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By Simon Osborne | 15 Oct 2019 | In Venues & Events

Cambridge Folk Festival 2019 was an outstanding success in every way, which saw festival goers delighted by a rich array of performing talent, an eclectic range of food and drink offerings and fantastic weather to boot across the whole weekend.

It was a great success too for smart WiFi provider Novahub, who for the fourth year running, Novahub delivered high performance WiFi services to festival goers, artists, performers and concession holders through its Cambridge-wide arrangement with Cambridge Live.

This year saw Novahub introduce a superfast, high availability WiFi service across the entire Folk Festival site. Also added to the service was an interactive bespoke Folk Festival app through which users were able to access set lists, running times and key “what’s on” information about the activities on offer over the weekend.

The result was a massive 67% year-on-year increase in WiFi user numbers and an astonishing 1,751% increase in data use across the three days compared to 2018.

The bespoke Folk Festival app developed by Novahub for this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival saw a 626% increase in views over 2018, providing a superior experience for visitors and strong exposure for event sponsors.

Festival goers demand information

The Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the longest running and most famous folk festivals in the world and attracts over 14,000 visitors from the UK and overseas. Yet despite its traditional roots, today’s festival goers are very demanding when it comes to interactive, real time information.

We wanted to provide festival goers with super-high-performance WiFi this year”, says Simon Osborne, Novahub’s CEO.

In addition, we’ve noticed in previous years that festival goers want information in real time about activities and running times, yet are also looking for practical information about what else is on, and about the acts themselves.”

To meet these requirements, Novahub developed a custom Folk Festival app to provide festival goers with the information they needed, yet at the same time to deliver useful insights to Cambridge Live from a survey which generated usage data around the event.

Simon Osborne continues: “This year we noticed a massive uptake in app usage, proving that festival goers don’t simply turn up and sit back to watch the acts. They actually want to engage with online, related content in order to enhance and improve their enjoyment of the event.

For example, 29% of the app views centred on the acts themselves, suggesting that users wanted background information about the acts before, during or after going to see them.”

Other valuable information available for users of the app included a map of the Folk Festival site, performance lists for the three days, “What’s On” guides, workshops and wellbeing activities, talks and information about “The Den” as well as updates on food and drink availability.

Boosting visibility for sponsors

A key commercial application for the Folk Festival (and other) organisers by the Novahub app is the increased visibility provided to event sponsors.

The app delivered 11,190 impressions for each of the sponsors of the Cambridge Folk Festival, with the added benefit of clickable content through to the sponsors’ websites.

Customer feedback through the survey in the app provided further key insights for the festival organisers including visitor age groups, modes of transport used, previous Folk Festival visits, and numbers in the visitor group/party.

Providing “operational” WiFi for Cambridge Live

Novahub provided ‘operational’ WiFi services throughout the Folk Festival weekend, including a production network for Cambridge Live staff and media for live audio and video streaming. The production network supported by WiFi included a VoIP telephone network, laptop and printer connectivity, a secure Point of Sale (PoS) till network and a ticket scanning network.

Next Steps

With over 10 years’ experience offering professional WiFi solutions, Novahub makes WiFi work better to improve customer experience, enhance venue attractiveness and increase business productivity. Contact Novahub on 01223 661310 or email for a free site survey and to discover how your existing WiFi systems can be improved. Download our Buyer’s Guide to Enhancing Customer Experience with Smart WiFi.   Or go to our website.


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