Reasons to put your phone away this festival season


We’re living in a time where most of what we do is staged for social media. We face this pressure to document everything. It’s become a cultural norm to do things “for the ‘gram”. The need for validation is strong and it’s bloody exhausting. 

Just because you didn’t post it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen! Disposable cameras and burner phones are making a comeback, and 2020 feels like it could be the summer of a social media backlash.

Last October I genuinely accidentally went to a festival abroad WITHOUT MY PHONE. Full story to follow. Here are 6 reasons to put your phone away this festival season. 


Escape reality

This generation’s incessant need to document everything in real-time is stopping us from having any real care-free fun. The action of uploading and scrolling – adding filters and GIFs and tags, checking apps – gets in the way of actually enjoying the festival.

Festivals allow us to escape our everyday lives. A smartphone keeps us tethered to the realities of everyday life. The internet isn’t going anywhere, you can still upload your memories when you get home. Waiting to post is a great way of combatting festival blues. It also prevents you from being distracted by other people’s posts while at the festival, and prevents you from posting anything while drunk that you may regret.

Save battery

Just think how much longer your battery will last if you’re only using your phone to text or make calls.  


Everyone loves sharing their best lives on Instagram, adding filters and curating the perfect content – but we’ve all been on the other side and had FOMO, or generally felt unhappy as a result of comparing our messy and real lives to everyone else’s highlight reel.

If you do find you are suffering from “Fear Of Missing Out”, remember, you’re only getting half of the story. Only the best memories make it on the ‘gram. And even then a lot of what you see is filtered and fake. No one is documenting their comedown, or the inside of a port-a-loo, or drunk arguments, or the time spent queuing for just about everything. 

Respect the artist

Festivals that embrace a “put your phone away” ethos include smaller boutique festivals such as Lost Village in the UK where there is virtually any signal (bliss!). In 2014, Edinburgh’s ‘FLY Open Air’ became the first festival in the UK to ban phones altogether. It’s an extreme measure, but performers have been asking fans to put their mobiles down and simply enjoy the show for years. Billie Eilish said it best during her performance on The Other Stage at Glastonbury 2019.

Connect IRL

When we’re living in the moment, we’re more open to real life connection. Festivals are for making new friends; being your true self; and enjoying the company of like-minded people. Don’t be absent because you’re staring through a fucking screen. Let go. Look up. Don’t miss what is right in front of you. Exchange your mobile phone for childlike curiosity and spontaneity.

Be mindful  

You wouldn’t go to the cinema and watch the film through your phone. So how is it any different for a live set? It’s hard to strike a balance between capturing memories to look back on, vs allowing yourself to experience a moment fully. Be mindful and film a short clip. The only thing worse than watching through your own screen, is watching through someone else’s screen as they obstruct your view. People are generally trying to live in the moment and enjoy the music.