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05.24.2019 / Community News, Press

Movement Music Festival, Powered By Rocket Fiber

After a long winter season, there are few occasions of the year that Michiganders look forward to more than Memorial Day weekend. Boats, barbecues, and high hopes for summer weather are just a few ways that residents celebrate the holiday. But in Detroit, Memorial Day has become synonymous with the 3-day techno extravaganza known as Movement Music Festival.

For one weekend of the year, downtown Detroit transforms into the beating heart of the U.S. techno scene as tens of thousands of fans descend upon Hart Plaza to celebrate the city that birthed a global musical movement.

Since Movement made its Hart Plaza debut in 2006, festival producers Paxahau have witnessed major advancements in internet technology; from the early days of dial-up internet to warp-speed Wi-Fi. Today, the inclusion of wireless POS systems, cloud-based will call tickets, and streaming capabilities mean that having battle-tested Wi-Fi is crucial to the festival’s success. For its second year, Paxahau has partnered with Rocket Fiber to help service all of the festival’s connectivity needs – all while navigating the event’s unique challenges.

“In the fourteen years that Paxahau has been producing Movement, we have seen technology needs, especially in regard to internet, grow exponentially,” says Paxahau’s Director of Operations Sam Fotias. “We have utilized a myriad of options throughout the years but were in dire need of a robust and redundant solution with high bandwidth when we made the switch to RFID bands a few years ago.”

For Rocket Fiber, simply providing an internet connection for a major music festival isn’t the only task, however. Managed Services Architect Joe Hernandez speaks to some of the complexities that can make Movement Music Festival especially difficult for other internet providers.

“The biggest challenge of Wi-Fi, and of Hart Plaza for that matter, is the interference,” says Hernandez. “There’s a lot of wireless interference.”

“All of [Paxahau’s] wireless devices are being broadcast in addition to the Coast Guard’s broadcast and their network, and there are other restraints that we have to be mindful of because we’re so close to the border of Canada. We have to be strategic rather than just blasting our signal.”

Throughout the weekend, Rocket Fiber will have a full team of technicians on-site to monitor the network as thousands of fans use Wi-Fi to scan into the venue or swipe their cards to purchase a cold beverage.

“We’re constantly monitoring interference levels during the entirety of the event to make sure that there’s no outside interference tampering with our radios,” Hernandez continues. “If that does happen, we pivot and make sure that [the broadcast] goes on a different channel.”

Although this Memorial Day could shape up to be a rainy one, Hernandez says that Wi-Fi isn’t typically impacted by bad weather. However, last year’s 90-plus-degree heatwave did offer some lessons.

“Last year, a lot of the switches were overheating. We had to combat that by repositioning them into ultra-shaded areas to keep them cool. But we believe we’re ready this year for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.”

Movement Music Festival will return to Detroit’s Hart Plaza on Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27. For more information go to movement.us.

Need high-speed, high-density Wi-Fi for your downtown event? Rocket Fiber has you covered with our symmetrical gigabit event networking and Wi-Fi. Contact us today at (844)-847-6253 or missioncontrol@rocketfiber.com for more details.

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