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It’s once again festival season in South Africa, and kicking off the year’s musical escapades is a weekend double header.
Both Rocking The Daisies in the Western Cape and OppiKoppi in Limpopo will take place this weekend in two opposite corners of the country — but just because you’re spending the weekend in dusty tents with limited power supply doesn’t mean you can’t use technology to make your partying just that bit easier.
While there are a few apps you should have on your smartphone for both events (and the festivals to come), we’ll take a look at specific apps you should snag before heading to the dusty foothills of Northam, or the flower-covered fields of Darling.
Note: in addition to the apps listed below, we’d also recommend these apps from our 2016 article Rocking The Daisies: Memeburn’s essential app kit.
Packpoint: for packing
Here’s the thing about packing: everyone hates it, but it’s the most important thing you’ll do this week. Whether your destination is Oppi or Daisies, forgetting to pack an essential item could become the bane of your weekend.
Luckily, Packpoint will see that you include it.
The app requests your destination and planned activities (we chose “swimming” and “camping”) and considers the weather over the period of your trip. Packpoint then lists a number of essential (and not so essential) items based on this information
While it doesn’t quite know where Darling or Northam is (we used “Cape Town” and “Polokwane” instead) it does give you a general idea of what to include in your weekend pack.
It’s a no-brainer to download the official app for the festival you’re attending. This year, the OppiKoppi app features specific performer information, a list of stages and their lineups, and a handy map feature that lets you visualise the entire festival floor.
Rocking The Daisies App
The Daisies app this year includes all of the above, news from the festival, social feeds, and a nifty scheduling feature that allows attendees to plan their weekend.
Google Trips: for your trip itinerary
Google Trips should be an essential app in your everyday digital arsenal if you’re on the road or in the sky often enough.
The app collects important trip details by scanning mails — be it air ticket details or hotel reservations. It also boasts a particularly useful feature: hyperlocal information.
Trips lists a number of points of interest in your vicinity, so if you’re growing restless in the crowds of Oppi or Daisies, it’ll point you to fun places to check out in the towns nearby. The app will require GPS during setup, but also lets you download a map of a given area for offline use.
Waze: for negotiating traffic
Thought that heading to a festival in the middle of nowhere will give you a much needed break from traffic? Think again.
Although staring at bumpers for hours entering and exiting the venue is inevitable, Waze makes the journey slightly easier.
The app uses Google Maps’ traffic patterns and real-time data sourced from its users to plot congestion zones, speed cameras and the best route to your destination.
Windy: for real-time weather
While I’ve rambled on about Wunderground and its prowess as a weather app in the past, Windy is particularly useful to festival goers thanks to its real-time conditions visualisation.
If centigrade, millibars and Beaufort Scales confuse you, Windy uses a brightly-coloured map showing wind streams across your location. It also adds the aforementioned data for closer inspection.
More interestingly, the app animates the weather systems’ progression over a number of days, so you can better understand just how Mother Nature will intend to bless your trip.
FindFreeWiFi: for finding those megs
You’re probably not going to find WiFi freely available in the middle of Darling or Northam, but FindFreeWiFi is handy for the trip to and from your destination.
The app lists shops, restaurants and pit stops that boast WiFi services. Said services won’t always be free, but it’s nonetheless essential to know where you can once again connect to the digital world if your airtime runs out. And your airtime will almost certainly run out.
Trusted Contacts: for finding your friends
Some things are certain at large music festivals: guitars, early mornings, and misplaced friends.
In a sea of 20 000 people, it’s easy to lose contact with a companion. And that’s where Google Trusted Contacts comes into its own.
The app allows users to set up to six contacts as “trusted”. They will be allowed access to your real-time location once you have accepted each other as trusted contacts.
Users set a standard response time to decline any location requests from friends, but if that time is exceeded, the location is sent to the requester automatically.
Yes, you will need a Google account, and yes, it can be slightly creepy, but we would suggest you only add people you absolutely trust. It’s also a great way for your family to keep tabs on you too.
Do you feel we’ve missed an app? Have a gem you’d like us to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.