Smartphones at Festivals: A Beginners Guide

The festival season is well underway and you’ll no doubt be busy packing and planning ahead to make sure you don’t miss out on any of your favourite artists.

Smartphones play a huge part in the festival experience; from the moment you set off to your destination to the day that you leave. But after a couple of days, when you’re aimlessly wandering around in the middle of a field, there’s nothing worse than discovering your mobile is out of battery, when you need it most.

A few weeks ago we attended Glastonbury Festival, and by making a few simple changes and cutting back on our daily usage, we were able to get the most of everything our handsets have to offer, over a period of five days. Check out our festival diary to find out how we did it…


Like thousands of other festival goers we headed down to Worthy Farm, the home of Glastonbury, on the Tuesday night to save queuing for hours the next morning.

The first major task was getting there, but after downloading the Google Maps app our three-hour long jaunt went without a hitch. Luckily we had an in-car phone charger to hand to keep the device up and running – without it the battery would have undoubtedly died before the end of the first day.

As first timers to Glastonbury one piece of advice we were constantly told was – take an old handset. Not only does it act as a back up should your smartphone conk out mid-way through the festival, but it reduces the risk of dropping your brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 in the mud or down a porta-loo.

Don’t worry though if you’re no longer the proud owner of a retro Nokia 3310 there are a range of hard-wearing and waterproof cases available to make your smartphone even more resilient to unavoidable knocks and drops.


The big day finally arrived and amidst all the excitement we all remembered to switch off the 3G data connection on our phones, before embarking upon the trek to find a suitable pitch for our new home.

Disabling 3G ensures that push emails and notifications aren’t constantly coming through and draining the battery. Although we found when switching 3G back on after a few days the device was bombarded with messages, which certainly took the battery percentage down a notch or two.

Switching off other settings such as Wi-Fi, GPS location services, display auto-brightness, vibrate and Bluetooth, as well as reducing lock-screen time and keeping your handset from getting too hot can all save you some power.  There is also a range of battery saving apps available across the various mobile platforms, we downloaded the AVG Battery Saver & Tune Up app which kills tasks and provides more power over long periods of time. It certainly saved us hanging around waiting for a space in the packed out charging tent.

Be mindful to only switch on your device when you really need it. In the long-run this will allow your mobile to store extra energy, essential for when you want to capture those fantastic once-in a life time shots on Instagram or utilise the festival app, so you’re always kept in the loop with what’s going on around you.

Something else we couldn’t do without during our time in Somerset was the Met Office Weather app. Every morning we took it in turns to check the app and find out the forecast for the day ahead. It helped us pack only the essentials and saved us trudging back to the tent for a forgotten pack-a-mac or bottle of sun cream.


Before we knew it the time had come for us to leave, but our next mission was to make it home in one piece, and once again Google Maps ensured we got there in record time.

By this stage we only had a very small amount of power left, so the in-car charger came in very handy on the way back too. Luckily the rest of us had stored our USB chargers in the boot of the car, so as soon as we reached the nearest service station we were able to plug our handsets in for some power.

Most services also offer access to free Wi-Fi, so once our devices were back in action we were soon posting all our pictures to Instagram, What’s App-ing our friends and signing into Facebook to catch up on everything that we’d missed while we were away.

This guest post was written by Sarah Hazelwood of Phones 4u, the number one destination for all the latest smartphones.