The West of England Combined Authority is bringing tech innovation to this year’s Bristol Harbour Festival to give visitors a unique view of all three performance stages from their smartphones.
The region’s £9.2M 5G Smart Tourism project will use live streaming of 360° camera footage to test the use of 5G technology at scale in a festival setting.
The best view for festival goers
Festival goers will be encouraged to ‘connect for the best view’ to access the footage via the University of Bristol’s 5GUK Test Network. A secret performance will be staged twice during the festival, exclusively for viewers of the 360° footage. The secret performance will bring the best of Bristol to the screen with a range of acts performing for the cameras.
Visitors to the festival can access the 360° live streams by going to their Wi-Fi settings and choosing ‘harbour360’ and visiting festival360.uk. It’s completely free and only accessible to festival goers in Millennium Square and Amphitheatre.
There will be Smart Futures marquee at the festival in Millennium Square, which will give visitors the chance to find out more about the project, access the 360° footage and use VR headsets.
After the festival, the 360° footage will be stored within the Bristol City Council archives creating a unique record of the city’s vibrant culture.
Innovation to improve public safety and accessibility
At certain times during the festival, the 5G network will be ‘sliced’ to simulate the use of the network as a robust communications channel for the emergency services during a public safety emergency, while maintaining live streaming of high-quality video footage for users.
The use of 360° cameras across the festival site will also support the Harbour Festival’s application for gold standard ‘Attitude is Everything’ award (improving deaf and disabled people’s access to live music). By capturing 360° footage of key routes into the festival, it will provide disabled visitors with valuable information to make choices about how best to access and move around the festival site.
This focus on public safety and accessibility will provide valuable insights for other cities and events.
Part of a Smart Region approach
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said: “The West of England is the UK’s leading smart city region. Our work on the use of 5G technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we all live and work, transforming everything from assisted living to air quality. This is a really exciting opportunity to lead the way on the potential for 5G at major public events like the Bristol Harbour Festival. We’re bringing together the region’s talent from our universities, tech and creative sectors to create an exciting new experience for festival goers. More than that, we are showing how the innovative use of new technologies can make major public events safer and more accessible for all.”
Margot James, Minister for Digital said: “The Government is investing in the infrastructure that will make Britain fit for the future and a world leader in 5G.
“Smart Tourism is a fantastic project which we’re excited to extend funding for. It will help realise the innovative ways 5G can boosts our top tourism attractions, not just in the West of England but across the UK.”
The 5G Smart Tourism project is led by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), and part-funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
This extension of the 5G Smart Tourism initiative is being delivered by a consortium led by West of England Combined Authority with partners: Bristol Futures Global; University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab; Digital Catapult; Zeetta Networks; Mativision; Bristol City Council; Bristol Is Open; Destination Bristol and Bristol Harbour Festival.
Bristol Harbour Festival takes place on 19-21 July 2019 along the waterfront from Welshback to the SS Great Britain.
For 360° footage highlights of last year’s Bristol Harbour Festival, visit https://youtu.be/f9CbhYRy7sQ