August 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Summer Party Apps: In Canada, a Classy iOS App for the Osheaga Festival

As I write this, the hot and sweaty summer is taking a little break. It’s the perfect summer music festival weather, and I wish I could be outside enjoying some smooth hip-hop jams, dreamy indie rock, or pop-infused world music while standing in a field. Instead, I’m continuing our ongoing attempt to help you get the most out of apps for this summer’s music festivals.

If you find yourself in Montreal this weekend, you’ll probably get a kick out of Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts  — that’s the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, for us English-speaking types. From August 3-5, a small island in the heart of Montreal will transform into a world-class alternative music and art extravaganza. Osheaga might be considered the Canadian answer to Lollapalooza, as evident by the large percentage of bands participating in both events.

Lollapalooza is still a bigger deal, but Osheaga is picking up steam. This summer’s festival features huge international headliners including the French electronic duo Justice, the U.S. West Coast hip-hop ambassador Snoop Lion (the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg), and Iceland’s post rock heroes, Sigur Rós, among other fan favorites.

Like all good music festivals these days, Osheaga benefits from having an app to help attendees stay organized, and this one looks and feels sort of like the festival itself. The Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts 2012 app, developed by L’Aréna des Canadiens, features a nice, artsy layout. As with all good festival apps, the band schedule is easily accessible and perfectly organized.

However, this app beats the others we’ve seen this year by letting you customize the look as a list, spreadsheet-style grid, or calendar layout — the last of which is great for understanding which bands are playing concurrently.

The artist profile section is as it should be: straight and to the point. Each page includes a description of no more than a paragraph in length, with links to the band’s various social sites and of course the times of their sets. To build a personalized schedule, simply add artists to your Favorites list, from which you can set alarms to notify you when they’re going to play. That way you won’t miss Fun., which is playing the Scéne de la Riviére Virgin Mobile, or The Jesus and Mary Chain at the Scéne Verte Sennheiser.

The one spot for improvement: if you could see your custom schedule in a calendar layout, too, which would help you notice when your bands are overlapping.

You also get the usual helpful information — the logistics and rules of Osheaga, details on mobility access, and what you’re allowed to bring, so you don’t get stuff taken away from you at the entrance. However, the food and drink section is still under construction; hopefully there’s more to eat than just Dagwoods. However, they’re still working on this; in fact, as I was writing this, the map section finally sprang to life with a brightly colored map designating the festival area.