Grab your sunscreen, high-rise cutoff shorts, and favorite satchel: Coachella kicked off this week, which marks the unofficial ushering in of 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), camaraderie 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 attend at least one music festival a year, and I always rely on my smartphone to help me plan and navigate. Here are some apps that can make your music fest a success.
Start with the basics
To start, download the festival's official app. Most major music festivals have their own apps, 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 other festivals with official apps include:
- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (free; iOS and Android)
- Outside Lands (free; iOS and Android)
- Bonnaroo (free; iOS and Android)
- Summerfest (free; iOS)
- Lollapalooza (free; iOS and Android)
- Austin City Limits (free; iOS and Android)
Unfortunately, lots of people in a remote location can often lead to an overcrowded cell network, so your connectivity might not be that great. Notifications have been spotty at times for me, so 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. Or, if you'd like to share your list with friends (again, this can be a gamble depending on network reception), Wunderlist (free; iOS and Android) allows for robust lists that can be managed by multiple users.
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 over packing.
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