Festivals in bid to boost Downs internet

Organisers of Bristol Pride and Forwards Festival want to upgrade the internet connection on the Downs. A new fibre line could be installed underground and connecting to the Downs Cafe, providing better internet service across the parkland.

Both events have suffered from poor internet service in the past, with many people struggling to connect to 4G. This has also affected staff on the entrance to Pride checking tickets, and traders needing wireless internet access for card machines to work.

The Downs Committee, which runs the parkland,has been asked to consider paying £4,935 for the initial costs of the works. This would cover paperwork and beginning the process. Pride and Forwards would then split any future costs and annual charges.

Last year the committee, made up of Bristol councillors and members of the Society of Merchant Venturers, received £285,000 in income from events held on the Downs, such as Pride and Forwards. 

A report to the committee said: “The Downs Committee has been approached by Pride, who in partnership with Forwards Festival, would like to improve the internet connection on the Downs.  The solution involves digging a 100-metre duct to run the cable to the nearest pole, which BT has offered to do for free. The connection would be run to the café, which would benefit from the connection year-round.”

Bristol Pride Day will be held this year on Saturday, July 8, on Durdham Down. Forwards Festival will be held on Friday, September 1 to Saturday, September 2, on Clifton Down

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service