The news is out, after spending the last 18 months working closely on a number of events Etherlive and Venue IT are merging to deliver an exciting range of technology services across the broad events industry. For existing customers the relationship and services provided remains the same, but now with access to an enhanced range of offerings, delivering more efficiency and industry leading innovation.

Full press release follows:

Technical expertise and events experience join forces

As the events and festival season get underway, Venue IT, the provider of telecommunications services to the events industry, is set to join forces with Etherlive.  Merging into a single business unit, the two companies will work together to offer a range of communications services and consultancy to the events industry.

Chris Green, Managing Director at Etherlive comments, “With our strong technology background and Venue IT’s events history and experience, we’re a great fit.  Having worked successfully together for a year and a half on a number of projects, the most logical step was to join forces and work as one.  We’re excited about the prospects ahead and look forward to delivering solutions that enhance the experience of organisers, exhibitors and visitors at all sorts of events across the UK.”

Mike Lang, of Venue IT adds, “This relationship offers our loyal clients the best of both worlds; they will continue to deal with the same people offering the same high level of personal service, and will benefit from increased resources with a new found capacity to deliver not only a range of services from its existing portfolio, but more importantly new and exciting complimentary services – exactly what you need for a successful event.”

Founded in 2004, Venue IT provides telecommunication solutions to some of the most prestigious outdoor national and international events held in the UK.  Among its customers, Venue IT boasts names such as Southampton Boat Show, CLA Gamefair, Red Bull X Fighters, World Triathlon Games, Frieze Art Fair and Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Wiltshire-based and in business since 2007, Etherlive is a specialist event IT company that designs, implements and supports both temporary and permanent IT solutions for events. Etherlive supports organisers, promoters and venue managers as they deal with the challenges of security, communications and monitoring across large and complex sites.

Etherlive’s customer base includes one-off short duration corporate events, specialist permanent installations and annual large scale temporary events.  Customers include WOMAD, the Green Man Festival, Get Loaded in the Park, Silverstone, the Three Counties Showground, and corporate clients such as Nokia, Amazon, Littlewoods, Intel and the BBC.

Initially, the company will maintain both the ‘Etherlive’ and the ‘Venue IT’ brands.  The company will operate from the Etherlive headquarters in Wiltshire.

ENDS

About Etherlive

A successful event depends on great performances. From WOMAD and The Green Man Festival to Southampton Boat Show and the Three Counties Show, we are the ones that make IT work. Etherlive sits behind the scenes delivering reliable Wi-Fi internet, telephony, laptops, PDQs and interactive messaging. Whether in a field or a building, we make connectivity simple.

https://etherlive.co.uk

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens

www.ascentpr.co.uk

t. 01454 629 741

etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

Event Production Show  –  Etherlive  – Stand 614

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
www.ascentpr.co.uk
T
. 01454 629741
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

Ecolite tower reduces hassle of festival communications

Lights, Connectivity, Action!

02 February 2010 – Festival directors will be able to reduce the hassle and cost associated with on-site communications, following the launch of the Ecolite-P Plus; a mobile communications tower which combines lighting, connectivity, surveillance, and PA services.

Traditionally, event organisers have hired in these services as separate units, a time intensive and costly exercise.

Tom McInerney, Sales Director with Etherlive, the company bringing Ecolite to the events market, explains, “The Ecolite concept comes from the construction industry – taking temporary light, sound and communications onto exposed and sometimes remote sites. Working with ACE Plant, we’ve adapted the tower to suit the needs of festival communications; combining services that would otherwise have been hired as separate pieces of kit – each needing its own power supply and stand.”

The Ecolite-P Plus, developed by Etherlive in partnership with Ace Plant, also includes many features which will help site managers reduce their environmental footprint, alongside advanced CCTV capabilities such as auto number plate recognition.

The Ecolite unit packs away into a single pallet size, which makes it convenient to transport.  Once in situ, the Ecolite tower can only be moved by a fork-lift truck, which helps to minimise the risk of theft.

