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October 12, 2011

The fancy Iceland Airwaves ’11 app for fancy smartphones

Music Overview

  • The Good:  Good overview for your festival schedule, loads of infos for all bands and a nice map integration including foursquare.
  • The Bad:  Some band info is still missing and you will need either an Icelandic data plan for your mobile or a Wifi hotspot in reach. And of course you will need a smartphone like iPhone or Android.
  • Reviewed by: Florian Zühlke

All those of you who do not like to carry around a printed Airwaves festival info plus the city map plus some tourist guide plus your phone plus keys plus whatever you guys are have in your pockets: here is the solution!

For the first time at Airwaves there is a mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones. And the programmers have done a pretty good job to create an app, which will not only help you built your personal festival schedule, but also gives you infos on any band that you might not know yet and helps you to find your way through Airwaves jungle with a nice Google maps based interface.
But let’s start at the beginning: Installation is going easy following your mobile’s installation routine, i.e. the Apple App store or the Android market.

The first thing you are getting to see when you start the app is an overview of the festival schedule which you can sort by time or by venue. Good, if you want to check, which band will be up next, where you are currently at. All the concerts in the schedule are also directly linked to the Google map, so you can see where you are at and where you got to go next. You can also browse by days and, what makes this a really powerful app, switch between the general line up and your personal line up, which is created easily by clicking on a band to get to their individual info page, checking when and where they are playing, and clicking on the “Add to my lineup” button next to your chosen show.

The band info pages are another highlight of the Iceland Airwaves app, as you get the most important infos at a glance and can do further research by browsing directly to the band’s homepage from there. For some of the bands there are nice videos embedded, so you can either see Icelandic journalists commenting on them or cool introductions to the artist.

While you are able to keep an eye on your personal musical appointments at Airwaves very easily and plan your next steps, there is another cool thing, which makes this app a really nice piece of code: The integration of social networks. You cannot just share the bands you like, you can also find Foursquare built in. So if you got a profile there, the app lets you Check in at all Aairwaves ’11 venues. Not to mention that you will also find the off-venue venues. The only thing that I do not really understand in this, is why there is no Twitter integrated.

However the App is a really cool replacement for pen and paper and all the maps you usually have around, given that you are connected to the internet with your mobile phone and have a data plan with it. But actually Reykjavík holds so many open Wifi networks, lots of them near the Airwaves venues, so that shouldn’t be a big problem.

The app in general is running quite stable on my Android phone and is getting schedule updates via the app update routine, which should make it more reliable than the printed schedule. Of course you should keep an eye on short-term changes in the festival line up anyway, which are alsways possible. Also some band info is still missing, hopefully being added soon.

Though the most frustrating disadvantage of the app is that you cannot circle the bands you want to see with a pen. At least you shouldn’t.

You will find all infos about the app and how to get it to your phone here: http://www.icelandairwaves.is/media-/press/nr/632

I tried the app on an Android phone, so I am quite interested how the rest of you guys is getting along with it.

Post your feedback in the comments or send it via Twitter @rvkgrapevine!



About the Author

Florian Zühlke





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