Pro tip: never install the app.

Chvrches cancelled on Outside Lands, and the official app never pushed an update. (You had ONE JOB.) We found out by word of mouth from someone who had read it on Twitter an hour before.

This kind of fail has been my experience with every festival- or conference-related app I've ever seen.

Never install the app. They're all made my third-party dot-com carpetbaggers running some kind of con on the people who actually make the event go.

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10 Responses:

  1. John Adams says:

    My app updated in under 10 minutes.

    There was a major bug though. It only
    updated the main schedule and not the "my schedule" section which was fucking stupid.

    I find free festival apps highly useful but frequently untested and buggy.

  2. Geoff Smith says:

    I loved using the Warped Tour app. You install it, select your date on the tour... and then you have to go to the venue, look at the schedule posted at 11 AM on a wall and manually enter the locations, band names and times for the acts you want to see. I ended up using a dead tree copy of the schedule.

  3. John Adams says:

    I had no problem with the app updating, but it was buggy as shit. It updated the main schedule in less than ten minutes of finding out chvrches was cancelled. It failed to update individual user schedules or remove it from "my schedule"

  4. Tom Boutell says:

    There's a lot of carpetbagging and a lot of well-intentioned "we have this amazing friend who's a programmer" that goes on.

    It seems like a natural opportunity for a good open source app to emerge. Every indie event promoter has a motivation to contribute some resources but not enough time and money to need or want to completely own the result.

  5. Jef Poskanzer says:

    The whole idea of apps is offensive. I say we go on strike and just develop in HTML5. Not that it's particularly better, but at least it's cross-platform.

    • James says:

      I'd go even further and combine your and Tom's suggestion above if I thought there was any chance of getting people to use integrated h-event readers in their calendars. The mobile device vendors have more than a little incentive to support it, but not really enough because their execs are so clueless for things that would actually make their customers' lives easier. It's like never getting a full-featured editor or database from any of the commercial OS vendors. They all think they can squeeze revenue out of essential features and would rather do that than cover all the bases.

    • Richard says:

      "Apps"? Back in my day we called them "URLs", and there was this whole platform independence thing that folks got excited about.

      I remember how elated I was when first mucking around with Mosaic thinking "I can see that I'll never have to write UI code for straightforward stuff ever again. Hallelujah!"

  6. Joyce Tang says:

    I just did a conference where they encouraged all their attendees to download the app to save on printing personalize agendas. The day of the conference rolls around and the app failed to populate individual user schedules... Cue me and the team printing and stapling almost 400 agendas at 5:45am, 45 minutes before registration opened. .

  7. Oh, and let us not forget the "This app needs some serious bandwidth to operate" thing coupled with the "30,000 people served off a single EDGE tower over a mile away".