Keep your finger on the pulse with these web and mobile apps for festival lovers
As this year's Glastonbury Festival gets into full swing, and we look forward to a plethora of music events taking place over the coming months, we've taken the opportunity to bring you a rundown of the best web and mobile apps for festival goers. Whether you're already at Glastonbury, sat in a traffic jam just outside Pilton, or fancy enjoying the festival from the comfort of your own home, there's something in this list for you!
1. The official Glastonbury 2011 app
Brought to you by mobile provider Orange, Glastonbury 2011 offers all manner of Glastonbury goodness. Available for free, and on the iPhone, Android and Nokia platforms, the official app is split into three sections: schedule, map, and news.
The schedule presents you with the main Glastonbury areas (stages, The Park, Green Fields etc), which you can select to discover what's happening when. Choose an event/act/activity you're interested in, and you are given the option to view its location on the map, add it to your personal planner, set a reminder, or share it with friends. Brilliant!
Secondly, the map (not surprisingly) enables you to navigate around the site, zoom in to selected areas, and find out what's happening in that location at any given time.
Lastly, the news section will update with any changes to sets, offers advice to attendees, and even pops up the odd competition.
All-in-all, this is the perfect Glastonbury app and, even if you're having to experience this year's event from your sofa, it's a great way to ensure you don't miss your favourite acts!
Southampton design agency Slipstream has created a Twitter hack, in support of Water Aid no less, that enables you to follow everything and anything from #glasto11. So, check out social trend aggregator inglas.to if you want to know what people are talking about and how acts like Beyoncé and the Wutang Clan are going down, see the latest pics and so on. And here’s some info for you nerds: it’s built on node.js, Rails 3.1 and MongoDB.
Rob Hampson, lead digital designer at Slipstream, told us: "inglas.to was a project we decided to do in house as a 10% project: a way of working some new tech and demonstrating social trends to some of our Slipstream clients. We looked at a few events and Glasto seemed like a great one to aim for.
"We wanted something that works on the iPad/iPhone and desktop, and allows people to watch the trends, tweets and pics. We spent one day on design and front end and one day on build. The site is sat on a single VPS running node.js and mongoDB with a Rails 3.1 frontend.
"We're already storing hundreds of thousands of tweets and pics from the event, and will create an infographic of the data we collect next week."
It's hard to keep track of Glastonbury tweets because there are so many. Glastobuzz has arranged them by topic to make it easier to keep tabs on what's being said about a particular band or stage. The database is auto-updated every ten minutes.
This app is essential when you’re stumbling back to your tent through a dark and muddy field. TentFinder, £0.59 and available for the iPhone only, uses the latest GPS technology, so you can find any place (your tent, the beer tent, the cleanest toilets, etc). And if you can’t remember what your tent looks like, you can also add a photo. Tent Finder uses a compass and a directional line laid over the festival Google map. It also includes a torch.
5. iFest for iPhone
iFest is a superb app that sucks in line-up information, news and social media updates and presents it in a convenient form. There's a full line-up guide that's updated automatically with any alterations, and you can make an itinerary to make sure you don't miss anything important. There's also a tent finder, a venue map and weather information.
6. Festival Buddy for Android
Android users need not miss out on handy tent-finding functionality: Festival Buddy enables you to mark the placement of your tent and uses your phone's GPS to guide you there in the dark. You really should take a proper torch with you, but this app will turn your phone into one if the need arises.
7. Shazam and Soundhound
The official Orange Glastonbury apps tells you who’s playing but if you want to know the song title, try using Shazam or Soundhound. While Shazam (available on all kinds of platforms, including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, etc) is excellent for pre-recorded music, it does struggle with live performances. Soundhound, meanwhile, also lets you name, hum, and sing songs or hold the phone up to a speaker. Available for the iPhone, on Android and Ovi, it’s free but there’s also an ad-free version with extra features that sets you back around £3.99, depending on the platform you’re on.
You've just spent the last hour engrossed in a fascinating discussion about whether a Jaffa Cake is, in fact, a biscuit or a cake with a kindred spirit you met by the cider bus (apparently, it's all about the VAT). You're just about to part company when you decide it would be great to keep in touch, but you're having a job remembering your own name, let alone someone else's phone number. What do you do?!
Why, you use Bump, of course! The mobile Bump app for iPhone and Android is a free tool that enables you to touch your phones together to exchange info. It's that simple. There's also the option to message contacts from within the app, as well as sharing other info such as photos and calendar info.
9. Search Instagram
There's no better way to get a flavour of this year's Glastonbury festival than by scouring the thousands of photos being taken via mobile phones at the event. Search Instagram is a cracking app that pulls in photos taken with the increasingly popular Instagram app for iPhone. Created by Syd Lawrence and Tom Gibby, Search Instagram enables you to see all the tagged photos from the festival by entering 'Glastonbury' into the search field (or by simply visiting this link to the site www.searchinstagram.com/#glastonbury). Alternatively, just have it running in the background to remind you what mud looks like.
10. Ban.jo for iPhone and Android
Chances are there are loads of people you know at Glastonbury, but you don't even realise they're there. Ban.jo is a new app that could be quite useful, because it pulls in information from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to show you who's nearby. No one needs to be logged into any one service for it to work, because it uses geotagged tweets, photos and anything else people are uploading. You can even specify the radius over which it should operate to get a look at what people from nearby tents are saying and doing.