Driift issues apology after technical problems hit first airing of Live At Worthy Farm livestream


May 24, 2021

Livestreaming company Driift yesterday issued an apology over the technical problems that hindered the first airing of its big ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ livestream on Saturday night.

The ticketed livestreamed event was staged in support of the Glastonbury Festival and its charity partners, and featured recordings of a plethora of artists performing at different locations around the festival’s famous site.

The first airing went live at 7pm on Saturday, but quickly Glastonbury and Driift’s Twitter feeds became filled with ticket-buyers who were unable to log in. The stream itself was working – and some ticket-buyers had successfully accessed it – but others were getting the error message ‘invalid code’ whenever they tried to tune in to the stream.

With frustrated ticket-buyers getting ever more critical on social media, shortly before 9pm a link was circulated that basically circumvented the login process, so that anyone could see the first stream. The set-up allowed people to rewind back one hour to see some of what they had missed.

However, Drift quickly announced that ticket-buyers would also be able to log in to the subsequent planned airings of the show to see performances from the first hour. Those other broadcasts – some scheduled to work for ticket-buyers in other time-zones – went ahead without the login hitch.

In a statement yesterday, Driift said: “We are standing here today with the heaviest of hearts. Although many thousands of you were able to stream the event as planned last night, we are mortified that technical issues meant that many others were effectively locked out for up to two hours and unable to use your access codes. This was unacceptable”.

“Driift is not a tech business or a media platform, and we rely on a third party company for certain aspects of broadcasting the stream”, it added. “This provider has now identified the cause of last night’s problems, and, although we are awaiting a full technical report, there were no subsequent issues for ticket buyers accessing later streams for North America or Australia”.

“Driift was established as a producer and promoter of livestream events at the height of last year’s lockdown, with the goal of getting artists, crews and venues back to work and do inspiring things with an exciting new format”, it went on. “For last night’s failings, we would like to apologise to Glastonbury Festival, to all the amazing artists who gave their time to perform, and to all the backstage crew and partners who worked so hard with us over many months to make this historic show a reality”.

“Most importantly, we apologise unreservedly to all of you who had your plans upset”, it concluded. “We would also like to make clear that Driift is making no financial gain from this livestream event, and we hoped it would generate much needed revenue for the festival. In that spirit, we sincerely hope that those who encountered problems will take the opportunity to watch and enjoy the event today, and that many more will buy tickets to support the festival and its three associated charities”.

In related news, the BBC has this morning announced that it will broadcast a shorter cut of the five hour livestream, featuring highlights from the various performances, at some point in the coming weeks. It will also broadcast a behind the scenes documentary about the show, presented by Jo Whiley.

“Since the BBC first broadcast footage from Worthy Farm in 1997, Glastonbury and the BBC have enjoyed a brilliant relationship, so I’m THRILLED that they’ll be showing highlights of our ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ special”, says Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis in a statement.

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