“Dude where’s my car?” Using Tech to Survive Summer Music Festivals
It’s officially music festival szn. Now before you get to dance in the desert or party on the beach to this year’s headliners and your favorite bands you need to get all your ducks in a row. Time to start booking travel and stay accommodations, shopping for outfits, buying and packing the camping gear, and if you’re like most people going to music festivals — scour the recesses of Craigslist for extra festival wristbands.
There is so much to do yet so little time, but our festival experts have compiled a list of 10 tech tips and accessories to make that long list of sh*t to do a tad bit shorter!
Happy festival season!
1. Make a Tech-list
Seriously, this is SO important! It may seem tedious, but when you physically write every single tech item you want to bring, it will make you remember. Plus you can check each item off as you pack them.
You don’t want to get to your campsite and realize you forgot your phone charging cable or Polaroid camera. How are you going to take fire Instagram pics if your phone is dead because you forgot your portable charger? That’d be tragic.
2. Portable & Solar Chargers
Portable and solar chargers should be closer to the top of your tech list after your phone and charging wire. Don’t skimp out with a cheap $5 charger. Quality chargers are a sound investment, and you can use them the rest of festival season, and life. Check out these portable and solar chargers that are relatively inexpensive; since you’ve already spent $400+ on festival admission.
Thank us later when you have enough charge to Snapchat the special guest for Sunday night’s closer.
3. Make Space on Your Phone
Backup your phone memory, delete unused apps, old text conversations, pictures, and that person’s phone number you knew in 5th grade. Do anything and everything in your power to make room on your phone’s storage. You’ll want to release space for all of the lit videos and photos you’re going to take at the festival.
4. Protect Your Devices
Invest in a screen protector and case with a protective bumper now, so you don’t have to pay for a replacement screen or in the worst case a whole new phone because you were raging too hard. You don’t want to pay another hundred or so after you spent your life savings on merch, festival foods, and for the 21 and over drinks in the magical beer garden.
5. Download the official Coachella App
If you’re debating about downloading the official Coachella app, JUST DO IT! It’s convenient; you have access to the festival map, line up, schedule (that you can personalize with who you’re trying to see), a complete list and locations of all the food and beverage options, where the merch stands are, and all the activities and amenities scattered along the field. Plus you can activate your wristband from your mobile device if you forget to do it before you get to the venue!
Tile is a Bluetooth tracker and app for those of you who lose their keys, backpacks, wallets, and pretty much anything. Coachella does have a lost and found that ships the items back to you after the fact, but how are you going to pay for a beer if you’ve lost your wallet?
Tile can attach to almost anything and will ring if you are within 100-feet of your item, and it will keep ringing until you find it. The app also has other functions that let you find your phone, remember the last place and time you saw your item, and if a fellow Tile user finds it, the app will notify you directly.
7. Utilize Charging Stations
Coachella has a ton of impressive amenities like free water stations, hair and makeup freshening up booths, and even an air-conditioned stage; but the most important is the charging stations on the campgrounds. The gracious festival planners know just how vital your electronics are and got you hooked up, just remember BYOC. (Bring Your Own Charger).
8. Service Sucks!
Cell phone service at the Empire Polo Field straight up sucks. There is no going around it. It’s the same every year no matter how good modern technology is, or what cell service you have. The airwaves are clogged during the festival and it doesn’t help that you’re in the middle of the desert.
Don’t let the sh*tty service separate you from your friends. Make sure to designate a specific meet up spot if you guys lose each other for a certain amount of time. Then if that doesn’t work, don’t let that stop you either from seeing your favorite artist. You’re bound to make friends with someone, everyone is there for the same reasons — so just go for it!
9. Car Parking Apps
Avoid the “dude, where’s my car” moment and the long walk to the wrong parking lot by downloading apps that let you remember the location of your parked car. There are multiple lots that you can park at when you attend the festival, and they just happen to be on opposite sides of the venue. The walk is already long enough after a tiring day of being beaten by the sun and dancing your heart out, don’t double your time by walking to the wrong lot.
Apple maps have a function that remembers where your car is parked if you’re connected to Bluetooth, or you can drop a pin at your car’s location. And if you’re not an Apple maps user or have an Android there are free apps in the Google Play and Apple Store that let you mark where you parked your car.
10. Don’t film every single set
Don’t be that person that is filming every set! No one cares about a 20-minute Snapchat story of the back of some dudes head. It kills your battery and eats up your storage— storage you could be using to take bomb selfies with your watermelon slice. Not to be cliché, but live in the moment. You didn’t pay some $400+ to see artist through a tiny phone screen.
PRO TIP: Coachella Music Festival live streams almost every artist performance and then posts them online, if that is your main concern when filming.
Leave comments about some of your pro tech tips for Coachella and music festivals.