BBC Radio 1 has used innovative new technology to give listeners a rich online experience during and after its Radio 1 Big Weekend music festival in Maidstone on the 10th and 11th May. Revellers can log on to www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/bigweekend/ and check out hundreds of photos from the event, selecting specific shots, zooming in and out to look for friends and celebrities and even contributing their own photos to capture the event in a uniquely visual way.

Part of Radio 1's strategy is to give a fully interactive experience for its listeners using innovative methods which embrace new multimedia and online properties. One way to do this around the Radio 1 Big Weekend event was through the provision of hundreds of photos. Using brand new technology from Microsoft called SilverLight and its Deep Zoom functionality, visitors to the site can now browse, select and zoom in and out of the high resolution images, making the festival experience an even greater one. The technology will allow visitors to the site to search for themselves and friends, as well as DJs and live acts, within pictures containing thousands of people – all without losing the quality of the image.

The project was put together by Conchango and Stream UK, Microsoft Gold Certified Partners in digital design and development. Paul Dawson, Conchango’s Experience Director explains that the use of innovative technologies like this is an important way for Radio 1 to really engage with listeners around the event: “Thanks to the internet, radio stations are becoming much more interactive and the challenge is how radio can become a more immersive’ and multi-media experience. Photography, and lots of it, is an obvious way of doing this, but we set out to really push the boundaries of how listeners interact and have fun with them in a way that has never been seen before. Microsoft Silverlight and the Deep Zoom functionality allows us to do just this.”

The power of the new site allowed Radio 1 to run a number of interactive features with its listeners including a fun competition called ‘Where’s Wiley?’ Radio 1 DJ, Jo Wiley, will feature somewhere in a photo of thousands of festival goers, and just like the kids cartoon ‘Where’s Wally?’, listeners were encouraged to hunt around and zoom in to find her.

Commenting on Stream UK’s involvement, Conchango’s Paul Dawson said: “Microsoft recommended Stream UK to us as the only Silverlight infrastructure partner they knew who could meet the pressing technology requirements and timescales required. They promised to deliver and were as good as their word.”

ENDS

About Conchango
Conchango, founded in 1991, is a company that envisions, creates and builds the digital experiences people love. It is an industry leader in both design and leading edge technology and using the philosophy of ‘total experience design’, delivers user-centred work for brands like Tesco, Virgin Atlantic and Barclays. http://www.conchango.com - PR Contact: Lorraine Branch, 020 7261 4484.

About Stream UK
Stream UK is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. The company was established in 2001 to develop products which add value to digital content. For more information on Silverlight delivery platforms, please contact Duncan Burbidge, Stream UK on Duncan@streamuk.com or 020 7419 5930

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

Published on: 12:00AM on 22nd May 2008