2008. A year where events and festivals alike were plagued by poor weather, poor attendance and in some cases poor organisation. One festival in my opinion shone through above the lucky unaffected few, with its notorious line-ups and probably its historically good luck for a sunny weekend. Reading Festival 2008 not only managed to grow its attendance figures but equalled or maybe even surpassed the previous years experience as a festival goer. Above the calls of sound issues and act cancellations I believe they pulled it off… Again!

But this blog isn’t really about promoting our extracurricular activities, it is in fact to show how etherLive can make a difference, not only at the events that are struggling but also to those that are growing in success.

As much as we would love to be able to lend our hand to filling the odd vacant slot for the often disappointing line-up cancellations, it is in fact the possible sound problems that would, and have been the focus of our attention. The main stage sound (arguably the only stage there that could be effected by the elements) was a popular topic of debate in the Reading Festival and NME forums as much as it cropped up in conversation amongst friends and colleagues. 

So as festival sites expand, sound systems become more powerful and with our downward spiral into a country of 365 days of torrential rain and gale force winds, you can imagine one of the fastest growing concerns for festival organisers is their compliance to noise regulations and how the weather effects it. Noise regulation is that fine balance between ensuring the neighbouring towns and villages don’t get a front room seat to the main event whilst keeping everyone else stood in-front of the bands they came to see, happy… Easy? Those that think so obviously have never tried to communicate with the person just about to launch their precious new kite skyward on a windy day whilst clinging onto the strings not quite ready to go!

 With this all in mind we began to look into the ways and means in which we could help make that complex and often frustrating job a little easier. Not being specialists in sound sampling and analysis we partnered with the experts to allow us to offer real-time remote sound monitoring. Utilising etherLive’s Wi-Fi infrastructure and industry leading sound monitoring equipment, organisers can capture sound levels from multiple unmanned locations across the festival site, possibly further and monitor this data from one single console in real-time!

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