Today I’ve been thinking about music festivals… how could I not? The day before yesterday the radio was talking about people already making their way down to Glastonbury, and the music doesn’t even start until tomorrow. So Glastonbury now starts 96 hours before it starts, apparently. Anyway, I digress.
“What is this nonsense?!” we said.
“What do you need a phone for HERE?” we said.
“What a waste of time, queuing in a phone tent,” we said.
“There’s not even any phone signal here down on Worthy Farm,” we said.
Glastonbury was about entering an exclusive territory – a bubble of an alternative reality with a group of amazing buddies around you and no need, frankly, to communicate with anyone else outside of the bubble because they just weren’t exciting enough to be involved.
Ahhh… how things have changed. Phones seem integral to the festival experience – smartphones, that is. Because now, of course, there’s an app for that. (TM iPhone 2004 yes yes yes). There’s an app that allows you to not only see the programme of the festival, but see which bands your friends are going to see (so you know who really is the coolest, or who to not invite next year because they went to see Kanye and not Pharrell and well, who would do THAT?!). There’s also a map function so people know where you’re camped (and you can find your way back to it at 3 am when your senses are, let’s say, dulled.
I was in an IT meeting yesterday when we were talking about the Sussex Mobile app which, I have to say it, is a pretty awesome tool for students. Back when I was a student at Sussex (even before that last Glastonbury), we had to really search our our useful info, and it took quite a bit of effort to know where we had to be when – and you had to go to quite a length to double check everything. Now, it’s all there. In this thing that we carry around with us, everywhere. Your timetable is there, your library account info is there, upcoming deadlines are there, you can find out where there are spare study rooms to go get some work done in peace, and there’s a campus map that can show you where they are.