Festival-goers’ favourite tipples revealed

Festivals and live events are a big industry in Australia, generating a staggering $28 billion each year. And with Splendour in the Grass kicking off next week, what better time to dream of watching your favourite band with your friends by your side and a drink in your hand?

From the price of a beer, and our most commonly consumed cocktails, to the staggering figure one attendee spent on card at one day of a festival, Square’s report analyses what Australians consume, and how much they spend, at music festivals. For example, beer was the most popular tipple across Australia, making up 33 per cent of all alcohol sales, followed by:

  • spirits & cocktails (22 per cent)
  • premix drinks (17 per cent)
  • non-alcoholic (12 per cent).

Beer reigned supreme in all states except in South Australia, where 39 per cent of festival-goers prefer cocktails, and the ACT, where 37 per cent opted for premixes. The report also reveals that while the most popular drink in the spirit and cocktail category nationally was vodka & red bull, the second most popular included:

  • Vic: Espresso Martini
  • Qld: Rum & Coke
  • SA: G&T
  • NSW: Canadian Club
  • WA: Dark & Stormy.

The most popular accompaniment for Australian event-goers was a burger, but the combined cost of a beer and burger differed drastically by state. If you’re from New South Wales, you have to fork out $25.80 for both, considerably more than Tasmania and Queensland who paid $17.00 and $17.60 respectively.

While events have traditionally been cash friendly, Square’s data found that 79 per cent of Aussies actually prefer to pay by card for purchases at events. Square’s data also found that the average daily spend per card was $60, with 20 per cent of attendees spending more than $100. According to Square’s data, the biggest spender at an Australian festival forked out a whopping $3600 in one day!

Digital the payment type of festival-goers’ choice

Aedan Buckley, Founder at Australian events company Bar Pop, says, “While it’s taken the industry a little longer to adapt, digital payments are definitely starting to pay dividends for event attendees and organisers alike. Aside from the fact that cards and mobile wallets are much more convenient for our attendees, as an event organiser they are also adding more value to our operations.

“When you weigh up the cost of having to deal with cash onsite at an event, the choice becomes a no-brainer. Armguard services, portable ATMs, security vaults and financial teams can cost event organisers dearly.”

And Sean Singh, Events Lead at Square Australia, added, “Digital payments provide one key differentiator that enables organisers to run their events more efficiently – real-time data. From inventory management to sales tracking and employee performance, the benefits that we can gain from digital payments to get real-time updates far outweighs cash, and the industry is fast catching onto this.

“It helps that the average spend per head is 11 per cent higher when attendees pay with card, which provides a nice revenue boost for event orgainsers. Last year just under half (42 per cent) of all events powered by Square ran cashless and we are expecting this number to grow in excess of 60 per cent over the next two years.”

The findings of the report are illustrated here:

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