Our box office: catching up with technology in 2022
Regular visitors to Mid-Somerset Festival events will be aware that since time immemorial, when purchasing audience entry tickets or programmes from one of our venue Box Offices we have only been able to accept cash from you.
How quickly the world moves on! Over the past few years, feedback from audiences has increasingly drawn attention to how old fashioned and inconvenient this is.
Nowadays chip and pin, or contactless debit or credit cards, or even payment apps on smartphones – have increasingly become the payment options most used and indeed preferred by the majority of us. Added to this trend is the experience of the pandemic – which has taught us the potential for transmission of the virus through handling of notes and coins.
Card and payment apps now accepted at the Mid-Somerset
So, the great news is that the Festival has decided to catch up with the modern world and upgrade our Box Office technology to allow audiences to pay for entry tickets, programmes and items of merchandise by card or payment app.
We will be able to accept all debit and credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, V PAY, American Express, Diners, Discover, Union Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay; using Chip & Pin and contactless payments, both by card and smartphone. Of course, we will continue to accept cash as well.
To make all this happen the Festival will be investing in up to date equipment, which will effectively provide an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) terminal on each Box Office desk. This will run on an Android tablet connected wirelessly to a SumUp ™ card reader.
Successful card reader pilot at the Dance Festival
During the Dance Festival in September of 2021, we conducted a test where the whole Box Office was controlled and managed through an EPOS set up. It is pleasing to report that this was most successful, gathering really positive feedback from audiences and stewards alike.
Mike Harley, our Treasurer, commented – “It was a really positive experience and was the springboard for developing the current project to roll out acceptance of card payments at all our venues from March 2022”.
Thank you to the Joyce Fletcher Trust
Of course, to equip all our venues with a tablet, card reader and associated essential equipment, as well as providing training for Box Office Stewards, will require a significant investment by the Festival. A budget of £1,500 has been initially estimated for this project.
We are pleased to announce that one of our principal sponsors – the Joyce Fletcher Trust – has stepped into the breach and agreed to fully fund this project.
A spokesman for the Trust – Andrew Fletcher OBE – commented “Though I am a traditionalist by nature and do not want the world to be become increasingly aethereal, it sounds very sensible to use the addition grant to upgrade and improve your internal systems. Very happy and delighted that this “extra” donation can be used in this way.”
See you in March!
We look forward to welcoming all parents, friends and other interested spectators to our forthcoming Festival events – with cards in hand!
MSF Accounts Team