Apping out music festivals

Grace Robinson
27 October, 2011
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Summer is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate the outdoor season than with a ticket to some of the hottest music festivals around the country?

There’s a lot of fun to be had at these events, whether you plan on camping out for a couple of days at the Falls Festival (Dec/Jan), packing a picnic to enjoy at Bluesfest (Easter weekend) or lacing up your sturdiest steel-toe boots to stomp- mosh your way around the Big Day Out (January).

Whatever your style, it’s a fun trip to take. But there can be downsides, too. Like missing your favourite act because you didn’t know when they were scheduled to play. Or struggling to navigate your way around a venue and its multiple stages. Then there’s sunburn, unforseen accidents and getting separated from friends.

You have two choices: You can roll with the punches and soldier on for the love of the music, or you can get your hands on a bunch of super apps to make your music festival experience one to remember.


Apps are a relatively new addition to festival events, providing you with all sorts of handy information like artist profiles and play times so that you don’t find yourself wandering about in a paddock somewhere while Beth Ditto is tearing it up on stage.

Start off by heading to [V] Music online to view a complete listing of summer musical festivals in Australia. Each event has its own page with news, ticket information and a timetable template to schedule how you want the day to play out.

There should also be details provided on the event’s app, if there is one. Or you can just browse the App Store, using the event name as a search query.

If you’re planning to go to the Big Day Out in January, for example, you’ll want to download its namesake app (Seed Labs; free) beforehand.

Track list: Seed Lab’s Big Day Out app offers a whole host of menu options for festival goers to take advantage of.

The Big Day Out app has a map feature that lets you tap one of its multiple stages to view its location and the line-up of acts scheduled to play. Stage location filters allow you to custom-build your own timetable, too.

Other slick features include photo-sharing options to post all your snaps straight to Facebook
or Twitter and you can also access artist/band information, with links to official websites, Twitter and Facebook profiles.

You’ll find that a lot of festival apps offer similar features as Big Day Out, the aim being to create a more interactive and enjoyable experience. An added bonus is that most of them are free.

Aside from festival apps, there are some other useful downloads to consider for the occasion:

Medical. A standard first-aid app is a must. St John Ambulance’s First Aid app ($4.49) is undoubtedly one of the best on the market, with a complete listing of conditions and symptoms as well as step-by-step guides for treatments and emergency First Aid.

Torch. Festivals are usually all-day events, meaning you’re going to hit a point where light becomes dark and you need help to find your way. Download a torch app like L.E.D Torch (Tyler Bell; free) for added light.

Weather.They say you should always pack an emergency poncho for outdoor events, whether rain is forecast or not. But if you want to pack smartly (and fashionably) for the elements, a good weather app is essential. Weather (Ned Kubica;$10.49) is one of my favourites.

Connect. If you or a friend strays from the pack, you’ll need a reliable communication system in place. eBuddy Messenger (eBuddy; free) is a messaging and chat service that will keep you connected at all times.

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  1. Steve says:

    Who could forget the National Folk Festivals excellent app, updated each year with the all the acts, times and maps?

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