Tablets, texts and tweets bring new dimension to live entertainment

Social networking is expanding the audience for some of Austin’s biggest events this fall. During UT’s first football game of the season, thousands of fans who did not have access to the new Longhorn Network were able to watch an unsanctioned live stream of the game thanks to a series of tweets and blog posts, according to The Austin American-Statesman. And as Austin’s C3 Presents gears up for the ACL Music Fest this weekend, the company’s Digital Director Michael Fefereman is spending a lot of time thinking about how tablets and smart phones will impact the user experience this year.

Feferman says he was surprised last year when he saw that people were bringing tablets to the festival. He knows that many concert-goers use cameras and smart phones to record video and post it to YouTube, and he says C3 is fine with that. ACL itself presents a YouTube Live Webcast. Feferman suspects that people want to use tablets to watch one show while they wait for another show to begin. “People who are onsite at the festival, if they have access to good WiFi, may end up wanting to experience that type of webcast content even at the festival,” he says. “Maybe that’s what people will be using tablets for come next year and the year after, maybe even this year as Google + has come on (as a sponsor) to provide really solid WiFi coverage in many areas of the park for our attendees.”

Solid WiFi will also make a difference to the many users of the popular ACL app for iPhone and Android. In addition to helping users see what bands are where and find their way around, the app allows users to text an entire group of friends at once, thanks to a partnership with GroupMe.

Of course some ACL veterans wonder if they will even be able to text or call with so many people competing for bandwidth at the park. C3 hopes to be able to meet demand with the help of two COW (Carriers on Wheels) towers supplied by Verizon and AT&T. Attendees will be able to recharge their devices at the Dell Lounge and the Google + Lounge.

Watch RCR Wireless News Austin’s video interview with Michael Feferman here.

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