Despite having medieval origins, the Shelford Feast is now a thoroughly modern event. It still raises money for local good causes while entertaining the community, but the fantastic numbers of visitors and the amount of money involved means it is unrecognisable from the first revived Feast of 1994. In that year it raised a couple of thousand pounds; last year revenue was over £140,000!
With so much money and so many visitors things have had to change. We need to move with the times, serve customers faster, and operate more securely. To achieve this, the majority of Feast events will be now cashless, meaning payments for food, drink and tickets on the door will only be taken via debit or credit card. The only day you will need some money in your pocket will be Feast Day, where stallholders will carry on taking cash as usual.
Although modernising the Feast is a positive step, there are challenges and some visitors may find it difficult. Credit and debit card payments have been routine at the Feast for several years so use of technology is nothing new but it is important we get the message out that we will no longer have the facilities to process cash payments. We know this may catch out one or two to begin with but with the help of the community we hope everyone will be prepared by July. Expect to hear and see a lot more about the “Cashless Feast” over the next few months!
What going ‘Cashless’ means for the Feast
Handling cash has been getting more difficult over the past few years, particularly since both local banks have closed. For Feast organisers it has been challenging to just pay in money, obtain floats and store cash securely. Likewise for Feast visitors, there are now very few places to obtain cash locally, so many of us have no choice but to use our cards more often.
Going Cashless will mean that:
- Feast food and bar service will be much quicker, thereby improving the experience for visitors
- the lack of cash machines in Shelford will not be an issue
- the Feast will be safer, with no risks associated with handling cash on the premises
- time and money will be saved by not handling cash, although this will be balanced by increased fees for card payments
- Feast finances will be better documented, transparent and secure
- by modernising and becoming more efficient the Feast can grow sustainably to raise even more money for local good causes
For more information about Shelford Feast and how to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook page.