Festivals are an important part of our British culture. They’re a place to come together with friends to have fun, share indulgences, let inhibitions go, enjoy music, art, and culture. Festivals offer us a platform to express ourselves within the confines of our own unique passions and interests.
However, in our increasingly digital age, staying connected is also a top priority for festival-goers. Whether it’s sharing your favourite moments on social media, coordinating meet-ups with friends, or accessing essential festival information, a reliable WiFi solution can make or break the festival experience.
And WiFi has become more important as a business tool for the festival production team behind the scenes. It’s a powerful marketing tool, a commercial enabler, and a health and safety necessity.
In this blog, we explore festival WiFi solutions and why they’re even more critical than ever to ensure a safe, harmonious and successful festival experience.
Is Festival WiFi a necessity?
For festival organisers, the question of whether you should invest in a WiFi solution may be a tricky one to conclude.
At Wireless Solutions, in working with festivals of all sizes there’s no hard and fast rule as to when you may need a WiFi solution. We believe the answer to this question relates to your brand positioning and the monetisation objectives behind your festival.
Say you’re running a local festival aimed at bringing the community together to raise money for local charitable causes, then the chances are you may not need to invest much, if anything, in a festival WiFi solution.
Smaller, local traders are often used to taking payments via 4G, (sometimes using their own personal Starlink if they’ve experienced connectivity issues and are a bit more tech savvy).
The volumes of people at your festival may be low enough to mean that contention issues don’t stop connectivity altogether.
Yes, tt may be slow, but at least some level of connectivity is possible – sufficient to allow everyone to enjoy themselves without the need to be always on.
If, however, you’re running a larger festival where you have big overheads, you’re charging traders significant fees, and you are looking at this as a business to pay salaries and earn a profit, then you’re going to need a robust WiFi solution.
And here are just some of the reasons why:
Staying in touch with friends and family members at a festival can be challenging due to the large crowds and often limited cell phone reception. A robust festival WiFi network allows attendees to communicate through messaging apps, ensuring they can coordinate meet-ups, stay safe, and share their experiences in real-time.
Festivals are known for their diverse lineups and various activities. Having access to a festival app or website can provide attendees with valuable information such as schedules, maps, artist bios, and emergency updates. WiFi enables festival-goers to access this information quickly and efficiently.
Social Media Sharing
Festival-goers love to share their experiences on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. A strong WiFi network allows attendees to upload photos and videos in real-time, creating a sense of community and excitement around the event.
It’s one of your best marketing tools. If you’re looking to expand the reach of your Festival then social media sharing is essential.
Many festivals now offer cashless payment options, such as RFID wristbands or mobile apps. A reliable WiFi network is essential for attendees to make purchases and transactions seamlessly, reducing the need for cash or physical cards.
Festival WiFi Solutions
There are many different ways to create a festival WiFi solution. Again, it depends on the size of your event, location and dependence on connectivity to the meeting your objectives:
Temporary Network Infrastructure
Festivals are often held in remote or open areas where there may be limited existing infrastructure. To address this, event organisers can set up temporary network infrastructure, including WiFi access points and fibre optic connections, to ensure reliable coverage throughout the festival grounds. This is the most advanced method of WiFi for large events and festivals.
In areas with poor terrestrial network coverage, satellite internet can be a viable solution. It provides a stable and high-speed internet connection, making it possible for festival-goers to stay connected even in remote locations.
Starlinks are an increasingly popular choice – here we explain the pros and cons of Starlink for events and festivals.
Festival organizers can provide mobile hotspots that attendees can rent or purchase. These portable devices create a personal WiFi network, allowing individuals or small groups to have internet access wherever they go within the festival grounds.
These aren’t often a good solution where contention is high due to high volumes of people connecting.
It’s the same issue that causes construction site WiFi to drop out.
Creating designated WiFi zones within the festival grounds can help manage network traffic and ensure a stable connection. This approach allows organizers to focus their resources on providing strong WiFi in high-traffic areas like stages, food courts, and camping areas.
This strategy is recommended for larger events to plan and prioritise connectivity effectively, and manage budgets accordingly.
With a large number of users connecting to the festival WiFi network, security is a top concern. Implementing robust security measures, such as WPA3 encryption and intrusion detection systems, can protect both attendees and the festival’s network from potential threats.
In today’s digital age, staying connected is an essential part of the festival experience. Festival WiFi solutions not only enhance communication and access to information but also enable attendees to share their experiences and make cashless transactions.
Event organizers should carefully plan and implement reliable WiFi infrastructure to ensure that festival-goers have a seamless and enjoyable experience, no matter where the event takes place. With the right WiFi solution in place, everyone can fully immerse themselves in the festivities and create lasting memories.
If you’d like to discuss Festival WiFi with us, get in touch, we’d love to talk.