Festivals 2011: Tech essentials you need to own
With a whole heap of festivals such as Wireless, Best and the mother of all music events Glastonbury just around the corner, T3 picks the essential tech gear that will help you survive the festival season
The festival season is already in full swing and with Glastonbury, arguably the biggest of them all just days away, it's probably about time that you thought about what you'll be carrying along with you wellies.
From washing off the mud, to staying in touch with your fellow festival goers, see below for T3's guide to the tech that will help you survive whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at you, plus the tech-friendly festivals to keep an eye out for in 2011.
How to keep in touch:
Rig up a makeshift campsite network with a ball of string and empty Spam tins
Master the lost art of smoke signals
Buy a disposable PAYG handset to carry with you instead of your precious smartphone
Alternatively... Motorola TLKR T8 PMR radio walkie-talkies
These have a range of ten kilometres, enough for any festival site, and are unaffected by the signal issues that can blight your phone. Talk for 16 hours per charge, but remember to end all sentences with “over”. Over
£90 per pair, www.currys.co.uk
How to pitch a tent:
Watch a how-to clip on YouTube using your smartphone and attempt to replicate
Download the Go Camping app and follow the step-by-step guidelines
Bribe a more capable festival-goer with cider so that they’ll do it for you
Alternatively... Vango Velocity 400 AirBeam
Forget traditional tent poles; the Vango Velocity is held up by three inflatable support beams. It’s fully waterproof, sleeps four and can be pitched in three minutes.
How to keep your phone charged
Keep your phone warm in a sock overnight: cold batteries deplete faster
Weather the queues at one of the multi-port charging stations, if you can fi nd it
Turn off both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity then hope for the best
Alternatively... Ralph Lauren RLX
Solar-panel backpack this designer rucksack features a solar panel capable of generating 3.45W of energy, enough to fully charge your smartphone in two hours.
How to find your tent
Use the TentFinder app for iPhone
Fence your tent with glow sticks
Mark your locale on Google Maps
Alternatively... Ecco GPS keychain
Click the fob when you’re at your tent and it records your location, subsequently guiding you back via the LCD screen.
The battery lasts two weeks – apps do a similar job but drain precious juice from your phone
How to keep clean
Use gravel to rub yourself clean, as recommended by the SAS, no less
Purchase Super Soakers (£26, www.firebox.com) and hand them to nearby festival goers
Lather up and attempt to replicate the Windigokan tribe’s native rain dance
Alternatively... Gelert Royal Solar Shower
Fill this 20-litre, reusable PVC bag with water and leave it outside to be heated up by Mother Nature. Three hours left out in the sun – even during a British summer – will give you a 40ºC shower
Tech Friendly festivals
LEEDS (August 26-28)
Thirty cash points dotted around the festival mean you needn’t keep a wodge of cash in your shoe.
HOPFARM (July 1-2)
Having announced the line-up, Hop Farm is offering a teaser – the HFMF Spotify playlist.
GLASTONBURY (June 22-26)
Orange is erecting extra transmitters for more network coverage and festival-goers can charge their handsets at the onsite Orange Help Centre.
T IN THE PARK (July 7-11)
Hundreds of lockers are available for hire, each with a 12V charger for your gadgets.
WAKESTOCK (July 8-10)
Free to download, the Wakestock 2011 app lets you access full set listings, interactive maps and a personal festival itinerary.
V-FESTIVAL (Aug 20-21)
Virgin Media has cabled both the Staffordshire and Chelmsford sites so that you can hook up to Wi-Fi anywhere on site.