Livestreams have seen outstanding development in recent years, opening up entirely new ways to experience outdoor events around the world. Whether it’s a major music festival, a sporting event or a political gathering, livestreams offer the unique opportunity to watch these events live and in real time, regardless of time and place. Rapid developments in technology and ever-improving internet connectivity have helped livestreams become increasingly popular and significant at outdoor events.
Case Study: Rock am Ring 2023
One event that now relies on the technological possibilities of livestreams: Rpck am Ring. Germany’s biggest traditional festival has once again caused a sensation in 2023. In cooperation with RTL+ and CTS Eventim, the event was broadcast live and exclusively via livestream. From June 2 to 4, music fans had the opportunity to experience the festival from the comfort of their own homes. The top-class line-up promised a musical spectacle that no one would want to miss.
A top-class line-up
The Rock am Ring Festival offered spectators a unique experience with a number of top acts. The line-up for 2023 was particularly impressive. Music lovers could look forward to performances by the likes of Kings of Leon, Die Toten Hosen and Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters’ headlining performance in particular, the only one in Europe for 2023, promised to be an unforgettable highlight. The band, led by Dave Grohl from Seattle, also presented their new drummer Josh Freese for the first time. In addition to these top-class acts, many other acts such as Kontra-K, Rise Against, K.I.Z, TenaciousD, Giant Rooks, Finch, JuJu or Badmomzjay also performed. The music-loving audience could also look forward to performances by Evanescence, Apache 207, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Province, Machine Gun Kelly and Sum 41, who ensured an energetic atmosphere.
Free livestream on RTL+
Thanks to the free livestream on RTL+, it was possible for everyone interested to experience the program of both main stages live. The livestream was available on various devices such as TVs, laptops, iPads and even mobile devices via the RTL+ app. This allowed people to follow the festival action at their individual convenience and be swept away by the rousing atmosphere.
Tradition and legend: Rock am Ring
Rock am Ring has a long tradition and has been attracting tens of thousands of music fans to the Nürburgring near the town of Adenau in the Eifel region every year since 1985. Over the years, the festival has become a true legend. In 1997, Rock am Ring got its own festival sister with Rock im Park, which also attracts numerous visitors every year.
In the course of the more than 30-year history of Rock am Ring, renowned artists have already rocked the stage. From Alanis Morissette to David Bowie to The Bangles, The Fugees, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine and Die Toten Hosen – the festival has always reflected the pop zeitgeist of the respective year. In addition to the musical variety, festival camping is also an integral part of the Rock am Ring experience. In recent years, however, a change has taken place in this regard: While small tents and a few vans used to dominate the camping area, more and more motorhomes and pavilions can now be found.
The RTL+ Rock am Ring livestream offered fans the unique opportunity to be part of this legendary festival for free and exclusively. Some of the concerts are still available via the RTL+ platform. RTL+ and CTS Eventim are thus taking full advantage of the monetization opportunities.
The fascination of livestreaming at outdoor events
The fascination of livestreams at outdoor events lies in the fact that they offer the opportunity to be up close and personal, even if you can’t physically be there. You can feel the pulsating audience, witness the energy of the artists or athletes on stage, and share the excitement of the crowds while watching from the comfort of your own home. Viewers can get right in the middle of the action, soak up the atmosphere, and still enjoy the benefits that a livestream offers – no long trips, no crowds, and – in many cases – the ability to pause or rewind the livestream at any time so as not to miss a moment.
The versatility of livestreams allows event organizers to reach a wide audience and expose their events to a global market. People from different countries and cultures can experience the same event together and share the joy and excitement that such events generate. This promotes cultural exchange, strengthens the sense of community and connects people who would otherwise never have met.
In addition, livestreams at outdoor events offer incredible flexibility and convenience. One can watch the event live on various devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops and is not tied to a specific location. Whether one is in their own home, on the road, or even in another country, with a livestream, one is always there and can experience the event according to their own preferences and schedules.
The importance of live streaming technology
Live streaming of outdoor events has become increasingly important in recent years. With the ever-increasing availability of high-speed internet connections and advancements in broadcast technology, event organizers can now broadcast their events live on the internet to reach a global audience. In this regard, livestreams are not limited to concerts or festivals, but are also applied to sporting events, political gatherings and other large-scale outdoor events.
The benefits of livestreams are many: they allow viewers to experience the event in real time and from any location. They extend the reach of events by including people who cannot attend in person due to distance, physical barriers or time constraints. They also offer event organizers the opportunity to monetize their events, for example, by setting up pay-per-view access or sponsorship deals.
Technical requirements and challenges
However, livestreaming outdoor events also presents a number of technical requirements and challenges. First of all, livestreaming outdoor events requires a reliable Internet connection. Since the quality of the stream is directly dependent on the bandwidth of the Internet connection, it is important that event organizers have a stable and fast connection.
In addition, event organizers must also provide the appropriate equipment to record and broadcast the stream. This includes cameras, microphones, and possibly lighting. It is important that this equipment is weatherproof, especially for outdoor events where weather can be unpredictable.
Other challenges can arise from the complexity of the event. For larger events with multiple stages or activities, it may be necessary to broadcast multiple streams simultaneously. In such cases, event organizers need to ensure they have the necessary technical skills and resources to manage and broadcast multiple streams simultaneously.
