As you may have heard, Outside Lands, a music festival held annually in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, took place last weekend and, man, was it awesome. So awesome in fact, that I had to write this post today since I took Monday off to fully recover. Between the unbelievably hot weather and the great music, it was close to a perfect weekend.
That being said, there is one thing I took issue with during the festival – the poor cell phone service. Since cell service has been a frequent problem during the past four years that the festival has taken place, this year additional cell towers were built around the park to strengthen signals. Unfortunately, this did little to mitigate the problem, as it was still extremely difficult to get a decent signal for the majority of the weekend.
I am fully aware that voicing a grievance about cell service at a concert makes me sound like a big complainer. But, I must say, that the lack of service made me feel incredibly annoyed and at times a little vulnerable. Delayed text messages and dropped calls forced me to stay with whichever group of people I was with, for fear that I would not be able to find them again or locate other friends. This caused a slight problem when I wanted to go watch The Shins but the group I was with wanted to watch four hours of Phish. Long story short, unless I chose to wander around in the dark alone, I was out of luck.
Another major cell phone-related issue I faced arose when I needed to make my way home. Before I even begin complaining about this, let me first state that I realize I am mostly to blame for not planning in advance how I would get home at the same time as the 60,000 other people leaving the concert. Still, due to a lack of cell service, I was unable to call my ride, forcing me to trek roughly four miles with another disgruntled concertgoer until we were finally able to flag down a cab (not fun for anyone involved).
As I reflect on my weekend and reread this post, I realize that maybe bad cell service is not really the problem. Perhaps, I have become a little too reliant on technology and expect it to be my lifeline. As a 24-year-old, I should probably be able to find my friends / a way home without using my cellphone. Millions of people survived at music festivals prior to the mobile revolution, so I think it’s safe to say I should be okay dealing with crappy service for three days of my life.
A little bit about me: Mobile enthusiast, interested in how devices work and where the tech industry is headed. In my free time you will find me: YouTube watching, mobile shopping and eReading. If you need to reach me: Text. Anything worth saying can be said in less than 20 words.