Caught between rock and a hard disk

An alcohol firm's broadcasting of a music festival reveals corporate thirst for Net exposure, says Tim Perry

Next weekend's Phoenix Festival outside Stratford-upon-Avon is the pick of the summer's big outdoor events. David Bowie, Neil Young, Bjork and the Sex Pistols will be appearing on the main stage while 250 other acts covering every type of music will be playing in seven other arenas.

But you do not need to stir from your desk to experience the four-day festival - you can take part via Vladivar's "Goodcleanfun" Web site on the Internet. Just by staring at your computer, you will be able to listen to and see the vast majority of performances, get festival gossip and have an e-mail conversation with the stars.

The Internet is crammed with sites put up by music companies, and an increasing number of brand names think they can reach a youthful audience through the Web. Live "netcasts" are also becoming more commonplace as the big record labels seek new ways of marketing their acts. So what is the big deal here?

The Vladivar site, run by the vodka people, seems to be rather different - or at least more successful. In March, it broadcast a gig by the band Supergrass that scored an impressive 200,000-plus hits - more than any previous broadcast on the Internet.

While music fans might believe the Phoenix netcast is just there for their enjoyment, the commercial aspect is more significant in the long run. The Phoenix deal has been assembled for Vladivar by Traffic Interactive, which brings together marketing and technology skills to package material for the Internet. Its director, Alex Johnson, sees its job as producing quality broadcasts "to stand out from the quarter-million other sites out there". Purists might want this kind of Net coverage without corporate intervention, but it would be impossible to fund such an elaborate site in any other way.

It is certainly highly ambitious. Over the weekend, Traffic Interactive will have 50 technicians and designers working round the clock, while a dozen journalists equipped with Apple Powerbooks, mini-digital tape recorders, and Quicktake and CuSeeMe cameras will interview festival-goers and artists to create a rolling electronic magazine.

All performances should be available in audio and all acts on the main stage will be covered by four CuSeeMe cameras, which will broadcast pictures onto the Web site. Bands playing on other stages will have photos flashed up every 15 seconds during their shows.

There will also be an opportunity for fans to have live e-mail conversations with some of the stars backstage, though in truth they are unlikely to consist of the odd "hi". All of this will be backed up with festival facts, band biographies and so on.

Given the limits on band width and connectivity, this is not going to be a slick stereo broadcast (netcast video footage is grainy and jerky, and sound will be on a par with AM radio). But fans of the 250 acts - from the Alabama 3 to the Young Gods - will at least be able to create their own little festivals, and to download lots of cool stuff.

http://www.freud.co.uk/phoenix/index.html

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

    £100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

    Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee