Music festivals have become a staple of the summer months.
Over 500 high-profile festivals take place throughout the UK every year, from bluegrass to opera via punk and folk.
Up to 100,000 people will attend the Download heavy metal festival next month, on the same weekend as the Isle of Wight Festival, the Tenbury Music Festival and SONIC in Bradford.
Glastonbury pulls in even more people than Download, while V Festival and Reading & Leeds attract crowds equivalent to a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
However, unlike the increasingly gentrified experience of attending Wembley, festivals are harsh environments.
Smartphone safety is hard to guarantee in festival conditions, with risks ranging from loss or damage to flat batteries and flooded tents.
For anyone planning to sleep under canvas and dance under the stars this summer, these tips should help to maintain smartphone safety at all times…
Check your phone’s waterproof rating.
We recently outlined the differing levels of water protection modern smartphones enjoy.
Heavy rain at festivals can result in everything you own being soaked, so you may not be able to dry the phone properly. Is it capable of withstanding a leaky tent or a sodden inner pocket?
If it’s not, one solution could involve buying a cheap pay-as-you-go handset specifically to withstand festivals each year.
Invest in a rugged case. Don’t assume Gorilla Glass will protect a screen from shattering if it gets knelt on, or that metal frames don’t buckle under pressure.
Rugged rubber cases can be purchased for a few pounds, protecting the device’s sides and rear while standing slightly proud of the screen to prevent drops cracking the glass.
As with many other aspects of festival life, practicality outweighs aesthetics when it comes to smartphone safety.
Take a battery pack. Turning off WiFi and Bluetooth will elongate battery life, but a single charge won’t cover a long weekend unless you own a retro Nokia.
Battery packs represent a lightweight solution for recharging via USB leads, though their slow transfer times are best suited to overnight work.
You can get up to four full charges out of one pack, ensuring you can keep in touch with friends during those ‘who are you watching now?’ moments.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t be blasé about filming from the middle of a crowd – pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Crowds can surge unexpectedly, and a dropped phone could quickly be trampled into the mud and lost forever.
Equally, thefts from tents aren’t unknown, so sleep with the handset beside (or in) your sleeping bag. Ensure it’s always within arm’s reach, especially while sitting down outside.
Investigate phone insurance. If you commute to work by car and spend your weekends Netflix-and-chilling, phone insurance might seem unnecessary.
In the alternate reality of a music festival, that peace of mind could suddenly seem invaluable if anything happens to your handset.
Festivals are generally safe environments, but thefts do occur. We’d also recommend backing up contacts and key data, preventing a broken device from breaking your heart.
Store your phone safely. Trying to weave around seated groups in a rutted field while eating paneer curry out of a Styrofoam tray requires absolute concentration.
It would be easy for a phone to fall out of a pocket without you noticing – and retracing your footsteps in festival arenas is almost impossible.
If you’re not taking a handbag, ensure every outfit you take includes at least one deep or sealable pocket. Alternatively, invest in a unisex belt bag for optimal smartphone safety.
Turn on security features prior to leaving home. Activate biometric or keypad unlocking, to ensure the phone won’t continue working if it’s lost or stolen.
Download or turn on tracking utilities, which might help you narrow down a handset’s location if it’s no longer in your presence.
Finally, anyone who finds your phone won’t be able to unlock it. Replace your wallpaper with a message containing a contact number, which good Samaritans can ring if they find it.