Eventbrite has summarized why event organizers should not ignore livestreaming.
Best practices for livestreaming at outdoor events
There are several best practices event organizers can follow to improve the quality of their livestreams at outdoor events. One of these practices is planning. Event organizers should ensure they plan ahead and have enough time to set up and test their streaming infrastructure.
Another important aspect is audience engagement. For example, organizers can
- Live chat features
- social media integration or
- interactive features such as live polls and Q&A sessions
use to engage online audiences and create a sense of community.
Finally, it’s important for event organizers to archive the content of their livestreams. This allows them to continue to use the content after the event, for example, for promotional purposes, to provide on-demand content, or to analyze the event.
Overall, livestreaming at outdoor events has the potential to increase event reach and accessibility, create new monetization opportunities, and provide an interactive experience for audiences. With the right planning and technology, event organizers can take full advantage of livestreaming and take their events to the next level.
The role of livestream platforms
Choosing the right livestream platform is a critical factor in the success of a livestream. Platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitch and many others offer different features and benefits that can be tailored to the specific needs of outdoor events. For example, some of these platforms offer advanced multistreaming features that allow streaming on multiple platforms simultaneously.
Other platforms offer advanced audience interaction features, such as built-in chat capabilities or the ability to conduct polls and Q&A sessions. It is therefore important that event organizers identify their specific requirements and select a platform that best meets those needs.
Then there is also the option of relying on a professional real-time network provider such as Riedel Communications to live stream major events.
The impact of livestreams on outdoor events
The integration of livestreams at outdoor events has far-reaching implications for several aspects of the event landscape. One of them is the expansion of the target audience. By broadcasting events in real time over the internet, event organizers can reach people around the world who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend the event in person. This increases the event’s reach and potential to spread its message and appeal to a wider audience.
In addition, livestreams also offer new opportunities for sponsorship and advertising. By integrating advertising banners, sponsored content or product placements into the livestream, event organizers can generate additional revenue. Sponsors can present their brand to a global audience and benefit from the event’s reach and attention.
Another important aspect is sustainability. By holding livestreams, event organizers can reduce the number of physical visitors and thus reduce the event’s environmental footprint. This is particularly relevant for large events, where the travel of visitors can be associated with high CO2 emissions. By providing a high-quality livestream, event organizers can encourage people to experience the event from home, minimizing the environmental impact.
The future of livestreaming at outdoor events
As technology advances and user demand for online content increases, livestreaming at outdoor events is expected to continue to grow in importance. New technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) offer new opportunities to enhance the livestreaming experience.
For example, through VR, viewers in the future may be able to experience an outdoor event from the perspective of a participant while actually being in a different location. AR could be used to add additional information or interactive elements to the livestream to enrich the experience for viewers.
A step in this direction is being taken by students and staff at HAW Hamburg. They have developed an XRevent platform – a first step towards cross-reality events.
The social and cultural aspects of livestreams at outdoor events
The use of livestreams at outdoor events also has social and cultural implications. First, it promotes inclusion and enables people with mobility limitations or financial constraints to participate in events they would otherwise not be able to attend. This strengthens equal opportunities and enables a broader population to participate in cultural or musical events.
In addition, livestreams can also strengthen a sense of community. By bringing people from different parts of the world together virtually, they create a shared experience and allow viewers to share and interact through the livestream. This promotes cultural exchange and a sense of belonging.
An example of the cultural impact of livestreams at outdoor events is music festivals like Rock am Ring. By broadcasting concerts and performances, people around the world can discover different music genres and artists and participate in cultural celebrations without being physically present. This helps promote diversity and intercultural understanding.
The challenges of monetizing livestreams
Although livestreams at outdoor events offer new opportunities for monetization, they also come with some challenges. One of the main issues is the difficulty of finding viewers willing to pay for access to livestreams. While some viewers are willing to pay for exclusive content or high-quality productions, many people expect livestreams to be available for free.
In addition, livestreams at outdoor events compete with a variety of other online content for viewers’ attention. Viewers’ attention spans are limited, and it is important to deliver high-quality content and engage viewers through an engaging experience to keep their attention.
Another challenge is providing adequate technical infrastructure to support the large number of viewers who want to access the livestream simultaneously. Server congestion or connectivity issues can lead to poor streaming quality or even livestream failure.
To overcome these challenges, it is important to develop a clear monetization strategy that emphasizes the value of the livestream to the audience and considers multiple revenue streams. This may include implementing pay-per-view models, working with sponsors, or integrating advertising.
Came to stay
Livestreams at outdoor events offer a variety of benefits and opportunities for event organizers. They make it possible to expand the reach of events, reach new audiences and generate additional revenue. By leveraging the right technology and implementing best practices, event organizers can conduct high-quality livestreams and create a memorable experience for their audience.
Integrating livestreams at outdoor events also has social and cultural implications by enabling people to attend events they would otherwise not be able to and building a sense of community. Despite the challenges in monetizing livestreams, they offer a promising future for the event industry.
It is important to consider the technical requirements, select the right livestream platform, and develop a clear monetization strategy to ensure the success of livestreams at outdoor events. With the right planning and implementation, livestreams can be a transformative force for the event industry, revolutionizing the way people experience and enjoy events.
Images: Demian Pleule, Marius Althof (Rock am Ring); Donald Tong / Pexels (camera)