Guide To Festival Tech
Field of Dreams
James Day, Technology Editor for the Metro, shares the festival gadgets you really need this summer.
Tunes and trench foot – the staple of the British music festival experience.
Scuppering the elements by slapping supermarket bags on your tootsies isn’t the strongest of looks, but by adding a few tech upgrades to your packing list you can at least make sure you’re covered in other areas.
I headed to Worthy Farm to put some essential kit through its paces (and listen to a couple of bands…) at Glastonbury to bring you the guide to the best gadgets you shouldn’t be without.
I’ve got the power
Power banks are essential for ensuring your phone and other tech stay full of juice all day.
Not only is this 5,000mAh Ceba the world’s slimmest power bank, meaning it remains subtle if you’re lugging it around all day, its clever dual charging function means you can connect two devices at once and it’ll automatically decipher the correct current for that gadget.
Xsories Sneaker Bank
Designed for adrenaline junkies, the Sneaker Bank is a power pack surrounded by the rubber found on your favourite pair of Converse, making it one tough cookie when exposed to the elements. The 4,200mAh base model is good for two full phone charges.
After the show it’s the campsite party. Make sure you bring the noise with these festival-ready wireless speakers.
Weatherproof with an impressive IPX5 water-resistance rating, and built to the take the knocks with a polycarbonate shell, the neon rave Braven 705 is also omnidirectional meaning wherever you’re sat around the camp fire you’ll get great sound. There’s a built-in power bank for charging tech too.
Sadly not named after our favourite Basingstoke through road en route to Glastonbury, the A33 is another wireless, weatherproof speaker built for rugged conditions. We love the retro boombox design, which has got us all excited about the old school block party taking place at this year’s V Festival.
Your smartphone is highly likely to end up in the mud at some stage. Protect it.
Whether you’re a member of the SAS or just a bit wary of spilling Chai tea on your smartphone at Bestival, Griffin’s Survivor series includes sealed plugs for connectors and ports. A shatter resistant polycarbonate frame, shock absorbing silicone, and screen protector also make it about as impenetrable as backstage security.
Naztech’s protective phone cases are equally shockproof but have the added bonus of being waterproof up to 20 metres.
Not only is that great for freak puddles, but if you’re venturing further afield to the likes of Benicàssim in Spain next week its fit for skinny dipping and pool parties too.
Burn baby burn
Burner phones are cheap handsets you won’t mind losing in mud. Here are our top picks.
Having 4G can be the difference between receiving a call from that special someone to say they’re by the main stage, or keeping tabs on sports scores when you’re miles from civilization. This brand new handset from EE is the UK’s cheapest pay as you go 4G phone from just £39.
The perfect tool for the Billy basics of phone calls from the field and is yours for under a fiver.
Up to 35 days usage on a single charge is frankly unheard of these days, and what’s more there’s an FM radio for keeping tabs on events in the real world, and a handy torch campsite navigation.
Fleetwood macs and camp Davids
Keep yourself bone dry on the move and overnight with these top picks.
On average it tips it down in Denmark for 121 days-a-year. Originating from Copenhagen, Rains make the most waterproof jackets I’ve ever worn and with a soft feel lining so it doesn’t stick to you like cling film when the heavens open. Ps, the orange is so bright the Danes hate to see it leave, but see it leave they can.
Quechua inflatable tent
Unless you plan on making ‘can you put my tent up for me’ your top campsite chat up line, why not go inflatable instead?
The Quechua range pumps up in minutes, is double skinned for heavy rain, and unlike pop-up tents collapses quicker than an England/Aussie batting line-up.
From £99.99, decatholon.co.uk
Apps, tips and tricks
1. Download Dark Sky. Not only is it the prettiest of weather apps, it’s also easily the most comprehensive offering forecasts accurate to the minute of when rain is about to fall – so much so we predicted the British Grand Prix was about to go wet before the commentators or teams.
2. Victorinox Festival Ready is the Swiss army knife of apps. Features include a 3D navigator for finding your tent in the dark, a sound flare for altering people to your whereabouts, torch, packing list, live weather reports, and a host of other camping tips and tricks.
3. Keeping tabs on apps burning your battery is a drain on time as much as anything else. Battery Doctor estimates how long your phone will last, disables unnecessary apps, and gives solid advice for maximising power reserves.
4. Log your festival frivolities with Polaroid’s Instant Cam app. Once you’ve shot a photo, the app applies an authentic Polaroid-style filter and frames, and allows you to add text and share your pics on social media for everyone to scowl at.
5. Clashfinder.com isn’t strictly an app, but lets you forward plan your line-up weeks in advance of a festival. The site has been adapted for mobiles and once you’ve got your schedule nailed down simply save it as your home screen so it’s easy to glance at during the day.