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Music Festival Apps and Technology: Upgrade Your Experience

Kristin Houser Writer & Editor, LA Music Blog
music festival

Today’s music fans have more options than ever for using technology to make the most of their festival experiences. From the websites to visit before purchasing passes to the gadgets you’ll want to have at your makeshift campsite, this is the tech that will make your 2014 music festival season the best ever.

With passes to the biggest music festivals often selling out before the first performer is even announced, your first step to a successful fest experience is buying your passes. But which of the world’s multitude of fests offers the most bang for your buck?

The website Music Festival Junkies boasts “the largest database of music festivals on the Internet,” and it is a great place to start the quest for your ideal music festival. The site allows for sorting by location, month, genre and type to help any music fan narrow down their options. From ticket costs to lineups to camping options, Music Festival Junkies offers all the information you’ll need about each fest in one convenient location.

Once you have your pass locked down, the next step is making sure you have the best possible experience at the fest.

You’ll definitely want to download the official app for the festival you’re attending, as that’s the easiest way to make sure you see the acts you want to see. In addition to allowing you to create a personalized schedule, many of these apps also offer maps of the festival grounds, info on the artists performing, food and drink options and more.

For Android users, the Festival Buddy app is also a must download, as it allows you to use GPS to mark all the important locations at the festival grounds. By directing you wherever you need to go — from your parked car and tent to the main stage and restroom facilities — this app lets you keep your mind on the music, and not on whether you were supposed to take a left or a right back at that merch tent.

With all the excitement that accompanies a summer music festival, the danger of dehydration looms high, so add WaterIn to that list of apps to download. With this simple app, you can set your own daily quota for water intake, and it will send you reminders throughout the weekend, ensuring that you don’t spend the headliner’s set laid out in the medical tent.

Festival organizers are using tech to enhance attendee’s experiences as well, so take advantage of any hi-tech amenities they’re providing.

Earlier this year, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival used Bluetooth-enabled micro-location technology iBeacon to deliver proximity-based information, navigation and notifications to festival attendees. These small, signal-emitting beacons may soon become a standard addition to music festivals, as could another tech innovation, NFC-connected wristbands.

Once registered, NFC-connected wristbands can be used to do everything from pay vendors wirelessly to check in at various festival locations on Facebook. This technology was brought to San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival last year thanks to a partnership between ClearHart Digital and Esurance, and attendees at this year’s Counter Point music fest will also have the opportunity to test it out.

After all the effort and excitement that goes into attending a festival, you’ll want more than just a band T-shirt to remember the experience. Thankfully, tech can also help you document the experience of being at a music festival.

In April, Spotify teamed up with Coachella for the We Were There campaign, an interactive experience that allowed attendees to use their wristbands to collect songs and playlists that they could later compile and share with friends via an interactive map.

Snapchat is also getting into the festival game with their recent debut of Our Story, a group-sharing feature for concerts and fests, at Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival. While Snapchat previously allowed users to share their snaps with connected friends, now all the users in the same location for a single event can share their photos collectively and publicly. Long after the ringing in your ears subsides, you can relive the fest by viewing the highlight reel of shots collected and compiled by Snapchat.

Of course, nothing can make you feel like technology is turning on you quicker than a dead device with no charging station in sight. To avoid this tech nightmare, pick up a PowerTrekk, which uses ordinary water to charge most USB-compatible devices.

While you’re recharging your own batteries after the last set of the day, you can also charge your phone, ensuring that you’ll be able to make the most of every minute of your festival experience.


Image courtesy of Laura Chirinos for LA Music Blog.

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