festival-tips

Some may say we live in the age of festivals. There are so many now that they range from music to literary, technology to comic book, and could be based in the UK, the US, Europe, Asia, anywhere really. Helping you choose your festival is one thing, but making sure you are fully equipped to survive and enjoy it is another. So here are our top tips and tech for this year’s festival goers.

Festivals: Technology Tips

Some may say we live in the age of festivals. There are so many now that they range from music to literary, technology to comic book, and could be based in the UK, the US, Europe, Asia, anywhere really. Helping you choose your festival is one thing, but making sure you are fully equipped to survive and enjoy it is another. So here are our top tips and tech for this year’s festival goers.

The mobile phone

This is always a tricky one to decide upon. Smartphones are now considered the norm, so are you going to be taking your iPhone 4, Android or Blackberry? It looks like festival organisers are taking this into account and if you’re going to a big festival, its likely you’ll be able to find a specific app for your phone, be it Android or iOS. We’ve already seen ones for Glastonbury and Reading announced, and it’s unlikely Virgin would miss a trick here. Remember that smartphones and batteries are not the best of friends, so keep reading for our recommendation on dealing with that. Some of you may not be particularly keen on taking your new shiny £500+ phone to the festival with you though. So if you want reliability, functionality, value and battery life, why not hark back to the old days and pick up a Nokia 1800 for under £10, which has over 8hrs talk time and as little useful bonus for festival goers, also has a torch – PAYG can’t go wrong (unless you forget to top up).

festival-phone-tips

Camera

As with phones, its often an question of the best or the cheapest when it comes to festivals, as they aren’t the most secure places, and clumsy drunk people trip and fall everywhere, breaking everything in their paths. So will you want a box-standard, cheap and effective camera or a high-end, expensive and down right impressive model? Well, if you are after cheap and effective, and you aren’t considering using your smartphone’s camera, I’d recommend the Samsung ES71, a snip at just over £70. 12MP, 5x optical zoom, 2.7 inch display are the basics about it, but it shoots colours vibrantly and it comes with a scratch proof cover – essential for when you drop it whilst jumping about at the festival!

digital-camera-festival

The accommodation

Well, I wanted to tell you about tents, but then I remembered that you don’t have to take a tent. Why not go crazy and take a classic VW campervan? They can be picked up for easily under £10,000. Of course, if that is a little extravagant, taking a tent is always an option.

Tents are tricky beasts, and similar to deciding with your phone, you have to decide on what sort of functionality you want, ease of set-up, durability, strength and disposability (not a made up word). A lot of people pick up cheap and easy tents to set-up, sleep in, and then leave them come the final morning when that hangover restricts their brain function and movement to the point that their tent is just a disposable item and obstacle to getting home. If you are one of these folk, I would recommend opting for an easy going pop-up tent. You can pick one of these up from around £20+, and Halfords, Amazon or Argos are good places to visit. However if you aren’t one of the disposable generation and want a keeper, I’d recommend the Coleman Avior X3 due to its excellent value for money given its weight, ease of setting up and the great size you get out of it. Of course, the Coleman range of tents are worth exploring if you are expecting to house more than 2-3 people!

Umbrellas, wellies and waterproofs

We live in England, and lets face it, the weather here changes more than our underwear – and by that I mean the weather changes every few hours, just in case you got the impression we are pretty disgusting! So many festivals in the UK are blighted by rain, and so to go unprepared for this is simply unacceptable. You don’t need to take an umbrella because they almost definitely get in the way, but when camping and attempting to cook on a stove or BBQ, an umbrella can actually come in handy. Since this is a tech review, lets dispense with fancy looks, although the light sabre umbrellas are awesome, I’d suggest a Senz stealth umbrella – shaped like a stealth bomber and capable of survive gale force winds; this badboy will do the job and keep you and your sizzling sausages dry in a storm. Of course, don’t forget the wellies – a nice pair of Hunters to keep your feet dry and also spirit away the moisture that builds up inside. And waterproofs, try and stay under 500g as there is no need for anything heavy.

rain-at-festivals

Power

You can never have enough power! Not in a megalomaniac sense, but with regards to electricity. Smartphones are suckers for power – the average smart phone battery won’t get you passed the first day of the festival. A lot of festivals have charging stations for a small fee, or even for free, but these are always crawling with people who haven’t thought ahead and are standing with their blackberries, iPhones and HTCs jostling for position. Avoid the madness and get high on your own supply. There are a multitude of mobile charging options. You can pick up an emergency phone charger, which will give you a brief jolt using only an AA battery – but why carry AA batteries as well to the festival? Why not take a Pebble which you can charge via USB before you go, take a few adapters and charge away, often up to 3 full phone charges before it dies. Similarly, there is the PowerMonkey which is pretty much the same as the pebble, but doesn’t look as nice. Alternatively I’d recommend a Freeloader or Freeloader Pro, which will charge your phone using the power of the sun – handy when sockets aren’t available and can always be of use in the future.

festival-power-tips

The Orange T-shirt at Glastonbury

I couldn’t obviously let this article pass by without mentioning the weirdest and wackiest piece of tech to hit the festival this year! The Orange T-shirt in question has been featured a lot in the news recently, as it has the ability to charge your phone whilst you rave away to the music. In fact, the louder the music and the closer you are to the speakers, the better! These things work by converting sound waves into energy with some complicated jiggery-pokery that goes on behind that big white slab in the middle of the t-shirt. Is it better than using solar power? This is England, and with there likely to be an absence of sunshine, perhaps it will be. However, you have to wander around looking like a rejected teletubby, brandishing your phone on your chest and advertising your shiny new white iPhone to everyone you see. It is also doubtful it’ll provide the charge for heavy usage, such as making a video of your favourite artist on stage.

orange-mobile-charger-t-shirt

Other little bits

– A sh*t box, a cardboard foldable toilet so you can avoiding using the dreaded port-a-loos.

– A solar power heated shower for those who want to have a warm shower, but beware you’ll be on full view

– Torches or head torches, so you can pretend your a miner, or at least find your way back to the tent without tripping over a hundred guy ropes or into a million tents.

– Walkie Talkies for big groups spread across campsites, they can be annoying, but can also be a lot of fun

– Maybe a sneaky device to smuggle your own alcohol into the main site during the day?

– Sleeping bags with a decent fill, or a double bag to increase the romance of being in a field surrounded by drunken folk

festival-shit-box

Don’t forget to check out all of our Festival stuff in our new Festival guide. Including reviews, previews, hints, tips and more which will be continually updated during the summer!

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