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Monday, April 19, 2010

Five Shitty Things About Concerts We Need Apps For

Posted By on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM


Keep those phone chargers handy, people. With a patent application filed last week, Apple let on that it's creating an entire e-ticket system for the iPhone and iTunes. Concertgoers will be able to buy tickets through the iTunes store, store them on anything from an iMac to an iPhone, and scan their iPhones, iPads, or iPod Touches at the gate to get into shows. The patent application also describes how the iTunes ticket could come with a coupon for an artist's recordings, merch from the show, or even drink coupons. (A full run-down of the patent is here.)

This news got us thinking: concert tickets may be flimsy, prone to disappearance, and saddled with exorbitant fees (we're looking at you, Ticketmaster), but they already work pretty well. Many things suck waaay more about concerts. Here are five apps that would improve our show-going experience.

1. Tinkle Timer. Take a number on your phone for the loo and get a real-time estimate of when the porcelain real estate will free up. Scan your phone at the door, and never hear your favorite song through the bathroom wall as you're stuck in the stall again!

2. Sightline. The vertically challenged pay to get in, too, and we're always kinda sad for the short folks who push their way up to the front only to have a giant step in front of them. Enter your height into this polite app, and it'll tell you where you stand relative to other users to optimize your view -- while not blocking the miniature missy behind you.

3. Crew Corral. You brought that cute girl to the Radiohead show hoping she'd fall in love during "High and Dry," but somehow you got separated, and she's now lost in a sea of 20,000 Wayfarer'd hipsters. Crew Corral helps you keep the peeps together at a show by giving you precise directions on how to get your iPhone next to hers. Just follow the arrows and instructions ("walk four steps ahead, seven steps to the right") to find your friend's phone. Or to get the crew to come to you, turn on the flash feature, and hold your phone high. Crew Corall will blast a unique, umissable series of bright colors on your iPhone's screen, letting all your friends know exactly where you are in the crowd (particularly helpful at lawn shows and larger festivals).

4. LiveEar. It's fun to be up front at shows, but if you want to appreciate how weird the Flaming Lips really are, you're going to have to get back where you can hear well. This app tells you where the sweet sound spot is in every venue, and uses the iPhone's GPS to let you know when you're there. For outdoor shows like Coachella or Treasure Island, it even takes wind and weather conditions into account, so you can catch every word of Wayne Coyne's rants through even the most sound-scattering breeze.

5. BevSho. This app takes the cunning out of the battle to get drinks at concerts. Use your phone to remotely order your beverage of choice (or a round for all your friends) while your eyes and ears are still trained on the stage. Based on the number of orders recently received, and the number of bartenders working, BevSho will give you an estimated time to get back to the bar and grab your glass(es) -- saving you from having to fight for attention from the gruff bartenders. Clubs with cocktail servers can even have drinks delivered to your phone's location on the show floor, so this app means you can drink like a fish while never having to flail for the server's attention again.

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Ian S. Port


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