Alan White, Managing Director at Ace Plant adds, “The beauty of the Ecolite-P Plus is that, once deployed, it can be left to run on-site for up to seven days with its own power generator. This gives festival organisers one less thing to worry about”

Visitors attending the Event Production Show will be able to take a look at the Ecolite-P Plus by visiting Etherlive on stand 614.

ENDS

About Etherlive
A successful event depends on great performances. From WOMAD and The Green Man Festival to Southampton Boat Show and Three Counties Show, we are the ones that make IT work. Etherlive sits behind the scenes delivering reliable WiFi, the internet, telephony, laptops, cash machines and interactive messaging. Whether in a field or a hanger, we make connectivity simple.

http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

About Ace Plant
Ace Plant is the trading style of Adams Cundell Engineers Ltd.

The company was formed in 1973 by David Adams and Frank Cundell. Initially the company was based at Firs Farm, Old Stratford and in 1974 Ace Plant purchased its first tractor, a 1968 Ford 4000. This original tractor is still owned by us and was recently been restored for display at our 25th anniversary party.

Since those early days we have expanded our range of services considerably and this policy of continued improvement and expansion necessitated a move in 1981 to new purpose built premises in Cosgrove Road, Old Stratford.

www.aceplant.co.uk

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
www.ascentpr.co.uk
T
. 01454 629741
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

Lights, Connectivity, Action! Etherlive and AcePlant release the Ecolite P Plus tower light with embedded communications and security technology

Etherlive in partnership with Ace Plant are launching the brand new Ecolite P Plus at the Showman’s Show at Newbury show ground, stand 171, Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd October. This new tower light comes ready to illuminate any event with integrated CCTV, public address and Wi-Fi connectivity, all in one eco friendly unit!

The Ecolite P Plus has been created in collaboration with TCP, based on the latest Ecolite tower light it includes many features which will help site managers reduce costs and their environmental footprint whilst benefiting from technology such as wireless internet and CCTV coverage.

With the addition of industrial Wi-Fi the unit automatically meshes back to existing Etherlive wireless networks in the area, providing secure internet access, CCTV video and public announcements.

The Ecolite P Plus includes all the advantages of the Ecolite family of tower lights which include advanced high efficiency, low glare, ceramic discharge lamps which make the bulbs 85% more efficient than traditional tower lights. The unit has been designed with a pallet size footprint which uses over 50% less space during transport than conventional tower lights (20 on a standard lorry) but still includes a hydraulic 9.1m mast using bio-degradable fluids which can withstand 100 kph winds.

With multiple power options, including seven day generator and hot swap battery; lighting, communications and security systems such as the pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) CCTV camera will continue to operate regardless of the external power environment.

The communications capabilities of the EcoLite P Plus includes industrial Wi-Fi and wired network access which can deliver VoIP services and other network access as required. Public address announcements are sent to the unit from a central point and broadcast using the built-in speakers.

About Etherlive
Based in Wiltshire, England, Etherlive is a technology services company working in partnership with event organisers to deliver key services such as VoIP, internet, CCTV, payment processing, interactive advertising and rich media to all types of festivals, events, product launches and conferences. A finalist in the Red Herring 2009 technology awards, Etherlive has developed a range of solutions tailored to meet the demands of the live event environment all backed by experienced deployment & support teams. For more information visit http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

Media Contacts

Dana Hashem/Kathryn Mills-Webb
Johnson King
ruckusteam@johnsonking.co.uk
+44
(0) 20 7401 7969

WOMAD Music Festival Moves to Better and Faster 802.11n Wi-Fi to Keep Everyone Unplugged but Well Connected

Etherlive deploys high performance Ruckus Wireless mesh network to meet wireless needs of organisers, traders and festival-goers

SUNNYVALE, CA, July 20, 2009 Ruckus Wireless today announced that Etherlive, an event and specialist IT services company, has selected the new Ruckus Wireless dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi system to provide outdoor wireless infrastructure services and public access to support the annual World of Music and Dance (WOMAD) festival.  Co-Founded by Peter Gabriel, WOMAD will be held in Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire from July 24th to 26th.  The festival attracts some 40,000 visitors, and covers an area of over 250 acres.

