Announcing the world's first 5G powered, immersive hybrid festival experience

We’re all music lovers at O2. It’s why we sponsor some of the world’s leading venues and offer customers early-access to gigs with Priority Tickets.

If there’s one thing I’ve missed during 2020, it’s the thrill of watching live music. As COVID-19 restrictions continue to put a curb on public gatherings, we must look for different, safe ways to experience that thrill. And as with many problems facing the country, there’s a role for technology to play in keeping people connected.

Fans’ appetite for live music is as voracious as ever. But COVID-19 has changed the habits and appetites of consumers for the long term. Gig-goers are now seeking alternative ways to maintain the intimacy and rush of live gigs. Remote digital experiences that draw on the capabilities of new technologies to recreate in-person experiences are a safe solution.

This is exactly why, at O2, we’re excited to be part of the world’s first 5G powered, internationally accessible hybrid festival. Arriving later in 2021, the 5G Festival will harness the power of advanced digital technologies to create a spectacular showcase of music talent.

Part of the UK Government funded ‘5G Create’ test beds and trials programme, the 5G festival will utilise 5G’s ability to transmit with low latency and in ultra-high bandwidth. Doing so will transform the ability of our favourite artists to produce live, collaborative performances across multiple venues for fans in stadium. In turn, the festival experience will be truly enriched for audiences at home via live broadcasts from the venues.

Like many projects, meeting the ambitions of the 5G Festival is only possible through collaboration. We’ve partnered with giants of the music, entertainment and tech industry, including Warner Music, the iconic Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, Metropolis, Sonosphere, Audiotonix, Mativision, LiveFrom and Digital Catapult.

Together, our aim is to create a more diversified, sustainable live music industry with increased opportunities to reach new audiences by using the latest available technologies. Doing so will help future-proof business models for an industry hit hard by COVID-19. It will also open up safe and high-quality experiences to audiences, wherever they are around the world.

Much like live music, 5G has the power to bring us closer like nothing else. 5G isn’t just about faster mobiles; it’s about unlocking new opportunities for business, industry and society. The live music industry needs technology’s help, and this extends to all of the vendors which depend on its continued success.

As we rebuild Britain in the wake of COVD-19, we must look to 5G connectivity to help us get back to doing the things we love most. I can’t wait for the world to see its potential at the 5G Festival.

Read more about the 5G Festival here