Festival app review: Volvo Snowbombing 2011

Worried about getting lost in Mayrhofen this April? Dane Cobain checks out the official Volvo Snowbombing iPhone app ahead of the winter sports festival.

These days, it seems like everyone and their mother has an iPhone, so it’s no surprise that festival organisers are increasingly viewing the app as a cheap and easy way to keep fans up-to-date with the latest news, before, during and after the event. Big Day Out and Eurosonic Noorderslag have already stepped tentatively in to the market – in true winter sports style, Volvo Snowbombing have jumped straight in.

The festival has teamed up with Eristoff Vodka to release the app, which features exclusive content and south-west-four-sw4-2009 on top of full listings, maps and guides. Users can check in at key festival locations for a chance to win vodka, VIP tickets to exclusive events and even a gold snowboard in a competition that’s only available through the app.

The constant plugs for Eristoff and the occasional long load times are a small price to pay for the app, which is free to download and use. The built-in party schedule allows you to search by artist, day and venue, but there’s no biographical information. This could be forgiven if the user could create a personalised schedule, but this oversight leaves the feature almost useless – it just takes up less room than a paper programme.

Despite this, the iPhone’s location capabilities allow the app to act as an interactive guide of the slopes – built-in maps show venues, bars and restaurants, all sorted by distance. Cash machines, railway stations, hotels, supermarkets and equipment hire stores are also represented, as well as chemists, doctors and Internet cafes.

Social networking sites are also supported, with Facebook integration and live Twitter, YouTube and Flickr feeds. App users can submit their own content by tagging their tweets, photographs and videos, with a section that shows what their friends are doing if they’re also using it.

The app is supported by Joe Tyler, a “British ski racer turned freestyle champ” who moved to Mayrhofen last year to set up a freestyle coaching academy. “He’s provided a selection of the local’s best kept secrets, just for users of the iPhone app,” including an interview with DJ Yoda, a short ski film and his tips for what to see and do (and where to ski) in Mayrhofen.

And for those that are worried about the high cost of data roaming when taking their iPhone abroad, there’s a solution. Snowbombing say: “We’ve designed the app so that the event schedule and Mayrhofen guide content are already on your phone and work offline. When you do use 3G, the amount of data coming through is kept to a minimum, so charges won’t be crazy for keeping up to date throughout Snowbombing.

Although it’s not a necessity, owning the app can only improve your week away in Austria. With enough information and content to keep you occupied during those rare quiet moments, the only worry is whether your hands will be warm enough to work the touch screen after coming off the slopes.

Volvo Snowbombing 2011 is set to hit the alpine village of Mayrhofen from 4-9 April and will feature sets from The Prodigy, Pendulum, Fatboy Slim, Magnetic Man, Chase & Status and more.

Click here to see the full Volvo Snowbombing line-up.

Tickets are available now, starting at £279 for a festival pass and accommodation.

Click here to buy Volvo Snowbombing tickets.