Festival app review: RockNess 2011

Are you going to RockNess 2011? Do you own a smartphone? Are you worried about getting lost, missing The Chemical Brothers and being eaten by the Loch Ness monster? If you answered yes to all three, Virtual Festivals has the answer.

The official Rockness 2011 app is available on Blackberry, iPhone and Android, effectively a digital lanyard with everything you need to know about the festival. It promises to be “the only place to get breaking news, the latest running orders, great money saving offers and a detailed map of the event so you don’t get lost or miss any of [the] shows.”

The live news feed keeps festival-goers up-to-date with the latest happenings, while the map keeps you on the right track and away from Nessie’s secret lair. It’s even linked up to the schedule to help you find your way between the acts, with flashing icons that take you straight to the listings for each stage. The easy-to-read key helps you to find food, first aid, toilets and cash machines, as well as pointing you in the direction of the box office.

Comprehensive travel information directs you to the festival site by car, air, train, coach and shuttle bus, while an FAQ answers any other questions. Camping and safety information keeps you safe and sound, and you can read about the exploits of other festival-goers in a Twitter feed of all tweets @RockNessFest.

And if you get bored, there’s plenty more to discover, from photos and videos of last year’s event to interviews with the artists involved, including a piece on Japanese Popstars. Organisers suggest downloading and looking through the app before you get to the festival as it’s likely that your signal will be better, meaning that “when you are at the festival you will only be downloading the new updates.” They also note that “you will be able to use all of the functionality in areas of no reception: it only requires reception to update.”

But the app’s real use comes from the customisable planner and the vouchers. Smartphone users can search by date, stage and artist to create their own schedule, then share their decisions with Facebook and Twitter directly from the app. Each act comes with a picture and a short biography so you know what to expect before you reach the stage.

The money saving vouchers can be exchanged all over the site, redeemable on everything from natural toothbrushes to sun products, including a half-price fish pedicure (whatever that is) and free socks when you buy a pair of wellies. Partygoers are entitled to a free glow stick with every hat purchased from The Hat Stand, as well as cheap porridge, steak, oysters and fudge and a free go on the Boxer Fun Machine. At only £2.99, the official Rockness smartphone app pays for itself.

Rockness Music Festival 2011 is set to take place from 10-12 June on the southern shore of Loch Ness, with performances from Paolo Nutini, the Chemical Brothers and Kasabian.

Click here to view the Rockness line-up.

Tickets are still on sale, with weekend camping tickets priced at £149 and other options available.

Click here to buy Rockness tickets.