Festivals are as much a staple of the modern British summer now as mobile phones are a part of our everyday lives. So it comes as now surprise that in recent years we’ve seen festivals replace the grubby timetable on a neck string with shiny, convenient apps instead. However the festival app isn’t easy to get right.
So when Orange (Now EE) came to us in 2011 wanting us to improve on their current Glastonbury app we were up for a challenge. A challenge to the tune of an app that must work with limited signal, battery constraints and an enormous wealth of data to manage including vast schedules that are subject to change during the event (we made sure the app was kept up to date with live data updates throughout). The brief was to achieve reach, both by building an app for a wide range of smartphones (iPhone, Android, and Nokia) and extend the appeal of the app beyond festival-goers to those watching at home.
The 3-month project was a labour of love for the team working on it, many of them festival veterans themselves and was a roaring success to boot; launching a month before the festival started the app achieved a huge amount of buzz pre-event, and driving downloads before the line-up was announced.
Twitter-users were the first to sing the apps praises, including Guardian Music Editor, Tim Jonze who tweeted that the app was ‘literally the best thing ever’ while the download figures speaks for itself; out of the 150,000 festival goers who attended Glastonbury 2011 100,000 downloaded the app. The app went on to beat Songkick, the Gorillaz and BBC Radio 1xtra when it won the Best Music App at the BT Digital Music Awards that Autumn.