Top 10 essential festival apps

ByKelvin Goodson
Laptop at a festival

Going to Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds or one of the many other festivals taking place this summer? Then download the likes of Find My Friends, Festival Ready, and Shazam before you go.

Tent-finding app

Android: Festival Buddy, free

iPhone: BC Tent Finder, free

You know the drill. You arrive at the festival, pitch your tent, throw your bag inside, and go off exploring. You return at night ready to hit the hay - only to realise you've no idea where you even pitched the darn thing. Cue statements such as "I'm sure we turned left at the yellow campsite" and "I think I recognise that tree."

This is where Festival Buddy and BC Tent Finder come in. These apps use GPS to allow you to mark where your tent is, as well as other locations, such as your car or the nearest toilets. They then guide you back to them using a directional arrow. Perfect if you expect your sense of direction to get hindered by alcohol.

Tent-finding app

Friend-finding app

Android: Find My Friends, free

iPhone: Find My Friends, free

After people wearing 'wacky' hats, one of the most infuriating things about festivals is losing your friends. While this is less of a problem now everyone has mobile phones, you still need your friends to pick up to find out where they are, and they're not likely to hear you calling if they're going batty to some band in a big tent.

Find My Friends enables you to, well, find your friends, by locating them via GPS on their smartphones - as well as enabling them to see your location if they use the same app. The Android version even lets you find those who don't have a smartphone, as long as they accept a text invite from you.

The official app

Android: Glastonbury Festival 2016, free

iPhone: Glastonbury Festival 2016, free

There's nothing better than an app dedicated to the festival you're going to. EE has partnered with Worthy Farm to create the official Glastonbury app, to help you make the most out of your weekend in the mud. 

The Glasto app gives you an interactive map that you can co-ordinate with your friends, live BBC streaming from six stages, a programming guide, music samples, and a rolling news feed of festival happenings.

Glastonbury hedgeliners

Battery life app

Android: Battery HD, free

iPhone: Battery HD+, free

While the emergence of mobile phones has been a godsend for festival goers, trying to get the battery to last for the duration of a festival is something of a challenge - especially since power-hungry smartphones became the norm. These days recharging facilities are often available, but often involve lengthy queues or, worse, spending time in a mobile network's 'chill out lounge'.

One of the best ways to avoid such a fate is by managing the battery life of your phone using Battery HD or Battery HD+. With these you can find out what functions you can perform and how long they can be performed for with the power you have left, as well as monitor how much juice is left in the tank altogether.

Music-recognition app

Android: Shazam, free

iPhone: Shazam, free

Whether you're going to Glastonbury, where there seems to be a band playing in every tent, around every fire and in any spare space at all really, or Reading and Leeds, where every band that's likely to make it in the next 12 months typically performs, you're going to come across an act you don't know. And if you don't, you're doing it wrong.

However, with Shazam you no longer have to desperately try and remember that song you loved until you get home or expose your ignorance by asking diehards in the audience who it is you're watching - simply tap the Shazam button to identify what it is you're hearing in as little as one second.

Drink-tracking app

First aid app

Android: First aid by British Red Cross, free

iPhone: First aid by British Red Cross, free

While everyone is at a festival to have a good time, the mixture of booze, crowds, drugs, and being exposed to the elements means things can and do go wrong. As such, it's not a bad idea to have something to consult until you can get real medical attention if things do take a turn for the worse - whether it's sunburn or a broken bone you're dealing with.

 

The official first aid app of the British Red Cross provides tips on how to prepare for common emergency first aid situations, as well as step-by-step guides on what to do if you find yourself in said situations. All the information is contained within the app, meaning you don't even need an internet connection to access it.

Drink-tracking app

Android: AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker, free

iPhone: Drinkcontrol, free

Aside from Christmas, being at a festival is probably the only other time of year you can start drinking the moment you get up without people thinking you have some kind of problem. That means it can be very easy to lose track of how much you're drinking, which can quickly become a problem if you drink more than you're used to or you drink while in the sun.

AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker and Drinkcontrol are apps that do just what they say on the tin - they let you track what you're drinking, and tell you when you're overdoing it. Provided you keep it up to date, a drink tracker app will at least help you pace yourself, even if you're not particularly fussed about staying sober.

Virtual lighter app

Drinking water app

Android: WaterIn, free

iPhone: WaterIn, free

It's important to keep yourself hydrated at a festival whether you intend to indulge in several days of intoxicant-fuelled debauchery or not. For a start, the majority of festivals take place, in theory at least, when the weather is at its hottest, and it's easy to become dehydrated trudging about festival sites and dancing in hot, sweaty crowds.

The basic function of the WaterIn app is to remind you to drink water via notifications. It lets you customise how much water you want it to remind you to drink, and keep track of it too.

Swiss Army app

iPhone: Festival Ready, free

Unless you're a wuss, festivals generally mean camping. While camping involves lots of mundane stuff like tent pegs, water carriers and chemical toilets, it also involves cool stuff like lanterns, little campfires, and knives. And everybody knows the best knife for camping is a Swiss Army Knife, even if you don't know what most of the foldy-out bits are for.

 

Festival Ready is an app from Victorinox, the manufacturer of said multi-purpose knives. Let's not kid ourselves here, it's a promotional app and won't, unbelievably, make your phone into a knife. However, it will help you navigate around the festival site in 3D, as well as provide you with weather updates, camping tips, and a torch.

Virtual lighter app

Android: Virtual Zippo Lighter, free

iPhone: Zippo Lighter, free

Let us set the scene. It's the Saturday night at Glastonbury. You're having the time of your life watching Adele on the Pyramid Stage when she busts out Someone Like You. Or you're at Bestival, and The Cure launch into Just Like Heaven. What you gonna want to do? You're gonna want to wave a lighter in the air like you just don't care, that's what.

Of course, doing this usually involves you burning your hand and possibly dropping your hot lighter on the hot boy/girl in front of you. Why not get a cheap laugh out of them instead of scarring them for life with this free app? It opens with a flick of your wrist! The flame sways as you move your phone! It reacts when you try to blow it out! It's useless for lighting cigarettes though. 

Compare mobile deals

Mobile phones

Find the perfect deal for you!