Optimized for Music Festivals – Lollapalooza 2016

By: Chris Merritt

I had the opportunity this year to attend the Lollapalooza music festival at Grant Park in Chicago, IL. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the festival. To celebrate, the festival organizers decided to add a fourth day to the festival. Now, I have attended some music festivals before so I know how things go. There are a number of factors that play into how a day at any music festival will be:

  • Long Days/Nights
    These are all day events that extend into the night. Music typically will start very early in the afternoon and continue until at least 10 p.m. and some festivals go well into the early hours of the next morning. Regardless of when they start and when they end they all make for long days/nights.
  • Large Crowds
    They also draw an extremely large group of people. Some of the largest music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza draw crowds as large as 100,000 people per day.
  • Weather and Elements
    This is something that can make or break a festival for some people. Areas that are prone to rain and thunderstorms have to take that into consideration just as areas that are very hot and extremely dry.

These three main elements were certainly factors at Lollapalooza. They opened the gates to Grant Park at 11a.m. and the festival would end every night at 10 p.m. These hours would surely have been longer had the City of Chicago not had noise ordinances restricting them from going any later.  The festival is one of the largest in the country and drew right around 100,000 people per day – including the likes of Malia Obama on a few of the days. Finally, with the festival extended an extra day that made the overall festival more prone to being rained on as summers in Chicago experience a considerable amount of rain and thunderstorms. This year there was rain and thunderstorms on the first two days of the festival followed by two hot and humid days.

All of these factors played into creating a serious problem with an important part of people’s lives these days – their phones. Being away at a festival all day, with literally one place available to charge a phone on site, was the reality faced by 100,000 people everyday. Anyone that has somewhat recently attended a concert or sporting event knows that when you have that number of people  in one place your phone service goes straight down the tubes. This created a major dilemma for festival goers – how am I going to keep my phone from dying before the festival day is over?

Fortunately, there is a solution that is pretty commonplace these days – the powerbank. Lucky for me I had my Scosche GoBat 12000 and MagicMount PowerBank. There are a multitude of options out there for powerbanks, but based on my experiences over the weekend specifically these two were way better than the rest.

The MagicMount PowerBank easily slid into my pocket with my phone thanks to its slim design. It’s convenient design, small size and magnetic mounting ability made it ideal to hold and  to slip into my pocket along with my phone. It did also allow me the convenience of being able to use my phone, take photos and videos, and make calls just like I would normally without having to have cords get in the way.

The GoBat 12000 was easy enough to have clipped to my CamelBak. This was one I didn’t have to worry about with the elements either I encountered over the first two days at the festival. Its rugged, waterproof design allowed me to expose it to the elements and not have to worry in the least. It got rained on and knocked around. It even took a few drops onto the pavement due to slippery hands, and all the while it was just fine. This one was extremely valuable when it came to being able to charge two phones at once. With everyone in my group being in the same boat where their phones all dying before 6 p.m. to be able to plug in two phones at the same time for 30 minutes using the GoBat 12000’s rapid charge design the phones gained over 50% charge in that short of a time. The capacity on this was also so large that not once did I worry about it running out of power, thanks to the GoBat’s ability to recharge some smartphones up to six times on a single charge.

I was extremely grateful to have both of these with me over the four days of Lollapalooza. The rain-soaked first few days were no match for the GoBat 12000. I had all the power needed to keep both my phone and my friends’ phones charged. With photography and videography both passions of mine, I was able to use my phone all four days without any hesitation. To anyone planning to attend a music festival, large or small, one of these products (or both, like in my case) can be the key to having a great time without any dead phone batteries ruining the fun.

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