Brighton Dome partners on “festival of the future” to support artistic innovation through technology

News, 5G Festival

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival (BDBF) is amongst a group of leading organisations from across the UK’s arts, entertainment and technology industries who have started collaborating on the first ever hybrid 5G Festival.

The project imagines the “festival of the future”, when artists and audiences can gather and connect both in person and online, with the power of 5G to communicate the “live-ness” of the experience wherever they are. In practice, this means musicians could perform together from different venues at the same time, completely in-sync with one another, with audiences given the choice of where and how they watch the live event.

As part of the partnership, BDBF is working with Brighton 5G testbed partner Wired Sussex to research and develop new ways of connecting with artists/performers and technology professionals in Brighton & Hove to lead the way in harnessing the power of 5G technology for creativity. Brighton Dome recently participated in Alpha trials with local musicians and video artists to test out the effects of latency on performance capability. As part of the 5G Week Awards that focus on the best 5G adoption, business cases and distribution around the world, 5G Festival was named as the winner in the Most Innovative Use of 5G award announced on 2 June 2021.

Further trials are planned across the year, culminating in a showcase event at Brighton Dome, with artists distributed over multiple physical venues and virtual spaces planned for March 2022.

Donna Close, Digital Culture Associate, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival explains:

“The coronavirus pandemic has seen the habits and appetites of how audiences engage with cultural events changing to a more blended digital and live experience. BDBF has already been presenting new digital applications and live online events to its audiences and this research will take this one step further. But as we emerge out of lockdown and hopefully return to live in person events, it’s going to be vital for artists and arts organisations to harness digital technology so we can offer audiences something new and exciting, whether they are at home or in the venue itself. The venue trials have produced some fascinating and unexpected results and we’re looking forward to working with the 5G Festival partners to see how this develops further over the coming year and leading up to the showcase next March.” 

The 5G Festival collaboration is part of the wider £200 million 5G testbeds and trials programme (5GTT) funded by the UK Government, announced here last year and is led by Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading advanced digital technology centre and 5G specialist. 

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival added:

“BDBF’s core purpose is to inspire and enable artists to be their most creative and to champion the power of the arts to enrich and change lives. Together with colleagues at Wired Sussex, the 5G Festival will enable us to engage with the creative industries in Brighton & Hove and to support their innovation and resilience to design and develop technology to shape the future of the arts. This support comes at a crucial time when the city begins to recover from the economic impact caused by the pandemic and will help to create future-proof business models for the live events sector who have been adversely affected."

Partners include global music company Warner Music Group; 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); innovative digital technology companies Mativision (5G, 360° immersive live streaming and distribution platform) and LiveFrom (blockchain ticketing).