave after the concert." According to Thomes, this is the biggest challenge that the team is currently facing, but also in cooperation with the city and transportation experts. "It will be a breakthrough because almost the same number of visitors as the population of Hradec will come here, so we will actually see if it can be managed," he adds, seemingly without any doubts, Michal Thomes.

This year's edition of the Rock for People festival will take place from June 12 to 15, and the main acts will be The Prodigy, The Offspring, Bring Me the Horizon, and SUM 41 will also enjoy their last Czech show here. Visitors can also look forward to Avril Lavigne or Brutalismus 3000 because Rock for People is definitely no longer just a rock festival.

To create a festival, all you need is an idea and enthusiasm, but to maintain it in the market, innovations and investment in improving the lineup, services, and overall visitor experience are necessary. The experience of payment thanks to NFCtron is no longer the future of music.

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