I've been involved in quite a few uk festivals and know several organisers and IMNSHO opinion this could have been rejected by the organisers.
Download has a reputation in the festival scene for being one of the grimmest most corporate of festivals, think mainstream moshing meatheads on speed
and lager , not hugging hippies on ecstasy. Its quite likely the police strong armed download about this because of their target audience but its just as
likely download came up with this themselves to reduce policing bills. Having seen policing bills for other festivals its quite likely download were
hit with something in the order of millions and hired someone (lots of ex-coppers consult on this ) to analyse how to mitigate it and they came up with this.
Note the almost total lack of outcry from festival goers about this, downloaders just don't care, if this was tried with glastonbury there would be riots.
The RFID purchasing thing is way more dangerous in my opinion , this has been tried as several festivals and has resulted in a lot of festival
traders getting ripped off by organisers who simply loot their traders revenue if they fail to make enough money (which happens a lot because
festival running is subject to a bewildering array of regulations that don't make sense and cause unpredictable expenditure). People who work
at festivals know full well that accepting anything that isn't cash is a gamble on the skills of the organisers. It turns festival organisers into banks
which is a terrible idea.
the police strategy of applying more and more over the top requirements on festival organisers is driving festivals into smaller and smaller events,
this is typically because the explosion of festivals is a direct response to similar controlling behaviour regarding events and venues in cities. Its a dangerous game to play , over zealous legislation drives events underground where they are potentially less safe (although often much more sensible), where they generate no tax revenue and have no access to sensible venues. This also dramatically increases the possible harms of drug use , contributes to a lot of post drug use psychosis and creates a vast revenue for criminals.
Until the government and the police recognise and protect the right to have fun and gather socially as the vital part of our culture that it is we will continue to
have all manner of baffeling social problems as people do it anyway in less than safe circumstances.