Summer festival WiFi connectivity

Summer festival WiFi connectivity

As the days draw more chilly, we'd like to reflect on the hazy summer days we spent on helping out again this year with the WiFi provision at festivals. In particular, The Big Weekend and The Cambridge Folk Festival.

Cambridge's Big Weekend is an event on Parkers's Piece in Cambridge open to the public with food, music and lots of atmosphere. The line-up this year included Heather Small and The Hoosiers (and Big 10, one of our favourites).

We were contracted by event WiFi specialists Novahub to assist with the build phase of their network rollout for the event for public WiFi. All of the cabling was temporary, so we were able to deploy wifi over the entire site rather quickly within the span of a few days. 

We started by setting up the network hub, a big switch that would centralise the rest of the network. The first order of business was getting a wireless bridge deployed and set up so that it can provide wifi to the site. The bride was attached to a post that was raised to about 10-15 metres in the air, and pointed at a wireless bridge over 250 meters away! Once we aligned the antenna, it provided the network with Gigabit speeds, which is enough to support thousands of party-goer devices at once.

Once the hub was in place, we deployed more switches, then numerous accesspoints  around the site, all cabled up to their appropriate switch. Extra wireless bridges were deployed to ensure wifi reached other parts of the park avoiding the need for cable to be run across a main walkway.

We love a challenge and the main one of this job was taking advantage of what infrastructure was already there to use our time effectively and to optimise coverage. We also ran almost a kilometre of cable, whilst working safely round the many other contractors involved in all aspects of delivering a large scale event. 

Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the longest running folk festivals in the world. Held each year since 1965 it attracts around fourteen thousand people, many of whom return year after year. The lineup this year included Billy Bragg, Suzanne Vega and Gipsy Kings.

For us, installing the Novahub public WiFi, it was essentially the Big Weekend...but on steroids. There were roughly double the amount of switches switches and APs deployed, with two satellite locations also requiring set up. Despite the size and complexity of the installation, the result was the entire site covered with the free (and highly reliable!) public WiFi for the duration of the festival. 

While it's time for us to hang up our bucket hats for this year, we look forward to helping out with the connectivity at next year's Cambridge summer festival events.

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About Millrose
Millrose provides fibre and copper data cabling, WiFi, and telecom services across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Herts and Essex.

Millrose Telecom Ltd, t/a Millrose. Company Number: 09005041
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Phone: 01223 625343

St John’s Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WS
Espace North, Littleport, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 1RA
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