NeuchâtelEcological and digital harvest festival with a few hiccups
The curtain fell on the 95th edition of the Harvest Festival marked by the absence of cash payment and a large audience. The management of reusable cup deposits is criticized.
“I was with a group of friends. Only to have a bag, I brought back our empty glasses. But, not having paid for all the drinks, I could not retrieve all the instructions on my bracelet. I could have received the money and, afterwards, we would have arranged things between friends”, regrets Patricia. The novelties introduced during the 95th edition of the Harvest Festival did not meet with unanimous approval from the participants. The organizers notably imposed the generalization of electronic payment and the use of one million reusable cups. If these innovations made the happiness of the organizers, the public did not always find their account.
Showmen say no to cashless
As Patricia’s example shows, it was therefore impossible to be reimbursed for the deposit of a drink if another person had bought it. The six different cup sizes didn’t help matters. “I wanted to return a long drink glass to a stand, but I was refused because not all stands had all kinds of cups,” laments Rodolphe. Finally, if the cashless bracelet was adopted everywhere, the fairground people did not accept it.
Improvements in sight
The organizers admit a few hiccups but are satisfied with the results. “Overall the system worked well although at times it took some patience to get the money credited to the wristband through the Twint app which was overloaded at times just like the application of the Harvest Festival. Reflections will be carried out to improve these points as well as the management of the instructions of the glasses”, assures Eric Leuba, spokesperson for the event.
As for the public still having a balance of money on the bracelets, it is refundable until October 31 via the site or the party app.
The party attracted between 350,000 and 380,000 spectators. A record! For their part, the police draw a positive balance sheet. “No serious incident was noted within the perimeter of the party,” she communicated. The introduction of cashless has reduced the number of thefts. But violent offenses are on the rise. The city’s road network has seen a marked reduction in waste.