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£1.6billion Gadget Treasure Trove: Festival-Goers Warned to Be Vigilant This Bank Holiday Weekend

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

£1.6billion gadget treasure trove: Uk music festivals prime target for gadget thieves, as almost a third of festival-goers take phones, tablets and laptops worth at least £500 with them

One in seven (14%) of festival-goers say they have lost (8%) or had a phone stolen (6%) while attending a music festival in the past three years

  • Of the 4million Brits attending music festivals this year, more than seven in 10 (71%) have or will take smartphones with them, worth an average £299 each[2]
  • Twice as many men (8%) as women (4%) have had a phone stolen at a music festival
  • Handsets totalling £56million could be lost or stolen at festivals this year, based on past  three years[3]
  • More than half (55%) of those polled take tablets (11%) and laptops (10%) to festivals
  • More than one in 10 health conscious festival-goers take Fitbits and other wearable fitness devices

With more than 200,000 people attending music festivals in the UK over the August Bank Holiday weekend, festival-goers are being warned to be vigilant, to avoid falling foul of light-fingered gadget thieves.

Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash
Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

Music festivals are a potential treasure trove for opportunist thieves, with research by specialist gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble, revealing that people have/will take smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearable devices worth £1.6 billion to events this year.

A poll of UK adults found that almost a third (31%) of festival-goers take smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearable devices worth at least £500 with them, while almost a fifth (18%) pack at least £1,000 worth of gadgets in their rucksacks.

More than seven in ten (71%) said they will take smartphones to festivals this year. With four million people attending festivals in Britain each year, and the average smartphone costing £299, that’s £850 million worth of smartphones alone taken to outdoor music events.

The poll also revealed that 6% of those who have attended a music festival in the past three years, have had a phone stolen, with twice as many men (8%) as women (4%) being victims of theft. Just under one in ten (8%) have lost a phone at a festival.

Protect Your Bubble estimates that £56 million worth of mobile phones could be lost or stolen at music festivals and gigs in the UK this summer, based on thefts and losses at festivals over the past three years.

Smartphones are now a key part of the festival experience with eight in ten (80%) revellers bringing them to take photos and videos to share their experience with friends and family back home via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, almost half (48%) don’t completely immerse themselves in the festival experience; admitting they browse the internet, use apps and keeping up with emails, when there are no music acts on stage.

Along with smartphones, 11% and 10% of adults polled said they have/will take a tablet or laptop to a festival this year. While 11% take Fitbits or other wearable devices and 6% take a GoPro.

More than a third (37%) of festival-goers who were polled admitted they had left expensive gadgets unattended in their tent while watching music acts. The gadgets most likely to be left unattended in tents are headphones, portable mobile phone chargers, and tablets.

Just over one in 10 (11%) of festival-goers leave their smartphones at home and 12% take an older phone. One in 10 said they use a sub-£30 festival phone for fear of having their smartphone lost, stolen or broken.

James Brown, director of gadget insurance provider Protect Your Bubble comments:

Music-loving Brits have already been swept away by festival fever again this summer and it’s easy to see why the smartphone has become a festival essential. As well as calling your mates when you get separated, you can also take photos, post them on social media and make your friends back home jealous, check the festival app to see who’s playing, and the weather forecast too.

“What’s surprising is the number of people who take tablets and laptops to festivals. They are too bulky to carry around, and are more likely to be left unattended in tents while you’re watching an act. The advice is that it’s probably best to leave gadgets like this at home, particularly if you’re camping at the event, as it’s easy for thieves to target tents which have very little means of security.

“With smartphones you can at least keep it in your pocket, although it’s easy to be distracted in a  crowd and there are likely to be pickpockets roaming at these events. When your smartphone finally runs out of juice, don’t leave it in your tent, keep it on your person at all times.

“And if you don’t have phone or gadget insurance, think about getting some. Having insurance for theft, loss and accidental damage means that – should you lose your gadget, fall victim to theft, or it dies in a muddy mosh pit – you won’t have to fork out hundreds of pounds for a replacement.”

Also, consider purchasing a power bank so you can keep your phone in a full battery during festival.

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