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Enhancing the Music Festival Experience with New Technology

Andy Robertson

Many music festivals have evolved over time from grassroots events with a reputation for muddy fields and a back to basics feel. Technology is advancing at an ever-increasing speed and new innovations are being adopted by festival organisers to make their operations more efficient and provide greater convenience to festival-goers.

New technology can impact on music festivals in numerous ways with organisers seeing a key benefit of increasing efficiency of operation and a reduction in costs. The benefits to festival-goers is increased convenience and an enhanced festival experience. The use and reliance on mobile technology has been a key driver in the changes taking place. 

Almost all festival tickets are now issued as either QR Codes or Bar Codes and are used for a variety of reasons including event entrance and ticket holder verification. The use of RFID wristbands is also helping to make festivals cashless and paperless events. This makes processing of gate entrance and on-site transactions faster and more convenient. Organisers benefit form more robust verification of festival-goers and allows for the capture of useful data for analysis.

Mobile Networks and Connectivity. 
The world is moving rabidly to 5G networks that first started getting used on music festival sites in 2019 just before the coronavirus pandemic hit so expect them to be widely used by festival organisers in 2022. Every remote festival site now employs a mobile connectivity solution which forms part of their site set up and operation. Not only do organisers need these networks to enable the technology they use for operational reasons but festival-goers also benefit from access. This allows them to use the most popular streaming Apps like Snapchat and TikTok for example which require the 5G technology to allow easier video content uploads. 5G networks deliver improved speed, connectivity and latency enabling technologies like AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) to perform. Using 5G technology increases traffic capacity and network efficiency allowing organisers to make high-resolution media livestreams that are often bandwidth-hungry.

Content Delivery.
Music festival content is often delivered and streamed online as well as on large screens throughout a festival site. The impact of increased processing power is a great enabler for much the new technologies now being embraced by festival organisers. Increased CPU (Central Processing Unit) performance and an acceleration in GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) power now enables large screens on festival sites to handle demanding content delivery (HDR, 8K and 3D) with more efficient video presentation. 

Expectations form the modern generation of festival-goers is now higher than ever especially considering the increasingly high costs of attending. People are used to using their mobile devices in urban environments where content delivery is fast and connectivity bandwidth is taken for granted. They live in a world without cash where payment transactions are fast and secure using wireless technology. They now expect the same technology to work on a remote music festival site.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

photo by Teddy Yang from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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