After extensive evaluation of various vendor outdoor Wi-Fi products, Etherlive selected the new Ruckus 802.11n system because it was the only centrally-managed concurrent 2.4/5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi solution that combined advanced beamforming technology to deliver extended range and reliability, with sophisticated smart meshing technology at the same or lower cost than existing 802.11g outdoor products.

The massive, ultra high speed Wi-Fi network is the primary infrastructure to support a number of applications including organiser voice communications, public broadband Internet access, commercial PDQ point of sale devices and even sound monitoring units around the grounds.

“The new Ruckus kit effectively redefines the outdoor market with respect to price, performance and cost,” said Tom McInerney, operations director for Etherlive.  “With the new dual-band outdoor system we were able to more than double the performance and range at a lower cost and with fewer APs to deploy and manage.  But more importantly, the mesh code automatically forms and self-heals as the environment changes.  This solves some huge problems for use with respect to dealing with interference and the time it takes to manage and tune such a large network.”

With InStat predicting that more than one billion Wi-Fi-enabled devices will be in use by 2012, there is a growing demand for ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage everywhere.  At outdoor festivals it is critical that organisers and production teams are able to communicate out in the field as effectively as if they were in their offices to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible.  Previously, festivals had to rely on incumbent telecoms providers to install telegraph poles around the desired sites.  This was not only extremely expensive; it also did not provide the flexibility required to support delay-sensitive applications like voice over Wi-Fi or chip-and-pin machines.

WOMAD consulted with Etherlive about installing a temporary wireless network to cover the site in Wiltshire, further specifying that the connection had to be robust enough to support critical applications without the risk of network failure.

Etherlive installed a Ruckus Wi-Fi high performance mesh network at the site to provide a reliable Wi-Fi connection for the organisers, traders and the general visiting public.  The network is already in use by the operational team, and when the festival opens it will also support a number of critical applications such as voice over Wi-Fi phones used by site managers, IP cameras, and Wi-Fi point of sale (PDQ) chip-and-pin machines used by traders.  For festival-goers there will be free internet access to a WOMAD portal & iPhone application from the main arena, and across the extensive camping areas, providing visitors with live, up-to-date information about the event including audio streams from Radio WOMAD. Using the iPhone application users can even download music from the artists playing.

Sound engineers will be using the Wi-Fi network to remotely monitor and manage decibel levels around the event without having to physically walk the property.  As sound levels can be affected by even slight changes in weather such as cloud cover or rain, keeping them within the required range, as set by the local authority, has traditionally been a tricky task with engineers patrolling the edge of the site and then having to rush back to the stage to adjust the volume when required.  With the Ruckus system, the likelihood of fines is dramatically reduced as engineers gain complete visibility to sound levels from wherever they are on site, meaning much quicker reaction times.

“There’s a growing expectation among festival-goers that Wi-Fi should be freely available, and that internet access and access to social networking should be part and parcel of the WOMAD experience,” said Chris Smith, Festival Director at WOMAD.  “What’s more, we need a reliable wireless network to run the site efficiently and ensure the event goes off without a hitch.  When we saw the demo from Etherlive we knew this was exactly what we needed.”

The deployment consists of Ruckus dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi access points (APs) and a centralised ZoneDirector Smart WLAN controller.  The units, which are all weather-proofed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, are installed within specially designed PODs across the site.  In addition to the Ruckus wireless technology, Etherlive has developed a power management system with redundant 48 hour battery backup which ensures the network keeps running should one of the on-site generators fail.  A team of experts from Etherlive will also be on hand throughout the festival to trouble-shoot any potential issues.

“Building a flexible and robust Wi-Fi network on such a large scale to support a massive area and a huge number of concurrent users is a major undertaking – especially outdoors where interference and noise is everywhere and can’t be controlled,” said McInerney.  “The Ruckus kit solves all these problems because it is designed to be self-optimising and highly adaptive, it’s the only solution that can cope in this environment, directing signals exactly where they are needed and avoiding any interference as and when it occurs.”

