Perfect design meets digital high-end technology: parookaville.com not only looks good, but also performs with 100,000 accesses within a few minutes, networks different systems with optimized APIs and proves the performance of the future technology Progressive Web App. And we developed them ...
What actually is "web design"? The design of a beautiful website or the technical design of a website that should meet the highest functional requirements? The case study PAROOKAVILLE makes it clear that the vague term conceals two fundamentally different things, which, however, can be perfectly combined: In the constructive cooperation with our customer, a website was created that not only implements the clear design specifications, but also the technical ones and creates the conditions to cope with many special challenges.
The three-day Electronic Music Festival PAROOKAVILLE is one of the largest festival events in Europe with 210,000 visitors in 2019. Organizing such an event places the highest demands on planning, organization and logistics - both in the run-up to and during the festival itself. One of the main pillars is the website, which not only offers a first foretaste and informs visitors about the event, but also bundles ticket sales and plays an important role in personnel recruitment.
Last but not least, the PAROOKAVILLE festival is praised for its independent, extraordinary concept. So it is hardly surprising that our client provided us with precise specifications and screen designs with regard to the visual and aesthetic appearance. In this regard, our tasks were essentially to technically realize image effects and animations.
But the far more demanding challenge was the technical design: Above all, we had to create the prerequisite for the website to cope with extremely high traffic numbers in the shortest possible time.
Over 100,000 hits in a few minutes
While the PAROOKAVILLE website is frequented normally over the course of the year, but not above average, there are phases with extreme peaks at certain times: Because tickets for the popular festival are in great demand, more than 100,000 fans access the site within a few minutes after the advance ticket sales have been activated. Access numbers are also high shortly before and during the festival, as many festival visitors request information about the event on-site using their mobile devices.
Various strategies were used to manage the temporary load and to optimize cooperation with external service providers:
The ticket sale, which was realized together with the service provider TicketPAY, requires a registration process through which personal and account details must be recorded and verified. By implementing a pre-registration, which is carried out in the run-up to the actual sale, the actual purchase process can be accelerated after the "starting shot" for ticket sales and the server load can be equalized. After pre-registration, the user receives a link to the external ticket service provider via email, through which the ticket order is finally processed.
In order to integrate various systems relevant to the website, several powerful API interfaces were programmed:
In order to ensure smooth ticket sales, the connection to the TicketPAY system had to be implemented with special care.
Furthermore, PAROOKAVILLE fans were offered participation in a competition. This was also integrated into the website via API.
By registering, interested parties could also subscribe to the festival newsletter on the website, which was sent via an external system.
During the festival, almost 6,000 short-term employees work for service, catering and security on the site. The recruitment takes place via an applicant portal, which was also integrated into the site via an API interface.
The infrastructure provider naturally also plays an important role in coping with extreme temporary server loads. For this reason, the web host Mittwald was involved in the project at an early stage in order to guarantee optimal performance, especially during the peak phases.
In order to identify potential weak points and to be able to remedy them in good time, a test run was carried out together with Mittwald well before the actual start, in which the expected rush was simulated. Even if the simulation process went absolutely smoothly, the relief was great when the website was finally able to prove its efficiency in reality on day X.
PAROOKAVILLE attracts people of a generation which is particularly mobile on the Internet. It is not without reason that Vodafone and Telekom are installing additional temporary cell phone masts on the site to enable a better connection to the cell phone network.
But that is not enough. In order to optimize performance, the website was programmed as a progressive web app. The website can be downloaded as an app on Android smartphones and iPhones. The advantage: In contrast to classic web access, pages that are accessed via the app are stored in the cache and do not have to be reloaded or can even be accessed offline.
In addition, zdrei.com has - despite numerous images, animations and special effects - reduced the amount of data on the website to a minimum in order to keep the data volume as low as possible and to ensure optimal performance with exciting features:
Who appears when on which stage? With over 300 DJs, more than 10 stages and a festival area of well over 10 football fields, it is not always easy to keep track of things. The timetable gives visitors on site the best possible orientation about the event program and the performing artists.
During the festival, a YouTube live stream is integrated into the website. We implemented a timeline, for users to see which program or which artist is currently being shown in the stream.
Since its start in 2015, PAROOKAVILLE has become the highlight of the European festival season as a three-day music festival for electronic music, which takes place regularly in mid-July on the festival grounds at Weeze Airport on the Lower Rhine. In 2019 over 300 artists, some of them world-famous, such as Armin van Buuren, The Chainsmokers or Timmy Trumpet presented all facets of electronic music on more than 10 stages - a party event that this year attracted a total of 210,000 visitors.
What is remarkable is the independent and elaborate show concept, which is based on the idea of a city that is brought to life once a year. The tickets are consequently called “Visa” and the visitors are called “Citizens”, and the site is divided into different “city districts”, which include a “Town Hall”, a “Church” and the “Bank of PAROOKAVILLE”.
The founders are Bernd Dicks, Norbert Bergers and Georg van Wickeren from Weeze, who plan and organize the festival all year round with the company Parookaville GmbH. The company has over 30 permanent employees who are supported by several thousand additional employees during the event. In 2016 the event was honored with the renowned “LEA Live Entertainment Award”, in which the festival was recognized as a “modern, electronic Woodstock”.
As a festival with 210,000 expected visitors, PAROOKAVILLE was also massively affected by Covid. Nevertheless, PAROOKAVILLE 2020 was launched - albeit very differently than planned: The artists Alle Farben, Brennan Heart, David Puentez, Fedde le Grand, Felix Jaehn, Lari Luke, Topic, Tujamo and W&W performed on the festival site: 200 happy guests that were drawn by partners and sponsors were on site - in compliance with all hygiene standards. The performances of all Djs were streamed live under the motto “LIVE from the City”.
For zdrei.com, the collaboration with PAROOKAVILLE began in 2018. As it became clear that the existing website would no longer be able to cope with the rapid growth of the festival, the website was put on a more solid foundation within three months, and developed into the largest Event in 2019.
We are still fascinated - by a really extraordinary client, a technically challenging project in many respects and a highly professional collaboration in which all the actors complemented each other perfectly. We keep our fingers crossed that it can go on again in 2021!