Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival Uses Ruckus WiFi with SAMs for Socially Connected Guest Access

Over 45,000 Festival-Goers enjoyed high speed, socially connected Wi-Fi to like, post & share real time information providing essential on-the-day promotion.

Jamie-oliver-the-big-feastival-01Since 2012 Jamie Oliver, an English celebrity chef, restaurateur and media personality, and Alex James, best known as the bassist of the British band Blur, have hosted the “The Big Feastival”, a unique weekend celebration of music, food and fun for all the family, which also raises funds and awareness for The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.

The Big Feastival 2014 saw over 45,000 visitors enjoy live music from top acts, cooking demos, classes and Q&A sessions from top chefs, a diverse range of stands selling local produce and an array of child activities including arts & crafts workshops and a vintage funfair. As well as creating an unforgettable visitor experience, the festival also catered for exclusive sponsorship agreements, press areas, ticket offices and administrative offices.

The Problem:

With 15,000 visitors attending each day of the 3 day festival, the organisers needed to address the lack of guest access for visitors to tweet, like and share and critical Wi-Fi infrastructure for staff, sponsor and press communications. In previous years, The Big Feastival event organisers IMG had only deployed isolated & unmanaged, staff-only Wi-Fi hotspots within selected areas. With the increase in projected visitor attendance for the summer 2014 event coupled with the growing online & social needs of visitors, managed Wi-Fi with a powerful guest access tool became a necessity.

Festivalgoers had to rely solely on a rural cellular connection to browse the web and like, tweet & share content. This not only frustrated visitors, but also made the festival lose out from on-the-day experience marketing from the visitors sharing content and using a socially connected Wi-Fi hotspot system.

The Solution:

jamie-oliver-big-feastival-ruckus-wireless-01Realising the potential that Wi-Fi could bring for visitors, staff and event sponsors, IMG turned to Purdicom’s Reseller, a trusted provider of managed IT services, with a wealth of experience in delivering effective event Wi-Fi solutions. As an accredited Ruckus Wireless BigDog partner, Purdicom’s Reseller provided ZoneFlex 7762 outdoor access points managed by a ZoneDirector 1112 with Ruckus Wireless cloud-based SAMs (Smart Access Management), enabling social guest access for the visitors and administrative communications including VoIP traffic for event staff.

The Outcome:

During the event, the Wi-Fi network was a success with a high level of visitor and staff interactions. With on-the-day network support provided by Purdicom’s Reseller, the Wi-Fi handled over 4,000 concurrent Wi-Fi connections; VoIP telephony and unusual devices such as a Wi-Fi enabled Smart TV.