Dude Where’s My Phone: Losing Your Phone At A Festival

From experience, I've been there. I have had my phone stolen at a rave. It's not something I'd wish on anyone but know that there are some steps you can take if this happens. Here's what to do!

First of all, I promise I understand the terror and anxiety you’re probably feeling right now. I had my iPhone stolen at Imagine Music Festival a few years back and I won’t lie to you, it sucks! However, there are a few things you can do if this happens to you. I’ve got your back, fam! So, first things first.

1. Don’t Panic!

Easier said than done. I totally get it. Just remember that your emotions are heightened and you’re probably not thinking clearly. Breathe! This will help you think clearly in this hectic moment.

2. Retrace Your Steps.

Ok, so yes. There are a TON of people at a rave. This is not an easy task to do but think about where you were last. Did you go eat at a food truck? Stop at a vendor? Grab water at the hydration station? Check back with these places to see if you left it on a counter or see if maybe it fell on the ground near there. Ask the people working there. They are nice and they will help you.

3. Look in All of Your Pockets, Bags, etc. 

When we are nervous, we tend to miss things. It’s totally human. Make sure your phone isn’t in your pockets, fanny pack, hydration bag, backpack, etc, Have your friends help you look. Sometimes other people looking for you will help because they aren’t as stressed and can go through things calmly. Also, have your group check their things. It’s so incredibly easy to accidentally pick something up thinking it’s yours. Make sure that has not happened.

4. Go to the Lost and Found.

Every festival has a designated lost and found tent. Find it! If you aren’t sure, then ask around. People will help you locate it. Once you’re there, describe your phone to the attendant and have them look for you. If it’s not there, then go ahead and leave your information with them. Be sure to leave your name, phone description, email, address, and an alternate phone number or two. That way they can contact you if it’s found and turned in. People do turn these in. There are good-hearted people left in the world and most of them are ravers.

5. Use the “Find My iPhone” Feature (or the Equivalent With Droids) if You Have it and Then Lock Your Phone.

I know iPhones have a feature that will lead you right to where your phone is. You can use a friend’s phone to access the feature, you just need your information to get in. If it’s lost then this will really help. Track it down and see if you see it around the location it’s pinpointing for you. If it has been stolen, then it depends on how smart your thief is. If they did not turn the feature off then great! Go get it (accompanied by security. Don’t start a fight!!). If they did turn it off then it will not be an available feature. Call your carrier provider and tell them the situation right then and there. They can go in and lock your phone up so that no information is stolen and they don’t get a free, working phone.

6. Rely on Your Friends

You’re still at a music festival that you (probably) paid good money for and you should enjoy it. It’s hard when something like this happens but please don’t let it ruin your time. Get your friends to take pictures with their phone so you’ll have them after. Let them take care of you and cheer you up. This is still an incredible event and your memories cannot be replaced but your phone can. Don’t forget to file your phone claim when you get home (if you have insurance) or start saving for another after the fun.

7. Last but Not Least.

To help you prevent this in the future, I wanted to make a quick suggestion. Buy a locking bag or backpack. This will prevent actual theft of your phone versus losing it. If you lose your phone, that’s one thing but theft is a whole different animal. Hopefully, if you have to deal with a thief, they will be caught later. There is security floating around and they’re watching! If you have an experience like me (mine was stolen from my bag) then it may give you comfort to know that they’ll get caught. At the festival that mine was lost at, they caught him with 200 stolen phones in his bag. Eeek! Again, most people are amazing at festivals and the bad eggs are rare but it happens.  Check out this backpack or this fanny pack.

All in all, it’s not the end of the world. I know it feels like it at that point in time but it’s not. If you’re like me then it probably really hurt your feelings but buck up! You’re at a festival that others only dream of. Enjoy your time. Welcome the release of a distraction. Use this time to unplug and really feel the music. Enjoy your friends (some you may not get to see often) and have a great time. The sun will come out tomorrow, friend. It will all be ok!

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