Music festival season is almost upon us. It doesn’t have an official start date, but next week’s Isle of Wight festival is certainly the first major event.
In the not too distant past the festival season consisted of Glastonbury, Reading and not much else. This didn’t represent much choice for music fans, although the Glastonbury security fence was a lot easier to scale back then. Apparently.
The festival landscape is a lot livelier these days though. From boutique child-friendly affairs to festivals focused on food rather than music (usually run by one of Jamie Oliver’s mates and often headlined by Jamie Cullum), the choice is almost endless.
But let’s not forget that successful festival going takes a bit of preparation and planning. If you’ve ever wandered around for hours in the mud and dark in a vain bid to find your tent/friends/sanity, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
If only there was an app that gave you the power to tackle festivals like a seasoned pro and avoid the usual pitfalls, right? Well, if you’ve got an iOS device, we think we might have found one for you.
The Festival Ready app has been developed by Victorinox, makers of the Swiss Army Knife. So you just know it’s going to be jam-packed with lots of great stuff.
Luckily, Victorinox hasn’t simply replicated the features of its Swiss Army Knife on an app – that would be ridiculous (apart from the corkscrew feature perhaps). No, they’ve actually given the whole festival-going experience a lot of thought, and come up with some proper solutions to the most common problems. Here are some of its key features:
Packing checklist and camping tips
Your festival trip starts here, at the checklist stage. Make sure you’ve got all the essentials (including a great festival smartphone, of course), then take a look at the handy camping tips to make sure you’re not one of those unfortunate souls who wake up in a flooded tent.
Festival Ready’s sound flare works as your own personal alarm. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but if you find yourself in a spot of trouble it could be a real life-saver.
This cracking feature lets you stay in touch with your friends - and your tent – at all times. Once you’ve connected with each other using the app, you’ll all be able to drop pins on a virtual recreation of the festival. This lets you permanently mark the location of your tent, or mark your own whereabouts, so that your friends can find you. It’s also a great tool for marking remote spots where the sound of James Blunt performing is unable to penetrate.
The app also comes with your very own torch, truly an essential piece of festival-going kit. Use it to light up your cross-field pre-dawn return to your tent, and avoid cunningly placed tripwires (or tent guylines are they’re sometimes known).
The in-app weather forecasting tool will tell you if it’s going to stay fantastically warm and sunny, or whether the wailing of Florence Welch has displeased the Gods enough for them to open up the heavens and rain on her parade.
An alternative for Android owners
Unfortunately, Festival Ready isn’t available on Android anymore, so here’s the best alternative we’ve found. It’s an app designed to take care of that crucial festival moment when you’re asked to create a bit of atmosphere for your favourite band’s big emotional number. Hold it aloft with pride.
Virtual Zippo Lighter
Android (Free) / iOS (Free)