It’s no secret that technology has had a significant impact on our daily lives, from how we capture and share material on the internet to how we connect with friends and family on the other side of the globe.
With the rise in popularity of social media and mobile phones, it was only a matter of time until technology influenced how millennials perceive music festivals – for better or worse. We’ve looked at how technology has influenced our festival behaviour and experience in this post.
Festival life is made easy by technology
Nowadays, there’s an app for everything. There are a variety of strange and amazing apps on the market that try to make your life a little bit easier, from tuning your guitar with your phone to controlling your TV with your phone. And when it comes to festivals, there are a number of excellent apps that may help you make the most of your time there. The Tent Finder app, for example, which does exactly what it says on the tin – locates your tent in a sea of thousands – has been a smash hit with festival-goers who find it difficult to move their tent after a long day of partying. The clever-working program records the location of your tent on your phone’s map utilizing technology that lets you mark locations using GPS, so you can find it quickly come midnight.
Technology may be used to keep you safe
It’s incredibly easy to interact with your friends and family using apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger to let them know where you are and if you’re safe. While music festivals and concerts are undoubtedly enjoyable, they can also be frightening if you become disoriented or separated from your friends in a vast crowd. However, if this occurs, you will be able to immediately message your friends to let them know where you are. As a result, technology serves as a fantastic safety net in this regard.
Plus, while bombings like the one at Ariana Grande’s Manchester performance are rare, knowing that you can contact your loved ones or the emergency services with the touch of a button is always reassuring.
There’s no need to bring a purse with you
Festival Goers no longer need to carry cash around with them thanks to the advent of contactless payment systems and Apple Pay. A bank card or smartphone will suffice. These contactless payment methods also mean you’re less likely to forget cash and don’t have to queue in exorbitantly lengthy lines for the cash point, which is a benefit.
It is less difficult to plan travel plans
Transportation technology apps such as Uber have revolutionized how we get to and from events. Instead of taking a long bus ride from the other side of the country to get to the festival, you can now hail an Uber carpool and pick up your pals en route for a more convenient journey.
Pill testing is now available at festivals as well
The strongest case for drug testing at festivals is that it may save lives. Second, it may offer a means of eliciting behavioural and attitude changes that are resistant to other, more punishing approaches. Furthermore, testing or the availability of MDMA testing kits appears to instil caution, which is usually a positive thing when it comes to illicit drug use.
Disadvantages of Technology on Music Festivals
We’re concerned that our phones will run out of power
Once the smartphone culture has taught us anything, it’s that if our phone runs out of battery, our lives are over, and this is especially true when you’re in the middle of a music festival. The fear of your phone dying is very real, and while innovations such as pop-up charging stations have been introduced at festivals, they frequently come with drawbacks such as long wait periods and high prices.
We don’t live in the present; we live on social media
Our obsession with uploading content to social media to create the appearance of a ‘perfect’ life has had a significant impact on how we attend music festivals, thanks to technological advancements. We’re getting more tempted to take the ideal Instagram image or Snapchat video, to prove to our pals that we’re having a bloody good time, rather than living in the moment and absorbing the vibe at the festival like we once did. Instead of seeing festivals through our own eyes, we now see them through the eyes of our cameras. And musicians are aware of this: in the past, acts such as Mumford & Sons have recommended cell phone bans during concerts in the name of a digital detox, albeit these measures are very harsh.
Finding internet hotspots is something we’re obsessed with
Apart from bad weather and terrible sleeping arrangements, most of my friends have complained about the absence of internet connectivity at festivals as the number one concern, as we can personally attest. Is this it, guys? Is this the end of the world? Can’t we go a day without being linked to the internet?
We’re always on the lookout for free WiFi and 4G hotspots at festivals, thanks to our pathological addiction with posting to social media. According to a 2014 survey by Eventbrite, “nearly one out of every four posts about music festivals originated from people participating remotely via live streams or other types of involvement, while 17 percent of discussions took place during festivals.” We spend a lot of time live-streaming or Tweeting about our festival experience while we’re actually experiencing it, as the preceding point suggests, and this, of course, necessitates our being connected to the internet. It’s as if it’s our lifeline, and we can’t rest until we’ve clung to it.