While Phish shows represent a sanctuary from everyday life and provide a mental break from the stresses of adult responsibility, they aren’t always the easiest places to navigate. With new and unique venues each night, separated seating for GA and reserved sections and a head full of psychedelics, finding your people in the midst of the fray isn’t always a simple task. We have all wandered around venues or lawns in hope to find specific friends only to grow more and more lost in the endless ocean of people. Even more frustrating can be the post-show car-finding mission when, all of a sudden, every lot looks the same and you’re not sure what side of the venue you are on. With the inception of the cell phone long ago, coordination began looking to the future. But now, with the teeming technology of the modern era, finding and communicating with friends has never been easier.
Phish fans, Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht, have come out with GroupMe – a revolutionary new service for cell phones that will easily enable you to stay in touch all of your friends. GroupMe allows you set up a unique phone number that you can text to talk to a group of friends all at once. Any text sent to that number by one of your friends is sent to everyone in your pre-created group. It’s just like sending a group email via text to which people can easily “reply to all.” Since it works through SMS, no one needs a smart phone to use it. That’s right – GroupMe works on any phone that has can send text messages!
But it doesn’t just stop with one “group” of friends. You can set up as many “groups” as possible, and for the never-ending circles of friends at Phish shows, this feature can be incredibly useful. Let’s say you are riding with one group of friends, hang out at the show with another crew, and then always meet certain folks to puff at setbreak. No problem! Simply set up several groups and just select which one you’d like to contact and text that unique phone number. Now, when you send one text to one number, all of your selected group members will receive your message. And if things get really dire, you can select “conference call,” press one button, and all of the phones in your selected group will ring at once, creating a legitimate conference of your friends. Use GroupMe to meet up in the lot, at shows, after shows, or to simply discuss the raunchy “Tweezer” that just crushed all of your skulls while hanging in different hotels. Furthermore, stay in touch on the road and coordinate rest stops and hotels with one text message instead of a multi-pronged attack. The possibilities are endless, and GroupMe is the source.
Already admired in the tech world and used en masse by everyday people, GroupMe is an official partner of Austin City Limits Festival. In addition to GroupMe’s regular text service, at ACL one can set reminder texts to inform their groups fifteen minutes before the selected bands hit the stage. Revolutionizing the festival experience, coordination has never been so easy and 100,000 person crowd simply don’t pose the obstacle they once did. (This assumes your phone will work at all at these over-sized gatherings! But talk to AT & T about that!)
Though any phone with text message service can join group GroupMe via text or computer, the start-up has also rolled out an iPhone interface for that is now available in the App Store. Download the App for free, register your number, and start forming your groups today! For those without an iPhone, head to groupme.com, enter your name and phone number and begin to change the face of the way you communicate. All commands and changes can be and managed via SMS text messaging, making iPhones, Blackberrys, and flip phones one in the same. Never get at shows again, regardless of your mind state. Get GroupMe for Fall 2010 and you’ll find your friends in no time.
Jam of the Day:
“Bathtub Gin” 2.14.03 I
This first setter from the LA Forum on Valentine’s Day in 2003 often flies under the radar in the tour’s opening frame.
Let’s hop in the DeLorean today and speed back twenty years to the day – October 5, 1990. A young Phish played a gig at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and this is what happened.
I: I Didn’t Know, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen* > Weekapaug Groove, My Sweet One, The Landlady, Tela, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Stash, The Asse Festival, Bouncing Around the Room, Run Like an Antelope
II: Golgi Apparatus, The Curtain > Ya Mar, Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Uncle Pen, Split Open and Melt, Fee, Possum
E: Good Times Bad Times
*The beginning of “Hydrogen” included the lyrics “I walk awakening on the misty fields of forever.”