Next week I’ll be enjoying four days of music at Rock Werchter. I love festivals and enjoy both listening to bands I already know (come on Dave Grohl, heal your leg!), and discovering new bands.
Werchter is one of Belgian’s biggest festival and it has multiple stages with bands playing at overlapping times. A few years ago I used to carry a paper program around the park, upgraded to a screenshot of the program on my iPhone’s homescreen a few years later, but this year I thought: why not use my Apple Watch?

Checking when the next band comes up takes only a glance, I’m far less likely to lose my Watch than my iPhone in a crowd (moshpits) and — when it comes to easily glanceable information — the Watch is king.

I decided that, until native apps are available in September, the easiest approach at this moment would be the creation of a separate calendar in iCloud which contains all the performances as events. I can add that calendar as a glance to the Apple Watch (I’ll probably use the Modular watchface) and voila, a Festival schedule on my wrist.

The festival’s website only offers an overview and no downloadable .ics-file, so getting the program on the Watch required some scripting I copied the schedule to Drafts, used a bit of Javacript to prepend each line with a date, and append a location (the stage name) followed by /w to point it to a new Werchter calendar I created in advance.

I ended up with a long list of performances:

  • 25/06 14:00 – 14:50 Marmozets at Main Stage /w
  • 25/06 15:30 – 16:30 Eagles of Death Metal at Main Stage /w
  • 25/06 17:15 – 18:15 Rise Against at Main Stage /w
  • 25/06 19:00 – 20:00 Florence + the Machine at Main Stage /w
  • 25/06 21:00 – 23:30 Foo Fighters at Main Stage /w

Up next: getting this list, which is formatted in a parseable string, into Fantastical. I used this Drafts‘s Action to batch import all the events. After seeing my iPad quickly flipping back and forth between Drafts and Fantastical for a few minutes, everything calmed down and I ended up with a nice overview of all the performances in my Agenda.

So next week while ordering a fresh pint and listening to some awesome band, I can quickly glance at my Watch and see if I how long they’ve got left, and if there’s still time to play that one hit song they didn’t play yet.

After finishing this small project I realised that watchOS 1 only shows the current event on the watchface. If I easily want to see upcoming bands, I either need to open the Calendar or Fantastical app each time.. or install watchOS 2 and use the awesome Time Travel feature. It’s tempting..