Trivial

Festival Content // The Rise of WiFi: Music Festival Connectivity*

There is nothing worse than seeing that “no wifi available” sign pop up on your phone and tablet. What, I have to use my data?! And even worse if there is no date in that area! WiFi has become an integral part of our every day lives, and it has become impossible to imagine a day where we don’t use wifi to connect to the Internet. It makes me so sad that Disneyland Paris doesn’t have Wifi in their parks and it is honestly one of the few places left like this. But festivals also remain one of these such places where WiFi isn’t available across a whole festival site for the entire event.

Thankfully festival organisers are looking to change this. In the pas connectivity has been limited across festival sites, however full-connectivity from mobile devices is set to be the future of the festival experience meaning you can “snap” and “story” until your heart is content. Together with KBR, specialist WiFi installers, I’m looking at what the industry is set to gain from this, and how this industry can implement wifi to the festival experience in the future.

Why should festivals have readily available WiFi
Every year more and more people attend festivals and that means they generate a huge amount of income, in 2015 alone that number stood at £3.1bn! With the market being so financially buoyant, this had led to increased competition within the industry. What this means is that the festival organisers need to come with a unique selling point. That USP being WiFi.

For the organisers, investing in a WiFi structure would not be a wasted cost. 90% of festival goers are mobile device users so an event offering free WiFi would be more popular than without. Be it for staying in touch with their friends, keeping track of plans or even documenting their festival experience, WiFi would be popular.

How are WiFi structures reliably implemented?
But how would this work in real time? Most festivals take place in fields and other off the grid locations, making setting up a reliable WiFi connection a hard job. However, a number of specialist companies have been working together in order to get those festival-goers connected. That said, the size of the site and number of people trying to connect  to the network make it difficult to have a festival wide connection. Instead, WiFi hotspots are created.

Credit

The most famous example of these hotspots is the WiFi cows that appeared in Glastonbury back in 2014. These cows provided 4G hotspots with EE so those attending festivals can stay connected. It also enabled contactless card payments across the site.

Is WiFi at a festival really beneficial?
Although there are many benefits of having WiFi available at a festival, the most important helping keep people safe and connect. Some people wonder if being connected all the time will take away from the festival experience. What if those attending are too busy on social media to get involved in the full experience of attending a festival?

Thankfully, WiFi not only helps promote a festival through attendee social coverage, it helps festival-goers stay connected with their friends at the event and those at home. Clearly, festival WiFi is here to stay.

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