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[OCLUG-Tech] Heavy-duty linux wifi access point / server?

I recall there are some people on this list who have dealt with something like I'd like to do.

I'd like to reach people with cellphones and tablets, gathered in large (semi-public) congregation in Ottawa. Think OLS conference, for example, except outside; and far less data transfer per user (maybe). I'd like to set up an open wifi access point connected to a Linux webserver serving static, or if possible, semi-static (cache-backed CMS) pages. At worst case, all it would have to serve is one static page.

Never having done this before, I have no idea of how many associations or connections to expect. I'm guessing a few dozen to 200 range.

Now I recall someone talking at the IPV6 conference last year about the (APs?) being overloaded by people with wifi-enabled phones on OC Transpo buses going by the building on the Transitway. I don't recall much more than that.

I expect an i7 linux workstation I have could keep up with the web requests.

So I'm wondering what it would take in equipment, especially wifi, for me to set something up like this? I would NOT be able to set up any more than one AP (or at least one AP location), given the physical limitations of the setup, out of my control. The operational duration would be about one week.

This is not a "mission crticial" project. It can fail from overload and that's fine, but it would be nice if it didn't die at 20 accesses. If it can work without too setup and cost (I cannot afford gear purchase, but maybe rental) then I might try it. This is just a "guerilla outreach" experiment I'd like to try if it's not way beyond my resources.

Any tips on this, thoughts, or websites or where to find out more about this kind of setup and what's required?