Cows have long been part of the landscape at Glastonbury home Worthy Farm and this year sees the festival’s telecom’s partner EE create a heard of fibreglass cows to act as the hotspots for its on-site 4G network.
The life-size, 4G-powered ‘Highspeed Heard’ have been modelled on Worthy Farm’s own famous dairy herd by long time festival artist Hank Kruger and installed across the 1,200-acre site
Kruger and his team, who have given the cows names such as Dolly, Daisy and Molly, are festival creative legends and have been decorating the site’s steel drum bins around the festival grounds since the 1980s.
Indeed, one of their painted bins is on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
The addition of hot-spots to last year’s 4G network sees the communications partner recognise the ever increasing need for web access and mobile connectivity through the festival.
Not least driven by usage of EE’s latest festival mobile app which includes a slew of new features ranging from enhanced social sharing, virtual pin tent and parking location tools and even contactless ordering at the bar.
The 2014 version from the festival’s official technology and communications partner sees EE integrate a ‘Cash on Tap’ system which lets users pay for drinks using smartphones.
Festival goers can thus benefit from contactless payment on site via 100+ card readers in 25 main bars and ‘cash on tap’ facilities for EE customers (enabling them to pay for items up to £20 with a mobile phone).
Furthermore, Twitter and Facebook integration means music lovers can also find out what friends are going to see, plus post to their walls and tweet from within the Glastonbury app.
This year’s version of the official Glastonbury Festival 2014 digital companion for festivalgoers is again free to download on both iOS and Android and again also includes a comprehensive suite of utilities from personalised performance scheduling, GPS mapping, BBC clip shows and six stage live streaming services
All accessible via the return of last year’s big experience enhancer – EE’s on-site 4G network.
Furthermore, with all these useful tools, the enjoyable content and social connectivity, EE recognises the drain on battery life, so in addition to providing free phone charging (regardless of network) and free 4G-powered Wi-Fi, EE, is trialling a new unlimited phone charging solution called the EE Festival Power Bar.
This device is essentially a portable mobile phone charger compatible with most modern phones and can be purchased for £20 from the EE online shop and on-site.
And even if the Power Bar runs out of juice at the Festival, official buyers can visit the dedicated EE Exchange Cabin on site and swap it for a fully charged one as many times as they like.
Festival goers can then take home the last power bar collected.
‘Improved social sharing capabilities, the resigned interface and improved map contribute to make this year’s the most advanced, user-friendly digital guide to Glastonbury Festival,’ claims EE brand director Spencer McHugh.
‘Our bespoke 4G network at the festival will make it even easier for Glastonbury goers to access all the exciting digital content, including live-streaming from the BBC.’
‘Last year we saw a huge increase in photo and video uploads on our network at Glastonbury as people shared their magical festival moments from across the site. By providing superfast 4G at the Festival alongside the launch of our new charging solution, the EE Festival Power Bar, we will make sure all those at the UK’s best-loved festival can stay connected and share content more easily and quicker than ever before.’
‘The app will hopefully help people navigate the site and make it even easier to find their friends and share their experiences,’ adds festival owner/organiser Emily Eavis.
EE is continuing the legacy of Orange at Glastonbury by focusing on new technologies that can truly enhance the festival experience with an approach that recognises the event’s heritage and purpose.
EE’s bespoke built app is certainly a useful tool – offering almost complete customisation to create personal set lists and custom festival calendars to ensure attendees get the most out of the rich array of experiences on offer.
Its hi-tech cows blend the festival’s countryside roots and its artistic heritage, while its onsite 4G network is not only useful for music lovers but also for fellow Glastonbury commercial partners.
After all, much like that other British summer season stalwart Wimbledon, Glastonbury sponsors are not allowed to use ad signage across the largely ‘commercially-clean’ site.
Ensuring that on-site cyber space is a key activation platform.
EE Glastonbury App
EE Glastonbury Website