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A Truly Interactive Glastonbury

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Tim Clarke | 12:20 UK time, Thursday, 24 June 2010


This year's Glastonbury coverage on the BBC will be the most interactive yet. Interactive is a word that's bandied around a lot but usually just means broadcasting online. Although this provides great access to 60-odd hours of performances and interviews, it feels restricted and beyond an avid Glastonbury fan's control.

So this year there are three main innovations added to the model of offering a tonne of rapidly available on-demand content on the BBC's Glastonbury website.

The first part is around liveness. We know that fans of festival coverage want to feel like they're at a festival, albeit without the mud. A wide choice of places to visit on the farm is vital and people at home also want to share moments with revellers at the festival.

TV and Radio will have some special live moments this year for sure, but why does the coverage have to be restricted by scheduling around Wimbledon and the World Cup? So from midday Friday, we'll be live streaming video backstage in the 6 Music studio, showing Julie Cullen's team of 6 Music News journalists in the field breaking stories and airing cutting edge bands playing the stages live.

These will all be presented in our new 'multiscreen' on By the evening, the multiscreen will add the stunning BBC Two, Three, Four and Red Button programming as it happens, in one place, online.

The second innovation is access. Festival fans told us they wanted to see more of the atmosphere and get backstage. Although you may imagine Glastonbury's backstage to be a Studio 54 style cider disco or a supergroup campfire jam, the truth is there are many backstages spread across Worthy Farm which aren't particularly glam. However, we're lucky because the 6 Music studio is one of the few focal points where great bands, personalities and stories converge. So we've decided to live stream the activities of the studio throughout each day of the festival. It will be a weird and wonderful party hosted by the likes of Lauren Laverne, Adam & Joe and Steve Lamacq, bringing to life the atmosphere at the festival and its bold characters.

Thirdly, there are conversations with the entire audience. This is really what should be called interactive. Both radio and Mark Cooper's TV programmes will be embracing the opinions of audiences about the Glastonbury festival and the BBC's coverage of it. Be it Twitter updates including the #bbcglasto hash tag, text messages to 6 Music or emails, presenters will bring conversations and reactions into coverage; sharing interesting views and measuring the consensus.

If you're looking for something more immediate, they'll be a dedicated host (in rotation Jane Long, Peta Haigh and Kate Lawrence) live chatting during the event, giving the audience the inside scoop from the compound, responding to comments and pushing comments to 6 Music presenters.

As you've read, interactive works best when we join up with colleagues in television and radio. Rather than acting separately, we extend and expand the coverage, in turn trying to involve audiences more deeply. Please let us know what you think if this year's Glastonbury website.

Tim Clarke is Senior Content Producer at BBC Audio & Music Interactive

Related Posts
The Glastonbury Advance Party
Glastonbury Takes Over 6 Music
Bringing Glastonbury to Television

  • Keep up with all of the BBC's coverage on the Glastonbury home page.
  • Follow @BBCGlasto on Twitter for news, retweets and links from the festival.
  • We'll be scanning Twitter for use of the #BBCGlasto hashtag and publishing some of the tweets we find so use the hashtag when you're tweeting about the BBC's Glastonbury coverage.


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