Today’s Tech

June 14, 2017

Matthew SmithStaff Writer

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Each year, about 32 million people attend music festivals across the U.S. And, with many iconic events happening this summer, music fans far and wide are prepping to see their favorite acts up close and personal.

While sound is the star of the show, having the right technology can help amplify the fun. So we checked in with a couple of Best Buy stores close to the action to get the lowdown on must-have tech for music fests.

Always have a juice boost

If taking pictures and videos doesn’t kill your battery, keeping in contact with your crew will.

“At music fests, making sure you have some form of communication is vital,” said Zachary Ross of our downtown Chicago store (near Lollapalooza). “It’s super easy to lose people, and making calls drains your phone’s battery.”

One way to combat a dead battery is by using a phone case with a built-in battery pack.

“A Mophie case is priority numero uno. There are models for iPhone and Android, and they can extend your phone’s battery life by up to four times the usual level,” he said.

Another handy battery booster is a portable charger.

“Customers going to Bonnaroo always wipe me out on portable chargers,” said Terran Byrn of our Murfreesboro, Tennessee, store (near Bonnaroo). “MyCharge portable chargers are compact and have a built-in cable for USB-capable devices, so you don’t have to bring a cord. Another good option is Tzumi PocketJuice.”

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Depending on how much time people spend the festival, she suggests models that at least double or triple your battery life.

Protect your phone

Using a durable phone case seems like common knowledge, but some people choose style over protection. But not properly protecting your phone is a mistake.

“Military-grade phone cases like Otterbox or LifeProof are a must,” Terran said. “They protect against 10-foot drops and can be a lifesaver if something crazy happens, like torrential rain or people getting rowdy.”

Other good options include cases from Speck, Case-Mate and Tech21.

Capture the moment

What’s the fun in going to a music fest if you can’t capture and share the moment?

“People love using GoPro cameras because they take great photos and videos that make you look like you’re really in the action” Zachary said. “It’s much more immersive.”

Terran agrees that GoPros are a great option, and she also suggests 360-degree video cameras to get some really unique content.

“Samsung Gear 360 video cameras are awesome for capturing the whole crowd, as well as what’s happening on stage – all at the same time,” said Terran. “It has cameras in the front and back so you can capture truly immersive, 360-degree video.”

One of its coolest aspects? You can watch your 360 videos using a virtual reality headset to re-live your experience.

If you take tons of photos and videos, save space by backing up your files. Most cameras take SD cards, while smartphone-compatible flash drives exist for both iPhone and Android.

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Combat downtime

If you plan to camp at a festival, you might need some help passing the downtime.

Portable Bluetooth speakers by Insignia, JBL, Bose and Sony are compact and let you rock out even when your favorite band doesn’t go on for hours. They’re also great for when you’re en route to the stage.

“Many people take the train into Chicago for Lollapalooza,” said Zachary. “Portable Bluetooth speakers are a great way to make the most out of your journey, especially when you’re with a group of people.”

Think twice before bringing these items

No matter what music fest you’re attending, check its website to see what items are restricted. For example, some events ban selfie sticks, fearing they could be used as weapons.

In some cases, photography might be forbidden and could get you thrown out. But, if photography is allowed, stick to your smartphone, GoPro or other compact device.

“A lot of people bring DSLR cameras with them,” said Zachary. “Unless you’re a professional, it’s a bad idea. It can easily break.”

To prep for your music fest, visit your nearby Best Buy store and talk with an expert Blue Shirt, or browse phone cases, portable chargers and more at BestBuy.com.

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