The Ruckus Wi-Fi mesh uses dynamic beamforming APs on both ends of every mesh link to eliminate performance variability on the mesh backbone.  In addition, the network will erase dead spots to ensure reliable connections and provide stable performance across the entire site, delivering a two- to four-fold increase in signal range and reliability.  Pioneered by Ruckus Wireless, dynamic beamforming is the latest Wi-Fi innovation that automatically directs transmissions to the best performing signal path on a per packet basis using real time feedback mechanisms inherent in the 802.11 protocol.  In this way, Ruckus is able to overcome problems that have previously hindered outdoor Wi-Fi deployments at large festivals and events, namely interference, physical obstructions such as moving trucks and even metal stages, network management complexity and cost.

“Outdoor Wi-Fi has traditionally had a bad reputation, suffering performance problems when the wind blows or when a tree is in the way of the signal – obstacles you can’t really do much about,” said Jim Calderbank, director of enterprise sales EMEA at Ruckus Wireless.  “But with Wi-Fi becoming ubiquitous, this needed to change and we’ve done just that.  For festivals and organisers of large outdoor events, this is going to make their life much easier.  The organisers will be able to work more efficiently, traders will be able to process transactions reliably, and festival-goers will be able to easily access the internet from their smartphones – a recipe that will surely help WOMAD continue to attract more visitors and artists year on year.”

About WOMAD

WOMAD stands for World of Music, Arts and Dance and gives its name to the internationally established WOMAD Festival, which brings together artists from all over the globe.  The central aim of the WOMAD festival is to celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance. As an organisation, WOMAD now works in many different ways, but our aims are always the same – at festivals, performance events, through recorded releases and through educational projects, we aim to excite, to inform, and to create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society. Peter Gabriel was one of WOMAD’s co-founders: “Pure enthusiasm for music from around the world led us to the idea of WOMAD in 1980 and thus to the first WOMAD festival in 1982. The festivals have always been wonderful and unique occasions and have succeeded in introducing an international audience to many talented artists.”Equally important, the festivals have also allowed many different audiences to gain an insight into cultures other than their own through the enjoyment of music. Music is a universal language; it draws people together and proves, as well as anything, the stupidity of racism.”

About Etherlive

Based in Wiltshire, England, Etherlive is a technology services company working in partnership with event organisers to deliver key services such as VoIP, internet, CCTV, payment processing, interactive advertising and rich media to all types of festivals, events, product launches and conferences. A finalist in the Red Herring 2009 technology awards, Etherlive has developed a range of solutions tailored to meet the demands of the live event environment all backed by experienced deployment & support teams. For more information visit http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, Ruckus Wireless is a next-generation Wi-Fi company credited with pioneering “Smart Wi-Fi” technology. Named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Ruckus Wireless was formed in 2004 at Sequoia Capital. The company designs, develops and markets industrial-strength Wi-Fi systems that provide reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 technology. Its flagship product, ZoneFlex, is the first wireless LAN system to combine the best in centralized wireless LAN principles with state-of-the-art Wi-Fi advances such as smart antenna arrays and wireless meshing. Its MediaFlex line of multimedia wireless routers is used by more than 125 broadband operators around the world to extend digital services such as IPTV throughout the home without wires. The company’s patented hardware and software technologies deliver predictable performance, extended range and real-time adaptability to changing Wi-Fi environments. The company has raised approximately $42 million in financing from premier venture capital investors, consumer electronics companies and broadband operators such as Motorola, T-Ventures, Telus, Sutter Hill Ventures, Mitsui, Sequoia and others. Ruckus Wireless is led by President and CEO Selina Lo. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.ruckuswireless.com.

The last thing you need is your site network going down mid-event because someone has tripped out a generator. It only takes a drop in power for less than a quarter of a second to cause most IT equipment to restart and that fraction of a second can lead to a lot of frustration as calls get dropped, CCTV stops and users get dropped off the network.

Last year we introduced our ruggedized battery backup units that could run our network units for over 12 hours, this year we have gone much further. Our latest smart power supply offers nanosecond switching between redundant power sources and highly efficient power conversion which has allowed us to push up battery operation to over 24 hours and, with the option for multiple hot-swap batteries, this can be extended indefinitely.

