Big Data Success Story: At SXSW (South by Southwest Music Festival)


As music festivals go, this one is a juggernaut. Crowds roll onto the entry gates in towering waves, presenting ticket booths with a challenging task. At the most recent instance, ticketing began to take too long. People in the queues became first restless, then frustrated, then angry. Fortunately, big data analytics prevented a disaster. Here’s how.

First of all, the organizers planned for months in advance about how to deal with that exact situation. They set up a command center for managing all digital communications, including sending instructions to their staff on the ground. 

Secondly, they used specialized data analysis tools to monitor attendees’ tweets in real time for certain keywords. Why? So that they could see adverse crowd behavior trends developing and nip them in the bud. Sample keywords were “crowd” and “police”.

Sure enough, and using this tweet analysis, they sensed the crowd’s mood changing to a near-riot-like attitude. They quickly organized an additional event at a different, nearby venue, and sent out extra volunteers and security staff to send part of the crowd there. The situation was thus beautifully managed, resulting in a total of 72,000 attendees having a whale of a time!

To know more about the data analysis tools they used, message us here, we’ll get back to you pronto. Or message us to discuss whether there are potential advantages hidden in your own data. Or just message us about anything!

To your success with data,


Lucky Balaraman

Executive Director, The Magnum Group

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