Muster-goers collectively left about $21,000 worth of unused spending funds when they failed to claim back money on their bands after exiting the Muster.
Muster-goers collectively left about $21,000 worth of unused spending funds when they failed to claim back money on their bands after exiting the Muster. Rowena Robertson

Muster wristbands yield $21,000 in unclaimed refunds

THE cashless technology introduced at the Gympie Muster this year has generated a $21,000 windfall in unclaimed refunds.

The 26,909 visitors who attended this year's Muster paid for credit to be loaded on to a wristband containing a disc-shaped chip.

Retailers scanned the chip when a purchase was made, and the remaining balance was shown to the customer on an eftpos-type machine.

The ABC Sunshine Coast reported festival director David Gibson saying the RFID technology was embraced across the site, and any initial hesitation from consumers wore off quickly.

"We started seeing people load up on to their wristband $300, which is the maximum it can hold, in one hit," he said.

"We had nearly $1 million placed on the credit of those chips, and people got refunded $127,000 before they went home."

But not everyone remembered to get their refund, and attempting to get it at the Muster office this week has met with disappointment.

"We think the figure is about $21,000 that was left on wristbands in $2, $3, $5 lots," Mr Gibson said. One Muster patron, however, said they had left $25 on their wristband, and had kept their wristband on until they found the time to visit the Muster office (on Wednesday) where they met with disappointment.

"Some people weren't able to or woke up late and forgot about it," Mr Gibson told the ABC.

"I had $3 left on mine and thought 'It's just too hard' (to go get it refunded), so we're going to look at that and donate it across to the charity."

Mr Gibson told the ABC the money would be allocated to the Gympie Apex Club, which would distribute the funds to local charities.

Mr Gibson said the technology would be rolled out more extensively across the festival in future years.

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