Delivering a fast and scalable cloud-based virtual festival during a pandemic
A two-day music festival looking for a new delivery platform in the face of a global pandemic. A tight deadline to present virtual DJs across four stages, to unite a global audience for a unique digital experience.
Techno festival Junction 2 was set to celebrate their fifth anniversary in June 2020. While the preparations were taking place and the artists were being confirmed, no one could anticipate that a nationwide lockdown was about to be enforced. For the first time in five years, Junction 2 Festival was cancelled. Or was it?
As a result of lockdown, Junction 2 had to come up with a creative solution to bring the festival to their audience.
In place of physical stages and dancefloors, Junction 2 had a goal to bring together current and emerging artists in a virtual ‘world’. They wanted to take the full festival experience into the homes of festival goers.
The challenge was determining the best way to create a reliable, scalable and affordable online platform to deliver this world to thousands of attendees.
How could they seamlessly serve their content to a vast number of people worldwide, all at the same time?
The Junction 2 team had begun development on the digital world when they reached out to Razor, kicking off with a code review to understand our starting point, the team got to work. Off the back of the code review, we were able to architect an innovative means of delivering this digital world to a global audience.
Meeting Junction 2’s ambitious requirements in a short timeframe meant thinking outside of the box, experimenting with new technologies and discovering new ways of doing things.
The Razor team used Microsoft’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) hosted in Azure to deliver content to viewers around the globe, and deliver it to them fast. We paired this with Azure Media Services for a seamless live streaming experience. Azure Traffic Manager was used to direct attendees from the festival landing page, to the virtual world and back again, to ensure every festival-goer had a slick experience, no matter where they were in the world.
Incredibly, a global pandemic wasn’t going to stop Junction 2 from going ahead. With many similar events choosing to cancel or postpone, Junction 2’s virtual festival was successfully delivered to thousands of attendees during the six hour event. Despite the impossible situation surrounding Covid-19, they were able to go ahead with the festival and saw some great feedback on the unique experience from attendees.
The robust cloud-based architecture enabled Junction 2 to support 3.2 million views from 205 countries. But perhaps more incredibly, they were able to unite their worldwide community from the safety of their homes, for a one of a kind festival experience against all of the odds.
“Junction 2 is a flagship event in our diary each year and it would be an understatement to say that we were devastated when it couldn’t go ahead this year. Going virtual not only allowed the brand to stay relevant during a tough time industry-wide, it also gave our team something positive to unite around during lockdown. We had begun the legwork of building our virtual world, but we needed support and expertise from a reliable source, and we knew Razor would be best placed to advise. They understood our goal and rapidly delivered a reliable solution; allowing our event to go ahead and enabling us to bring this unique experience to our audience, making memories in this new way. Razor became an extension of our team in those final weeks. They are as dependable as it gets - thank you!”