Revellers at this year’s Glastonbury festival experienced the most connected festival experience yet courtesy of EE, the event’s official technology and communications partner. A temporary 4G network – the largest in the world – was constructed by the EE special projects team in the run up to the festival.
4G Data Use at Glastonbury
With far more people using 4G than in previous years, the total data volume from last year was exceeded by the Thursday evening – before the main stages had actually opened. In total eight terabytes of data were downloaded during the week of the event, equivalent to an astonishing two million Lionel Richie songs. Uploading was equally popular – doubling from last year – with the equivalent of three million photos uploaded to social networks such as Facebook.
The Power Bar Exchange
Festival goers were able to keep their phones charged and stay connected through the use of EE Power Bars. These are portable phone chargers that allow users to charge their phone on the move. When the Power Bar ran out of battery it could simply be swapped for a fully charged bar at one of two exchange points at the festival. Average queuing time at each exchange was kept under two minutes to make this a queue-busting alternative to traditional charging.
The 4GEE Charging Bull
EE combined a new phone charging solution with double-speed 4G WiFi at the event in the form of the 4GEE Charging Bull. The bull acted as a charging point for the EE power bars, which could be plugged into it for a quick power boost, and also doubled up as a double-speed 4G hotspot, which festival goers could connect to for free. This meant that users could upload pictures to Facebook, or download songs, while waiting for their Power Bar to charge.
The Official Glastonbury App
The event’s official app was launched more than three million times during the course of the festival as users checked festival news and set times, stayed in touch with other festival goers, and live streamed coverage from around the site. Of the 2.6 million acts favourited the most popular were Florence and the Machine, Lionel Richie, and George Ezra. Almost half a million Deezer clips were played during the festival, with Alabama Shakes, The Who, and James Bay being the most often played. Revellers also used the app to find out where they were and more than 32,000 dropped pins to mark the location of their tent, car, or friends.
According to Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE, “As social media usage on our network continues to soar, we have worked with Glastonbury to deliver the most connected festival experience ever for 2015. As well as the 4GEE Charging Bull there will be multiple public WiFi hotspots on site for all to use and through our EE Power Bar Exchange service we are delivering the biggest phone charging operation of any music festival in the world. We want to help everyone there stay in touch with friends and share every memory, using our innovative technology to get the most out of their experience at the UK’s biggest music festival.”