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8 Tips for Using Your Smartphone at a Music Festival

Joshua Lockhart 27-03-2013

smartphone music festivalI have a friend who goes to multiple music festivals every summer, and he actually opts to leave his phone at home. He believes that it’s a different world once you’re inside the gates – that you should leave everything about “real life” on the outside. I commend him for that. Sometimes it’s just nice to escape.


However, it’s obvious that there are quite a few benefits to bringing your mobile device into the festival (besides using it as a makeshift lighter for emotional power ballads). Most are practical, and some are innovative. You use your smartphone for everything else, so why not this?

Below are eight tips for using your smartphone at a music festival.

Download The Schedule Before You Go

smartphone music festival

Most festivals out there are notorious for being in areas with poor cell reception, so do yourself a favor and download the schedule before you even leave. Sure, you may have just enough of a signal to send out a few texts, but loading the entire festival’s website could be a serious pain in the rump. A simple screenshot of the festival’s mobile site should do the trick.

Save A Picture Of The Festival’s Map

festival smartphone apps


In a similar fashion, save a picture of the festival’s map. You’ll likely get the hang of things while you’re there, but it’s always a good to have it on standby. Even if you have a physical copy of the map, snap a pic of it. If you lose the map, you’ll have a digital version right with you.

Plug Your Top Shows Into Your Calendar

festival smartphone apps

This one almost goes without saying, but it would be beneficial for you to add your “must-see” shows to your phone’s calendar. In the midst of the fun, the music, and the crowd, it could be quite easy to forget why you even came in the first place. Setting a reminder for your top shows an hour in advance could be helpful in the long run.

Set The Day’s Lineup As Your Lock Screen

festival smartphone apps


You’ll likely do a great deal of walking while at these festivals, and digging through your images to find the lineup could slow you down. Chances are that your most-visited bit of information will be the lineup, and the time you spend checking it could add up. By saving it as your lock screen, it will be on-hand at all times..

Bring Along A Portable Charger

smartphone festival

Your phone will inevitably die. Don’t think otherwise. Why not prepare by investing in a portable charger? These chargers are spare batteries that you can plug your phone straight into (typically via USB), and they can even be regularly charged themselves. For what they are, the prices aren’t too shabby either.

Be Sure To Put It On Vibrate

smartphone festival


This is mostly practical advice, but keep your phone on vibrate for the entire time you are at the festival. With the amount of sounds that these events produce, it would be folly to believe that you could ever hear your iPhone’s dainty Marimba tone. By doing this, you’ll always be connected.

Find Local Emergency Numbers

smartphone festival

Yeah, yeah – you likely know the standard emergency phone number for your country, but what about numbers for more practical assistance? Festivals always have a local number that dials on-site emergency services, so do your best to find it. It’s also a good idea to keep the numbers of local mechanics, towing services, and locksmiths in your contacts. An app like Yelp could even let you know who’s trustworthy.

Keep A Close Eye On Twitter

smartphone music festival


If you’re going to a music festival, you have to know what a secret show is. Most artists and bands typically use Twitter to make announcements for these covert concerts, so pay close attention to your feed while you’re there. With that said, make sure you know the venue’s layout fairly well – it would be a real shame to miss out just because you got lost.


If you take these tips to heart (along with sunblock and good hydration), you’ll have the most fantabulous time at your favorite music festival. On that note, if you’re looking for a few good bands to check out, make sure to read up on Tina’s weekly Sound Sunday, or you could even get festival recommendations with Don't Go to a Music Festival Without Downloading These Apps Whether you're heading to Burning Man or Glastonbury, technology can lend a hand. These apps will help you buy tickets, locate lost friends, and stay safe late at night. Read More .

What other tips do you have for using your smartphone at a music festival? What festivals do you plan on going to this year?

Image Credits: Music News AustraliaEva Rinaldi Live Music And Celebrity Photographer

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  1. Richard
    March 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I went to a festival a couple of years ago - I was there for a few days and kept my Galaxy S smartphone going without a charge by turning it off when not in use and turning off data mode, wifi and GPS the whole time.

    Another tip: If you use Twitter, enable Tweet by SMS before you go to save battery by not using data mode.

  2. Andi
    March 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Well, the youngsters might not get it. But I think my generation really needs to get the feeling.

  3. Reinis Vesers
    March 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Don't know about other festivals, but Summersound (happens every year in the middle of a Latvian summer in Liepaja, great unpopular bands) which I go to every year have great android and iphone apps that have on-site emergency numbers, map, lost/found, schedule for the bands and even the twitter feed of the organizers in them and almost all of it is also accessible off-line (except for twitter and lost/found). Great tips though!

  4. Muz RC
    March 27, 2013 at 2:34 am

    thanks for the nice suggestions....

  5. Dilip Roy
    March 27, 2013 at 1:44 am

    smart suggestions