Is it good to be wildly disconnected?

Working in the outdoors with fabulous views of the Pembrokeshire coast is a regular occurrence for the 1a team and so when we were asked to provide WiFi broadband coverage for the Really Wild Food & Countryside Festival in St Davids last weekend, we knew we were in for a treat.

The new venue at Celtic Camping (Pwllcaerog Farm) proved a huge hit, offering a diverse range of wonderful spaces for visitors to stroll, eat, drink, shop, watch the pig racing (!) amongst piles of other ‘wild’ things to enjoy…

RWF

Celtic Camping sits literally on the edge of South West Wales.  The views from the cliff top, quite frankly take your breath away.  And as you would assume in such a remote setting, the phone signal is zero.

‘Phew’ is the reaction when most arrive for their holiday; “A whole few days away without being glued to the end of my phone, tablet or laptop, bliss.”

This weekend however, was a different kettle of fish and to enable the festival to provide the full mix of entertainment to its paying visitors, the site was transformed into a professional event venue, providing essential electric, light and internet feeds to organisers and traders; to heat the coffee, chill the beer and ice cream, cook the food, announce programme activity, present food demonstrations and take payment.

As one of these providers, we were delighted to be able to support the online activity and see the relief on traders faces as they realised they could promote and sell their products from this rural base and for some, check on loved ones that were unwell via messaging services.  On the flip-side, we were surprised at a couple of reactions that suggested it was perhaps unnecessary for this natural site to be overcome with technology for 48 hours.

RWF2

On reflection, and as individuals that have chosen this area for its natural beauty and simplicity, we do appreciate this point of view.  However, this also led us to question; If we choose to make a living by being connected with nature and our trade relies on attracting customers and promoting wares to the masses, can we truly survive by disconnecting completely from the real world?

Tablet at RWFest

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that the Really Wild Food & Countryside Festival has reached circa 6,000 visitors assisted by continual marketing on and offline, social media & PR activity, digital photography, video production and AV systems.

Would the numbers be this high without technology? We’ll let you decide.