WiFi for high footfall

WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) is an internationally established festival which brings together artists from all over the globe.

The WOMAD 2010 festival in Charlton Park was an outdoor event set in over 200 acres of land and had approximately 40,000 attendees.

Our partner

Formed in 2007, Etherlive is a specialist event IT company based in Wiltshire designing, implementing and supporting both temporary and permanent IT solutions for the events industry.

The challenge

Etherlive had provided technology solutions for the WOMAD in core areas of the festival, but had not previously been asked to design a festival-wide solution meeting the need of festival goers as well as organisers and crew throughout the entire site.

As with many high footfall events and locations, such as stadiums and shopping centres, festivals generally suffer from poor data coverage and performance due to the sheer number of users vs. available 3G capacity.
WOMAD wanted a solution to address this issue. UK Broadband worked in partnership with Etherlive to provide the WOMAD festival with a simple, but powerful, high capacity attendee Internet access solution, which also met all digital compliance regulations.

The solution 

Over 40 wireless access points were deployed across the campsite and key locations, so that the Wi-Fi could be transmitted to all attendees. UK Broadband provided and managed the wireless routing and all attendee IP addresses, removing the legal responsibility for data traffic from WOMAD. This also allowed UK Broadband to monitor and report on usage providing valuable information for the organisers.

The benefits

This service enabled all the attendees of the event to have constant access to the Internet with the following usage results:

  • 1 million URL’s were downloaded using the UK Broadband WiFi-now service.
  • 3,300 individual smart phone owners used the WiFi-now service.

The extensive WiFi-now coverage provided free marketing, advertising and PR for the event organisers, as people used social networking to talk about the event and also to upload images. The service coverage was so good that it was also used to monitor sound around the peripheral area to ensure the festival was within noise regulations. It was also powerful enough for CCTV cameras to be deployed and monitored using the same technology.
‘‘Etherlive found it really easy to interface with UK Broadband’s products. They enabled us to take our experience and knowledge deploying temporary networking and couple it with a product which could easily meet the solution requirements. It was the first time we were able to provide a service for not only the staff, production crews and bands but all the festival attendees too’’, Tom McInerney, Etherlive.

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