Organising music festivals and dealing with thousands of people is tough. Really tough. I know because it takes me days to organise all the logistics, food, music and entertainment for my little 7 years old daughter’s birthday. But doing a festival…. that’s way too far off my understanding about what means to prepare a 3 days festival with 50,000 attendees. Or 100,000. Or whatever number.
But I know for sure that I love going to music festivals and immerse myself into the vibe that the crowd and music create. It’s so good to be offline for a couple of days. Most of the time my iPhone is on airplane mode and I can really enjoy the moment without jumping on my notifications for emails and other messages from the ‘outside world’.
Still, I need to stay in touch with what happens there. Everyday something that excites me happens and sometimes those things overlaps. Worse is when I forget about them (you know, a few drinks here, a few there…). I am mobile app designer and I am also constantly watching people’s needs and interests in using their smartphones. So, here is my list of favourite Festival App features. Based on my personal experience I consider these five functionalities a must for any modern festival, whatever the domain: music, film, food etc.
1. What’s on NOW
I want, with just 1 click (ok, ‘tap’), to see who and where is singing. Few apps I have seen so far offer this combination of Calendar, Timeline and Gantt Chart. Not so easy to design it and implement it, but who cares. It’s so easy to see at any time what’s happening. And if it also work offline …
2. Top up credits
Great services like Intelltix, Oveit or Festipay have greatly contribute to our festival experience. Less worry about carrying money, no need to wave credit cards … oh, I can’t even remember how it was before this guys showed up.
You know what is even more convenient? To top up your credits from the app. Way more convenient than opening my mobile browser, look or search for festival’s website, go to payments page, credentials…
Thumbs up for those festivals that ease our life with service!
3. Offline mode + Reminders
Like I said, going offline is either a choice, either a god damn thing that happens in some festivals without coverage or very poor data connection.
Saving your favourite concerts, shows, movies or happening and have them stored for dark times (read ‘no internet’) is something as real as Keith Richards being alive and well at 75. That, plus i get a reminder / notification that some stuff I ‘liked’ is about to happen is just life saving.
4. Drinks. And some really good food
Now, this is a must, but not as critical as those three above. I need to guide my self on the ground. And carrying on printed maps and flyers… it’s so rubbish. My appetite is increasing when browsing food court offers. Some cool pictures with the food and the menu on my festival app will help me decide everyday what to get and what to recommend to my friends.
5. LineUp + My LineUp
Last, the lineup. I used this feature more likely before the festival, but, I admit, I always discover new bands during the festival simple by listening some Youtube, Soundcloud or Spotify content. It’s 2019, we see, we like, we go get it.
Festival organisers are still questioning why they should offer a mobile app. Legitimate question considering their focus and expertise to put such a big event rolling out. But for me, a festival fan and mobile app UX designer, it’s so obvious that users really prefer a smooth and simple mobile app usage, then browsing forward and backward, combined with lack of critical features that a website (even responsive) is suffering.
Hope this short article will make a few festival organisers to reconsider taking on a festival mobile application. Give it a try! And, my suggestion: don’t develop it from scratch. Eventya is not the only ready-to-use and template based app builder. Other smart developers are doing it … so it’s not a matter of cost so much, but the desire to offer a better experience during those fantastic days.
My Top 4 festival apps
Analysing lots of festival apps and considering the usability before and during the festival, but also the design, here is a list of my favourites:
- Electric Castle Festival – Android, iOS
- Secret Solstice Festival – Android, iOS
- Festival Estéreo Picnic – Android, iOS
- Sziget Festival – Android, iOS
Credit foto: mahmur.info