These units can source their input power, what we call ‘red power’, from 110-240V mains supply or from a generator and now, with an eye on the environment, they also have the option of using solar, wind or fuel cell generation.

The smart power supply deals with providing the protected ‘green power’ to the network units and other associated devices such as CCTV cameras or VoIP phones, only switching to a battery if required. What’s more is that these units are designed with remote monitoring so that we can see the status of each unit in our network operations centre.

The important thing is that whether you are a running a small press centre Wi-Fi zone or a 150 acre festival site you shouldn’t just cross your fingers and hope the power stays on.

With attendee numbers at The Event Show at Olympia last week apparently up on 2008 figures, there was a positive feel and vibe to the show. Yes, there were plenty of conversations about whether the downturn was having an impact but all in all it was business as usual, with organisers and suppliers planning as normal for the 2009 season.

The Etherlive stand near the entrance saw a steady stream of visitors

We took the chance to discuss some of the new products and services that we are launching for the 2009 event season. In the Wi-Fi space we have increased our range of solutions to include a new market leading technology that is ideal for the events industry as it is specially designed to work in ‘noisy’ environments using a patented beam-steering technology. This gives excellent connectivity even when rogue wireless units appear on site or large lorries start creating disturbances! These devices also support the new ‘n’ standard giving a much higher (300Mbps) throughput, ideal for services such as video streaming.

Alongside this our location tracking capabilities have also stepped up another gear with a new hybrid location tag that allows us to use GPS, Wi-Fi or RFID to identify location, reducing the infrastructure we require to cover large festival sites and providing outdoor, indoor and close proximity capability.

Power independence remains a key factor in our site designs so that our network and communication services remain operational whether a generator fails or not. Our power units switch from generator/mains to battery in a few milliseconds with no loss of service and can remain on battery for up to 24 hours (or longer if required) if site power is a problem.

Tom McInerney from Etherlive describes some of the new services at an Innovation Seminar

Site Operations is another area where we have been busy. Extending on our modular ‘POD’ design we now have a special version aimed at providing all the key services at a remote site from a small unit that can be deployed quickly when staff first arrive on site. It’s pretty much a portable  ‘office IT environment’ keeping a site operations team connected and productive from anywhere.

To round off the enhanced line-up a new mobile phone ‘portal’ or event guide was also on display. Working across a large range of phones (with no Java download) the guide is highly customisable and varies user experience based on their connection type (2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, etc). It can also be used in an interactive fashion enabling features such as uploads and voting.

As always further information is available on the website or we are more than happy to demonstrate these new technologies and services either at our base in Wiltshire or on a suitable customer site. Let’s just hope that 2009 brings a better summer!

One of things that happens in a downturn is most companies stop spending on IT. Well they think they stop spending on IT, what they really do is stop buying new hardware. Research has shown that the cost of computer hardware is only a small percentage (often less than 20%) of the real total cost of ownership for IT. Most of the costs actually come from aspects such as IT support, lost user productivity when problems occur, software, data loss, power consumption and misplaced assets. Although it may feel wrong it is often cheaper in the long term to replace aging hardware sooner rather than trying to keep it going as the new hardware is capable of reducing costs in other areas.

Etherlive have a keen focus on helping customers reduce their overall IT costs whilst driving up their productivity. One aspect of this is improving IT manageability and Etherlive work closely with Intel Corporation to deliver maximum benefit from their Intel® vPro™ technology and Intel® Active Management Technology.

These technologies can deliver great benefits, driving down support costs, reducing overall power consumption and improving employee productivity. Recently we worked with Intel to develop an ‘activation’ message to help customers understand what they need to do take advantage of Intel® vPro™ technology and Intel® Active Management Technology. You can find out more on the Intel ‘Make the Case’ website with articles and videos from Etherlive, Cap Gemini and Computacenter covering the different aspects of the technology. You can find out more about the specific services we offer around activation at vproactivation.www.etherlive.co.uk.

The key point is don’t sit back and ignore your IT, go and shake the real costs out. Not only will you save money, you should also end up with a more productive IT environment.

Chris Green Etherlive Intel Active Management Technology

Chris Green from Etherlive explains Intel Active Management Technology features

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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