Festival WiFi: Staying Connected When Visiting a Music Festival
WiFi has become an integral part of our lives and many of us find it has become impossible to even imagine a world where we don’t use this form of internet every day. Now, there are still a few places where we can’t usually connect to WiFi, or use our mobile phones to access the Internet. Festivals remain one of the few places where WiFi isn’t fully operational across a whole festival site for the entire event.
Festival organisers are of course looking to change this as it’s something that’s important to many people. Although connectivity has been limited across festival sites in the past, full-connectivity from mobile devices is set to be the future and a part of the festival experience. In this post, together with KBR, specialist WiFi installers, we explore what the festival industry is set to gain from staying connected with Wi-Fi and how this industry can implement reliable WiFi infrastructures in the future.
- Why should festivals have readily available WiFi?
The number of people attending music festivals has grown exponentially over the past couple of decades. From 2004 to 2013, the number of these events rose from 100 to 700 which is a huge increase. As well as this, in 2014 alone, festivals generated £3.1bn. Due to the market being so financially buoyant, this had led to increased competition within the industry and the organisers need to offer that the customers want and establish a competitive edge and a USP — with this USP being WiFi.
For festival organisers, investing in a WiFi structure is not a wasted cost at all, because 90% of all festival goers are active smartphone users. Therefore, an event with free WiFi is more appealing than one without. Nowadays, friends regularly stay connected and share their plans and memories with each other in real time and it is no surprise that WiFi for such popular events like festivals is becoming a must have for those who attend.
- How are WiFi structures reliably implemented?
Because festivals usually take place in fields and other remote locations, it can be difficult to establish a reliable WiFi connection. In response, a number of specialist companies have been established in order to help keep festival visitors connected.
Of course, given the size of the site and the sheer number of people trying to connect to the WiFi network, it’s currently quite difficult to provide a festival-wide connection. You will not be able to use the connection to browse in your tent in most locations. Instead, there will be WiFi hotspots.
You might have hear of one of the most notable examples of these hotspots. The amazing ‘WiFi cows’ that popped up across Glastonbury in 2014! The fibreglass cows acted as a 4G hotspot provided by EE and allowed festival-goers to get connected in true outrageous festival style. The WiFi structure also enabled contactless card payments across the festival’s 25 bars so they were very successful
In the future and as our dependence on digital grows, it’s likely that festival WiFi will become even more widespread and essentially turning each site into a hotspot.
- Is WiFi at a festival really beneficial?
As many celebrate the availability of WiFi at these events, some are questioning whether this new level of connectivity will detract from the overall festival experience. If attendees are too busy tweeting and posting about their experience, are they truly experiencing the festival?
There are so many benefits of WiFi and these outweigh this slight negative. WiFi not only helps promote a festival through attendee social coverage, it helps festival too as the visitors stay connected with their friends at the event and those at home. It definitely looks like festival WiFi is here to stay!