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5G Festival

Imagine a festival like no other

Imagine a “festival of the future” where artists and audiences can gather and connect both in person and online – introducing 5G Festival, a unique project enabling the power of 5G to communicate the “live-ness” of an experience wherever you are.

As part of the wider £200 million 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT) funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the 5G Festival will produce a 5G powered, virtual, live immersive collaboration platform for artists. It will enable them to produce and perform seamlessly from wherever they are, as well as enriching the festival experience for audiences at home and/or at the venue. Using 5G and its ability to transmit with low latency (delay) and in ultra-high bandwidth alongside Mativision’s 5G-ready 360° content distribution platform, the 5G Festival will transform the ability of physically separate artists to produce immersive live, collaborative performances across multiple venues including Brighton Dome, O2 Blueroom at The O2, and Metropolis Studios.

5G Festival is uniquely positioned to bring cross technological experiences together to tackle three use cases:

  • Remote music production: two (or more) artists in remote locations will be able to: play synchronously, see each other for visual cues, and experience audience reactions
  • Virtual Festival (at home): fans at home consume a combined live feed from collaborating artists using any device for a rich immersive live music experience without the need for travel
  • Hybrid Festival (at venue): groups of fans at a physical venue experience part of a live collaborative performance physically with the collaborator “present” in extended reality (XR) – augmenting their traditional experience.

5G Festival will help create a more diversified, sustainable live music industry with increased opportunities to reach new users (artists/creators) and audiences (fans) by using the latest available and developing technologies, helping to not only future-proof business models for venues and festivals adversely affected by global risks (such as COVID-19 and climate change), but provide safe, creation/performance environment for artists and valuable, high-quality, immersive experiences to audiences wherever they are around the world.

The collaboration is led by Digital Catapult and brings together global music company Warner Music Group; renowned live arts venue and culture organisation Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival working with Brighton 5G testbed partner Wired Sussex; telecommunications service provider and sponsor of The O2 and O2 Academy venues O2; pioneers in music production Metropolis Studios (audio mixing, production and venue), Sonosphere (immersive audio and live streaming) and Audiotonix (audio mixing consoles and AoIP networking); and innovative digital technology companies Mativision (5G, 360° immersive live streaming and distribution platform) and LiveFrom (blockchain ticketing).

The core 5G infrastructure is based on Digital Catapult’s 5G testbeds in Brighton and London, inter-connected with O2’s public 5G network. The technology will be designed and incorporated into an in-venue ‘hybrid festival’ providing a blend of live physical and remote interactive and immersive engagements for in-venue audiences and exploring opportunities for digital transformation and capability building for the UK’s world-leading live music, festivals and events sector. The O2 Lab will be developing the customer facing mobile application for the project.

The project will conclude with a public event in early 2022.