The 5G Festival X ACM

06 Apr 2022

This post was written more than two years ago. The content or information below may no longer be accurate.

ACM and it’s students take part in the world’s first 5G festival

Over the last two years, ACM staff and students have taken part in trials for the world’s first 5G Festival. ACM has been part of the advisory board on this project allowing us to provide this exclusive opportunity and real-world experience to our students.

Over the last two years, ACM has developed deep partnerships with the nine heavyweight organisations that have been working collectively on this initiative.

The consortium partners explored the untapped potential of 5G for the music industry as part of a wider £200m DCMS 5G Testbeds & Trials Programme. Consortium partners included Metropolis Studios, Mativision, Digital Catapult, Sonosphere, Audiotonix, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, LiveFrom, Virgin Media O2 and Warner Music Group.

The award-winning 5G Festival culminated in March with a ground-breaking live experience that took place across the three consortium partner venues: Metropolis Studios, the O2 Blueroom at The O2 and Brighton Dome.

The final showcase featured demonstrations of the technical milestones achieved during the course of the project – in particular solving the issue of latency (delay) between artists collaborating remotely from different locations. The live show, curated by Music Director Kojo Samuel, featured 22 musicians spread 100 miles apart from each other across the three venues, performing seamlessly together in a completely first of its kind concert.

The core band for the show consisted of backing vocals, drums, and keyboard with guest appearances from singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner and Alt Folk band Memorial at Brighton Dome.

The O2 Blueroom in London hosted the string section and rising star guest appearances from BRIT Award nominee, Lola Young, and Natalie Lindi, part of the MOBO Unsung Class of 2021.

Metropolis hosted Owen Williams on percussion, Dishan Abrahamas on bass, Sipprell on vocals and London-based rock duo Pearl Harts which was live-streamed to the other venues as part of the hybrid festival experience.

5G Festival is a unique R&D trial that enables the power of 5G and other technologies to communicate the “live-ness” of an experience wherever musicians or audiences are located.

Since early 2020, the partners behind 5G Festival have experimented with understanding how collaborations and performances across multiple venues in different geographical locations can transform the work of artists and producers around the world, combined with innovative and memorable live experiences for audiences in-venue and at home.

The project itself focused on three Use Cases;

  • The First – Solved how artists can work, collaborate and rehearse remotely with ultra-low audio/visual latency. ㅤ
  • The Second – Looks at how to distribute immersive content from physically separated artists and bands to audiences at home using the latest cutting edge audio and video technologies. ㅤ
  • The Third – Addresses a hybrid of the first two to deliver in-venue experiences.

We will be publishing our findings in due course but the showcase itself, provided the clearest demonstration yet and a glimpse into the meta-future of the impact advanced digital technologies will have on the music and live art sector.

Bringing together 5G as part of a range of connectivity solutions for this type of event has also highlighted other environmentally positive workflows as well as a series of different commercial products and services which the consortium partners will continue to explore and develop as a legacy of the project.

After a rewarding 18 months of pioneering R&D and practical trials, we are delighted to finally share our findings with our wider tech and music communities. In particular for Metropolis Studios, the delivery of seamless low latency audio/visual workflow enabling artists to work together remotely over a 5G network, as well as the ability to broadcast live performances in any immersive audio format, are two huge cultural and commercial step-changes for the industry which we intend to develop further as a legacy of this project. – Gavin Newman, Brand Director At Metropolis Studios