Glastonbury Festival Meets Social Media

The BBC is adding Web 2.0 technologies like Twitter and iPhone blogging to its coverage of Britain's best-known summer music festival

The BBC is using the latest online technology to boost its coverage of this weekend's Glastonbury music festival, which started June 25.

The BBC Glastonbury website received more than 600,000 visitors in the week around Glastonbury in 2008 – a figure the Beeb hopes to beat this year.

Senior content producer for BBC Audio & Music online, Tim Clarke, told silicon.com: "It's the biggest thing we do in music."

One of the most significant additions to the website this year is live streaming from the festival. The BBC is using wireless video cameras which overlook different parts of the festival site to give web users a taste of the atmosphere at the event.

The website itself includes an aggregation of Twitter feeds from various BBC presenters and journalists using platforms such as TweetDeck and Twitterfeed. BBC 6 Music presenters Adam and Joe will also be experimenting with the iPhone (AAPL) audio blogging service, AudioBoo.

All non-performance images and video and some performance content can be embedded in social networking sites by users, according to the Beeb.

The BBC has also integrated its Glastonbury coverage more closely with its new digital video system meaning content can be more easily formatted for the online, mobile and red button services.

Mobile is another big area where the BBC is focusing its efforts – the Glastonbury website has been optimised to work on high-end mobile devices as well as more basic web-enabled phones.

"Mobile is also massively important. We're seeing a big difference in the number of people web browsing on phones this year. Call it the 'iPhone effect' or just cheap data tariffs, but there was no way we could let people have a poor experience on our festival sites," Clarke said.