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Apps for summer music festivals

Leah Yamshon | May 6, 2013
Use these apps to make your summer fest a success.

Summer is upon us, and so is music festival season. Hundreds of thousands of people  flock to music fests all around the country, and for some, summer just wouldn't be the same without attending one of these mega events. With beautiful weather (most of the time), comraderie with other attendees, an interesting array of food and art, and of course killer bands, there's a lot to experience.

However, getting organized for a major festival involves some thinking ahead, especially if there's travel or camping involved. I attended the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California in 2012, and relied on my smartphone to help me plan and navigate. Here are some apps that can make your summer fest a success.

Plan ahead

To start, download the festival's official app. Most major music festivals have their own apps this year, which is crucial for planning which bands to see and staying on top of schedule changes on the fly. (Without the official Coachella app, I would have missed one of my favorite bands had the app not notified me of a last-minute time change.) These apps often include maps of the venue, food options, schedules, information about artists, parking reminders, news, or updates. Some festivals with official apps include: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Sasquatch, Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and CMJ Marathon.

Unfortunately, lots of people in a remote location can often lead to an overcrowded cell network, so your connectivity might not be ideal. Notifications were spotty for me. I'd also suggest making a list of must-see acts in a simple to-do list app like Clear  ($2, iOS). Set the time, stage, and day that the artist will be performing, and cross it off when complete.

Get organized

If you're off to a multiday festival, or will be traveling out of town, use a packing app to help you get organized. Packing Pro ($3, iOS) breaks down what you probably need based on the number of days you'll be gone based on sample lists, which you can then customize by adding individual items. Items are sorted into categories, like Essentials, Clothing, and Accessories, and you can specify the number of each type of item you'd like to pack. Check items off as you toss them into your suitcase to track what still needs to be done. Packing Pro also lets you share lists, so you can create a group packing list to eliminate dupes and overpacking. If you're camping, check out a camping-specific packing app like Camping List Pro+ ($1, iOS).


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