Thousands of music fans will descend on Glastonbury next week as the world’s most famous festival returns for the first time since 2019. And with the four-day event bigger than ever, getting tech-ready is just as important as packing the right kit for lucky ticket holders.
Trying to cram in your favourite performers is tricky enough, but it can also be a challenge to keep in touch with your friends and - at the end of a long festival day - remember where you put your tent.
Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com has ten tips for a great Glastonbury and to make sure your mobile survives and thrives during festival season.
GET TECH READY
Pack the right kit: Before you go - packing the right essentials will give you peace of mind. Start with a decent case and screen protector. A bungee cord for your phone also makes it difficult to misplace.
Screen essentials: More than 200 terabytes of data is expected to be used during Glastonbury, enough to store about 40 million songs. This will be shared by 210,000 visitors, so your mobile service might not be as speedy as you’re used to. It’s a good idea to screenshot important information like the festival map, stage times and even take a picture of where you parked your car.
Get appy: There are now dozens of apps available to make the most of your festival experience.Kick things off with the official festival appfor the latest updates and even personalised line-ups. With hundreds of bands to see and new tunes to hear, you could consider downloading a song-identification app like Shazam. Setlist.fm, compiled by music fans, will also show you what songs were played during your favourite performers’ sets.
STAY SAFE AND FULLY CHARGED
Dumb it down: Whether due to overly energetic dancing or opportunistic pickpockets, there are many ways to lose your mobile at Glastonbury. Instead, you could leave your smartphone at home and choose a ‘dumbphone’ as your festival handset. Old-school models like the Nokia 3310, rereleased in 2017, have limited internet connectivity but are durable. They also have long-lasting batteries and won’t break the bank if they end up being lost in the corner of a Somerset field.
If you do end up taking your smartphone or other tech gadgets, make sure your current insurance covers you - or consider taking out standalone gadget insurance before you go. And if you’re taking an iPhone - make sure you enable ‘Find my Phone’ before you go in case it gets lost or stolen.
Portable pal: While EE is offering festival visitors free mobile charging facilities if your device runs low on battery, an easier option is to carry a portable power bank with you to keep you topped up through the weekend.
Low-power ballad: To keep your mobile going for as long as possible between charges, be sure to close any unnecessary background apps and switch to low power mode in your device settings. If you’re inside a tent during a set, switch to silent mode and consider reducing the brightness of your screen to prolong your battery life even further.
Don’t get bogged down: If the curse of the British summer strikes and the skies open, make sure your mobile is as well protected from the rain as you are. Most handsets are water-resistant rather than waterproof, so consider taking a special pouch or lanyard to keep your device dry.
LOSE YOURSELF, NOT YOUR FRIENDS
Tent tracking: While finding your accommodation after a long day could be considered a rite of passage, technology can help locate it. If you leave a bluetooth tracker like Tile or an Apple AirTag inside your tent before setting off to the main stage, your phone can trace a route back to it later.
Location, location, location: To prevent wasting precious time waiting outside the wrong burger stall, enable location services on your phone and share with your festival buddies using a dedicated app like Find My Friends so they easily find you.
Form a band: If you’re visiting with a few friends, consider setting up a Glastonbury group on a messenger service like Skype or Whatsapp. This will give you an easy way of keeping in touch while you go off to see different acts.
Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “Festival season is upon us again and after being cancelled twice due to the pandemic, the excitement for this year’s Glastonbury is at fever pitch.
“With a bit of preparation, your smartphone can help you get even more out of the festival experience, with detailed event apps, the use of technology like QR codes, and tent-finding apps to make sure you don’t miss a moment.
“However, at such a big and busy event, it’s always wise to take a few precautions to keep your gadgets secure.
“Smartphones are a prime target for thieves so it’s well worth investing in extra security such as a pouch that can be worn around your neck rather than leaving it in your pocket, and consider whether your insurance covers all your tech gadgets before you go.
“Enabling location services and having access to a tracker app like Apple’s Find My app could also help prevent you from losing your device and being separated from friends.
“And, if it’s one of those years where Glastonbury falls foul of the weather, consider buying a waterproof cover so your phone escapes the mud bath.”
Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. We’ve saved consumers £2.5 billion off their energy bills since we launched in September 2000, and also help people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile and TV.
Uswitch is part of RVU, a global group of online brands with a mission to empower consumers to make more confident home services, insurance and financial decisions.