Metropolis Studios, alongside leading organisations from across the UK’s arts, entertainment and technology industries are collaborating to create the first-ever hybrid 5G Festival. The R&D testbed will utilise the power of advanced digital technologies enabling artists to broadcast live direct to audiences from remote locations and venues, as well as producing novel immersive in-venue experiences.
The pandemic may have changed the habits and appetites of consumers for the long term, as audiences increasingly look for remote, digital and blended experiences. 5G Festival 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 you are.
The collaboration is led by Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading advanced digital technology centre and 5G specialist, and brings together Metropolis Studios ; Mativision (5G, 360° immersive live streaming and distribution platform); Warner Music Group; Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival; The O2 and O2 Academy venues; Sonosphere (immersive audio and live streaming); Audiotonix (mix consoles and AoIP networking); LiveFrom (blockchain ticketing).
As part of the wider £200 million 5G testbeds and trials programme (5GTT) funded by the UK Government, the 5G Festival will produce a 5G powered, live immersive collaboration platform for artists and enrich the live festival experience for audiences at home and in venue. 5G Festival is using 5G and its ability to transmit with low latency (delay) and in ultra-high bandwidth to allow physically separate artists to produce immersive live, collaborative performances across multiple venues within a live and remote immersive environment. In practice, this means musicians can write, produce, rehearse and perform together from different locations at the same time, completely in sync with one another resolving what is today, a very real world problem.
The core 5G infrastructure is based on Digital Catapult’s 5G Testbed, which spans three sites across Brighton and London, and offers technologically complete end-to-end, standards compliant, commercial and open source network services. 5G Festival will use Mativision’s network-ready 360° content distribution platform, and O2’s public 5G network to support the scale of the project. 5G Festival will also explore opportunities for digital transformation and capability building for the UK’s world-leading live music, festivals and events sector. The O2 Lab will be developing the customer-facing mobile application for the project. BDBF’s festival team will be producing the showcase event with artists distributed between the three venues to help demonstrate both the technology and its commercial viability.
In March 2021, the first trials experimented with the effects of audio latency (the delay in the amount of time is takes for sound to get from its source to a listener’s ears – i.e. from one musician to another) on the performers’ ability to play together, dialling the amount of delay (latency) up and down to showcase the power of 5G technology and test the musicians’ and singers’ ability to cope with latency, as well as what the delay limits were before a performance fell apart. “The trials produced fascinating, and some unexpected results,” says Sonosphere’s Andy Robinson. The next trials will take place during June 2021, with a final showcase event planned for early 2022.
“As a world leading recording studio, our ability to help develop and facilitate artist collaboration to the highest quality will always be our priority and part of our core services. Enabling artists and producers to connect remotely over 5G so that they can work together seamlessly solves an existing issue that the studio faces daily. Metropolis are also perfectly placed to broadcast live artist performances and guest collaborations over a 5G network to partner venues O2 and Brighton Dome as part of the 5G Festival, and also to viewers at home supporting unique branded VR fan experiences.” – Gavin Newman, Brand Director at Metropolis Studios
Get in Touch
For Metropolis Partnership enquiries please contact Gavin.