It used to be rare to be the person who knew the best computer applications to make a rave, concert, or party unforgettable.
Luckily, times have changed. The ubiquity of digital devices makes it easier for all of us to make our next party or event extraordinary. We’re not just talking about the sound system, lighting, and admissions software. There’s a host of apps that can help you save cash and make life easier when planning a standout event. Here are some of our favorites.
Killer App For: Anybody who has trouble finding their car in the massive parking lot after a concert
Boutique Camper initially made this app for campers to find their tents, but it’s a fantastic tool for anybody who doesn’t walk to a show. Use the same function intended for campers to mark their tents, only use it to mark your car. The app will help you navigate the walk back to it, just like you would with your GPS.
If you happen to be at a festival with camping, you can use it for its original design purpose too. When you’re with a group, consider marking your rally point so everybody gets back together after the show without drama.
Killer App For: People who often go to events alone but would like company
If what you love about attending raves and concerts is meeting fans you share a common bond with, this app is a must for you. When you download it, you build a profile that includes which events you’ll be attending in the coming weeks and months. It automatically gives you access to forums with other attendees of those events.
Members of those forums will share advice from past iterations (like last year’s festival or the last time that band came through town), discuss news related to the event, and generally collaborate to prepare everyone as much as possible. Radiate also makes it easy to plan meetups with your online friends.
3. VSCO Cam
Killer App For: Influencers and photojournalists (or people who would like to become one someday
For most concertgoers, the functionality and sharing features of Instagram are more than enough for them to enjoy the photographic spoils of their last festival, concert, or rave. But you’re not most concertgoers. For you, half the fun is finding, snapping, filtering, and editing the best images and videos of the night, then sharing them with the world. The apps that come automatically with your phone and social media aren’t up to this task.
VSCO is. It adds functions beyond the basics while keeping the interface intuitive and easy to navigate. You won’t miss opportunities or moments because you’re fiddling with your phone.
4. Cash App
Killer App For: Groups of friends who go to lots of events together
Without Cash App, the after-show week consists of a whirlwind accounting session where the person who bought the tickets compares notes with whoever paid for parking, both of them get together with the people who made the snack run, and everybody chips in a little for gas. It gets confusing and frustrating for people who feel like they spent more than their share.
With the Cash App and its competitors like Venmo and Zelle, everybody can pay their fair share in real time either before purchase or immediately after. That way, there’s no financial hangover and everybody can enjoy reminiscing about the great night.
Killer App For: Anybody working a job where the paycheck flow doesn’t work with their social schedule
You’ve seen apps like Afterpay advertised on social media. They give you microloans to make a specific purchase, which you pay back over a few monthly installments. They’re mostly for people who need to cover a bill a week before payday or with a partner or child with an inconveniently scheduled birthday.
Afterpay wasn’t initially aimed at concertgoers, but it still seems custom-made for them. Those tickets that will sell out (or all get scooped up by scalpers) before you get paid. You can get them via an interest-free loan through Afterpay and never miss a show because of bad timing.
Killer App For: Everybody. This is a health issue, and everybody can stand to be healthier.
Even if you don’t drink alcohol, staying hydrated at a concert or festival can be tricky. It’s hot. It’s crowded. Lines for drinks are long, and there’s stuff to do. This all combines to make it easy to get dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion — which, if you’re lucky, just means a raging headache as the headline act comes on. If you do indulge, the combined effects of dehydration and booze can mean a wicked hangover on top of your other problems.
WaterIn tracks your water consumption and reminds you to take another drink at regular intervals. The reminders pop up as notifications, right along with the texts, photos, and messages you’re sending and receiving as you experience the show with your friends.
Killer App For: Anybody who attends events with a large squad
At first glance, Bridgefy might look like something boring you use at the office, like Slack or Basecamp. Admittedly, it has some of the same necessary purposes: to allow a group of people too large to manage through basic messaging to communicate effectively in real time. But instead of being optimized for office productivity, Bridgefy is built to help people be social in social settings. It was initially designed to function in places and situations with limited cellular infrastructure, like rural areas or during natural catastrophes, but it has since been adopted by the event crowd.
You can use Bridgefy for idle celebration and chat, to figure out who’s going for food, and to set up meeting points. Even better for concertgoers, it manages all of its functions on a Bluetooth or cellular signal, so you don’t need mobile data or Wi-Fi to make it work. It connects without eating up your data.
Killer App For: Attendees who left a man or two behind but want to include them as much as possible
This app, brought to you via Twitter, lets you record and broadcast video live in real time. You can use it to capture songs (or the whole performance) to enjoy later or to include friends and fans who couldn’t make the show.
Once upon a time, event management didn’t allow attendees to take a video of live shows, but they have wisened up. The free publicity and fan service those videos provide more than make up for any reduced ticket sales. Plus, the ubiquitous small recording devices in everybody’s pocket makes enforcement nearly impossible. These factors combine to make it not just safe but encouraged for you to share your experience with Periscope.
Final Thought: The Boring Stuff
What we’ve mentioned so far is new, shiny, even sexy in its application toward helping you throw or attend your next event in style. But we can’t forget the less exciting tools. While you’re planning the details, remember to use apps for support and infrastructure. This includes:
- Parking apps like ParkingKitty and SpotHero to pay for your parking (and refill as necessary)
- Map utilities of every kind to get you to and from the event without problems
- Safety apps like Life360 or BeeSafe (especially for women attending the event by themselves)
- Town guides if you’re traveling to the event, so you can make the most of the trip and enjoy the local attractions
And let’s not forget the best apps to help you find an event (or allow people to find yours). Choices like Bandsintown, GigBeat, and Songkick do this nicely from either direction. Also check out Thrillcall, which connects users with last-minute deals for concerts they might not have gone to at regular prices.
A good event might focus on exciting apps or rely on robust infrastructure to make attendance easier. The best use both kinds, so why wouldn’t you?
This blog is in collaboration with Daniel George.
Daniel George was a musician for many years, playing at gigs of all sizes, and is continuously upgrading his apps.