Splendour in the Grass is an annual music and arts festival at North Byron Parklands, New South Wales, which attracts over 30,000 festival goers over three days. The 2017 festival took place from the 21st – 23rd July and played host to artists like The xx, Queens of the Stone Age, Haim and Royal Blood. Splendour in the Grass teamed up with VISA, Purple, NetEvent, Ruckus and MicroTik to deliver free, fast and secure WiFi to thousands of revellers whilst capturing valuable analytics data that will allow them to effectively plan for future festivals.
Delivering an exceptional experience for festival goers is extremely important to the organisers of Splendour in the Grass and delivering on-site connectivity contributes to this positive experience. The festival has had on-site WiFi for several years now but the WiFi and analytics platforms that they had previously implemented didn’t supply them with the quality data and insights that they desired.
Through acquiring detailed analytics, the organisers would be able to get a true overview of who visits the festival and use the demographic data to determine what acts, stalls and merchandise to have on offer. Organisers also sought a solution that would be easy to setup and could be deployed within a short space of time once the festival infrastructure had been fully established.
Organisers of Splendour in the Grass researched a number of captive portals online but found Purple to be the most suitable fit for their forthcoming event.
Commenting on the selection process, Rick Jose, Technology Manager for Splendour in the Grass, said: “Researching captive portals online is what first lead us to Purple. After using other WiFi systems for several years that lacked good reporting and were cumbersome to set up, we could see that Purple offered a much better solution. Previous captive portal systems we’ve used have required quite a sophisticated level of coding in HTML & CSS for the creation of the splash page whereas Purple’s wizard style splash template design with the plug-in socials integration streamlined the process and saved us time and money.”
Rock and roll out
Ruckus and MicroTik hardware was deployed by NetEvent, expert providers of networking solutions for events, in 2 specific areas within the festival precinct where people could sit in bespoke booths around the WiFi access points. The free public WiFi at Splendour in the Grass 2017 was sponsored by VISA and their branding was added to the WiFi login pages.
Throughout the three days thousands of lines of customer data were captured from WiFi users at the two dedicated zones. These zones were specifically created as meeting hubs, displaying information such as maps and playing times, where patrons could stand near the WiFi towers or sit and relax in bespoke booths whilst online. The network allowed people to access the internet, connect with friends and share memories of the festival on social media, which in turn builds awareness of the festival. Facebook proved to be the most popular access method for the WiFi, with 52% of people choosing to login via their profile.
The data collected about festival goers includes their email address, name, age, gender, visitor location, number of visits and even their interests. Commenting on the analytics, Rick said: “The data provides a good insight into our audience and helps us to better understand who they are, which in turn informs some of our decisions in planning for our next event. We’ve been very impressed with Purple, from the straight forward setup and configuration, to the detailed analytics and accessible, responsive support, the solution has proven to be the best we’ve used for this application so far.”
By using the Purple platform, the team behind Splendour in the Grass has gained a comprehensive bird’s-eye view of who people are, whether they attend the full duration of the event and how long they use the network for. In addition, the wealth of analytics captured will be used to influence and guide planning for forthcoming events, including what marketing to distribute, which artists to host and what stands to welcome on-site.
No marketing communications were sent out to festival goers during the event but there are plans to use the visitor records in the run up to next year’s festival to promote dates, artist announcements and early bird ticket sales, which in turn could increase profits and engagement as people create more of a buzz online. The fact that 57% of attendees are female could also influence some of the content that they distribute as campaigns could be developed to suit different customer segments.