This May bank holiday weekend, 20,000 festival goers gathered in South Park in Oxford as part of the Common People festival, all waiting to see bands from Maximo Park to Morcheeba and the Jacksons, sample street food and maybe have a go on the world’s biggest bouncy castle.
DJ and Bestival co-founder Rob da Bank has said of the festival:
“All of us at festival headquarters love kicking our year off with Common People – it’s such an easy formula, turn up for lunchtime, have a great day and evening listening to great bands and DJs and eating some of the best festi-food around and then be in your own bed before midnight. Simple.”
This time around, ‘Instagrammable’ moments were captured without a hitch, snaps were swiftly sent, and the #commonpeopleox chat flowed freely, all thanks to Oxford Brookes University sharing their Janet Network connection with festival planners. Provided by Jisc, Janet is a research and education network that’s 200,000 times faster than the average home broadband. Event planners were pleased with the speed of the network, which allowed them to share communications with ease and ensured a great event all round.
The connection was tethered to the festival using 700 metres of single mode fibre from the university and up a hill to the festival venue. The fibre ran over a field, through trees (suspended around 15 metres above the ground), and into a university communications room in Cheney Student Village. Working together, Jisc, Pinnacom and Oxford Brookes University set up a network for the festival in only four hours.
Martin Stevenson, from Pinnacom said:
“At Pinnacom we facilitate internet connections for remote sites such as outdoor television broadcasts and events. Having been let down by an initial provider, we turned to Oxford Brookes for support and worked with them to tether their Janet connection to the festival. We couldn’t be more pleased with the result and are glad the festival had access to the fastest broadband in the city.”
Tim Loveday, network and security manager from Oxford Brookes said:
“We were very happy to be able to share our internet connection with the Common People festival. When we learnt that organisers were experiencing some issues we immediately notified members of our IT staff who were happy to help out and ensure a successful outcome. We are pleased to have been able to support this popular local event.”
Christian Evans, customer director at Jisc said:
“We were thrilled to bring the Janet Network to a festival, and are thankful to those who worked so hard to make it happen. Ordinarily Janet is used for UK education and research, but has been known to appear at festivals, and has even been used at the Edinburgh Fringe before. We look forward to bringing the Janet connection to more events in the future, in particular those aligned with education and research.”
A spokesperson from Common People said:
“Common People would like to thank Oxford Brookes University for bringing the Janet Network to South Park. Their superfast internet helped us showcase our festival to a huge audience”.