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Jazz Fest goes digital

By Stanley Szecowka

Jazz may date back to the late 19th century but this year’s annual family musical extravaganza in Bahrain on November 1 will add an ultra-modern 21st century FinTech swing to proceedings.

The organisers of the Bahrain International Jazz Fest are adopting digital innovations such as mobile apps, and for the first time in Bahrain, integrating cashless payments for food, refreshments and merchandise on the day of the event.

Jude D’Souza, festival principal and managing partner of Clockwork Professional Services - who co-founded the event with his business partner Paul Gindra and BMMI events manager, Michael Goodger - said: “We have always considered our festival to be an experientially progressive one to include innovations and certainly have a festival for the future.

“Cashless payment has been high on our agenda since the start and we have taken different steps over the past couple of years to reach this milestone.

“Cashless societies are the future and with this feature in the festival, we have now another added asset to Bahrain’s already growing stature of being one of the Middle East’s foremost tech-enabled countries.”

The organisers are convinced that digital payments will heighten and improve the customer experience allowing them to quickly order and make payments without having to wait in long lines.

The festival, now in its third edition, is increasing its stature on the events calendar with ticket sales reportedly ‘growing at around 300 per cent’ compared to 12 months ago.

“As a result, it becomes critical for us to ensure that the customer has a top grade quality experience and enjoys the music and entertainment with family and friends without having to wait in long queues,” stressed Mr D’Souza, who believes there will also be commercial benefits too.

“From an organiser’s perspective, the cashless tech feature will enable our digital transformation by getting access to big data,” he explained. “This data will help us to identify customer behaviour patterns, peak selling times and customer favourites which then helps us to plan an even heightened experience for next year.

“It helps us to understand what works and what can be improved on.”

All attendees will received a RFID chip wristband on entry to the festival. If they want to purchase food, beverage or merchandise inside the festival 

venue, they can visit any of the four loading stations to add credit to their wristbands via cash, debit or credit card.

Once they have added credit value to the wristband, they can then go to the point of purchase, place an order and then scan the wristband on the scanning devices.

The organisers are working with one of the leading companies in the world for cashless event solutions, which has already proved to be a safe and secure system deployed at other festival events, such as Tomorrowland, Bestival, Hong Kong Sevens and the Dubai Rugby Sevens.

The open-air music festival will feature 13 international and local jazz artists, headlined by 10-time Grammy-nominated platinum-selling icons of the genre, Spyro Gyra.

The festival tickets are priced at BD21 for adults and BD10.500 for juniors, with free admission for children aged six and under. Further details about the event, its attractions and activities can be found by visiting or on the Facebook page (Bahrain Jazz Fest).