Reading Festival

Analysing location-based insights for Reading Festival


Taking place during the August Bank Holiday weekend, Reading Festival attracts over 90,000 festival goers each year. It is the flagship event of Festival Republic, who also run Leeds Festival and Latitude Festival. Festival Republic commissioned Movement Strategies to provide operational support and expert advice at Reading Festival. We were required to attend the Festival and understand crowd observations on site and to provide post-event operational review feedback.




Festival Republic


2008 - present


Having worked on the Festival for 10 years we recognised the client’s lack of reliable quality data and understanding of how crowds move around the site. We also understood how each element of the site influences crowd behaviour. We, therefore, introduced the use of a new technology platform which is a significant advancement in the way festival operators can understand customer behaviour in real-time. This created a new paradigm of location-based insights supporting improvements in visitor experience.

The Colocator SDK provided location data for all visitors who had the official festival app installed on their mobile phones. This used GPS location data derived from device GPS, and supplementary BLE iBeacons in areas where GPS would have provided poorer accuracy. This data was analysed to provide a bespoke dashboard platform displaying key metrics. This included site wide heat mapping, with up to 5 minute granularity, location to location flows (showing features such as common band linkages), and visit profiles for key areas.


With our guidance, the Festival organisers were able to identify acts of significant popularity to feature at future events. Additionally, the insights produced can inform the in-house retail operators who have clear objectives for revenue growth. Operations and crowd movement can also be enhanced based on the band links identified and the visitors behaviour demand for the various segments identified. 

Related case studies:

See all our case studies