The Michigan Technology Network (MITN) was honored to get a sneak peek of Common Ground Behind the Scenes at the July Technology Tour held on July 10, 2014 exclusive for MITN members. MITN hosts a variety of educational, networking, and community events throughout the year, but this lunch time tour exposed the group to all the technologies that come together to support this annual music festival.
Common Ground is a diverse music festival that returned for the 15th year to the Adado Riverfront Park along the Grand River in downtown Lansing. It estimates a crowd of over 50,000 people with six days of changing musical acts which means lots of demands to support both the crowd and the artists.
The concert uses an electronic system for scanning wristbands and tickets, so the technology connection was required and needed to be reliable to work the entire festival. Then, each vendor needed access to a wired connection for the credit card machines. The concert was also streamed along a large video wall and feed into some of the VIP areas. In order to better understand what made all of this technology work seamlessly, MITN was invited on a tour.
The tour started at the technology headquarters for the event that was more a communication headquarters for different parties involved with the event. At this command center, the group better understood exactly what technology is required to make this a success. For example, the communication infrastructure of the event included routers, switches, cameras, phones, radios, and thousands of yards of communication cable was discussed in detail.
Besides ensuring the event was running smooth, a large part of the emergency command center was ensuring the safety and security of those attending the festival. The group got to ask a lot of questions about the interoperability of technologies. Sometimes it was a technical solution to solve it, but other times it just came down to proper procedure.
A guest speaker also visited the tour to discuss the social media and efforts that were used by the “street team” as another technology element. They used it to execute marketing and communication goals, but also listen closely to the feeds relevant to the event to make it the best possible.
The Common Ground Behind the Scenes tour was a great chance for MITN members to truly feel like VIP while also learning about the technology behind the music.