This year, you aren't going to need to bring cash to Coachella. At least, not if you own an iPhone handset and bank with one of the growing number of institutions which support Apple Pay. Because thanks to a recently announced partnership with Square, visitors to Coachella 2016 are going to be able to use Apple Pay to make purchases throughout the festival.
Perhaps one of the biggest worries when attending festivals like Coachella is the cash situation. How much do you bring? Where do you store it? Do I need zip pockets on my pants?! Well, Coachella is answering all those questions and quelling your concerns in one fell swoop this year, through once again partnering with Square: the Jack Dorsey-founded point-of-sale solution that supports NFC contactless transactions, including Apple Pay.
In post added to its blog, Square explains that this year at Coachella, “you can pay with your phone for everything. Square is the exclusive point of sale at the festival, and every vendor will be using the latest (and fastest) Square Reader.” This of course is fantastic news for Apple Pay-using attendees, as Sqaure goes on to highlight:
With just a tap of your phone or Apple Watch, you can pay for everything from pizza to beer to festival merch. An added plus: contactless payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay are way faster than credit card payments (not to mention cash), so you can check out quickly and get back to the music or your beer.
But that's not all: Coachella really is jumping on board the Apple train, and is building iBeacon support into its official iOS application and will be using the technology in an interesting way. Before now, as AppleInsider explains, Coachella used iBeacon technology to send “location-based push notifications and other information” to iPhone users. This time, however, iBeacon transmittors are being used to send “Surprise and Delight” rewards to attendees who sync their AmericanExpress card up with the Coachella iOS app. Winners will win a handful of prizes, which will be released closer to the festival.
This all sounds amazing to me. So rememnber: with your iPhone (or Apple Watch) with you, it's safe enough to leave your cash at home for Coachella this year. But whatever you do, make sure your device chargers are packed and stored safely in your bag. And perhaps consider bring a mobile power brick or two. Because if your iPhone dies mid-festival, you really will be screwed.