Turning up the Volume with Hytera

Every August, among the beech trees of Skanderborg you’ll find music lovers flocking to Denmark’s answer to Glastonbury. From humble beginnings of just 7 bands and 600 spectators back in 1980, Smukfest now draws a crowd of over 50,000 and boasts headliners such as Prince and Eric Clapton.

The vast scale of the festival site through to the sheer number of people who attend demand effective communication between organisers, security personnel, production teams and operational staff, not only to ensure the smooth running of the festival but also to guarantee the health and safety of staff and music lovers alike.

So how do you keep the music playing and the punters safe when you’re on an enormous site, surrounded by trees, 50 thousand people and music reaching levels of over 110 decibels?

The Challenge

Christened as “Denmark’s Most Beautiful Festival”, Smukfest is uniquely positioned in a Beech Forest, which as magical as it might be, presents a topographically challenging environment when it comes to communication.

On the large and remote festival site, coverage was also likely to cause an issue. Mobile phone usage was immediately off the cards as public mobile networks can quickly become jammed at festivals due to heavy usage and are unreliable for instant critical communication. They also present issues with battery life, sound quality and in an emergency situation, run the risk of leaving employees with no way to communicate.

Smukfest approached Hytera partner Total Teknik looking for a solution that would provide reliable coverage, instant communications and a way for multiple groups of staff to have simultaneous conversions with different people. Total Teknik are experienced in supporting many different events and applications, proposing a mixed fleet Hytera radio set-up. 

A Crowd Pleasing Solution

To ensure reliable communications across the festival site, Smukfest selected the Hytera PD6 and PD7 Digital Mobile Radio handsets, teamed with a cleverly distributed repeater network to provide instant communications and the capacity required to support call volume.

Offering great battery life, coverage and IP67 ingress protection, the durable and rugged radios can withstand knocks, drops and splashes. The latest battery technology when combined with DMR ensured the devices would have enough stamina to outlast even the most enthusiastic festival goer.

The PD6 and PD7 handsets also provide excellent noise cancellation on voice transmission and feature an emergency call function if needed. Both essentials when working in noisy environments among large crowds.

The handsets were also selected for their 'ease of use' design and interface. With thousands of temporary staff unfamiliar with radio use, the solution needed to be user-friendly and intuitive so that volunteers could quickly get to grips with usage.

The Results

The 2017 line-up saw the likes of Jamiroquai, Mark Ronson, Major Lazer, Clean Bandit, Status Quo and Ellie Goulding gracing the stage, all without a hiccup. Staff and volunteers at Smukfest benefitted from an improved sense of security and clear sound across the site, supporting smooth operations and logistics so that everyone could have a fantastic but safe festival experience.