March 22, 2011
★ Ultra Music Festival KILLS Unofficial iPhone App

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via UMF Essential’s website:

We deeply regret to inform you that the UMF Essential iPhone app will be removed from the iTunes App Store within the next 24 hours, and thus will no longer be available for download. We will not be releasing the Android app. This is in compliance with an official request by Ultra Music Festival. Unfortunately, we cannot comment further on any details relating to this matter.

We would like to thank our users and supporters for the tremendous feedback and response, as well as the blogs and online publications for the great reviews and mentions received over these past few weeks.

Our intention has always been to enhance the experience of fans like us at music festivals. We are planning to release future apps in cooperation with several festivals moving forward. To stay tuned, please email us atinfo@festivalpulse.com.

-FestivalPulse Crew

This 2 person team worked their asses off to create an experience for Ultra attendees that UMF was not providing. They specifically stated again and again in their iPhone app description, “UMF Essential is your unofficial guide to all things UMF 2011.”

My review of the iPhone app was honest and open about this application’s potential and I will be using it in Miami to enhance my experience because it is the best festival scheduling application I’ve ever seen on the iPhone.

What this comes down to is business. The organizers of Ultra Music Festival DID have options. They could have asked for a percentage of the sales, they could have purchased the IP of this application and sold it on the store themselves OR they could have ignored it and done what honest people do and release a better application. UMF thinks UMF Essential is not good for the user? Prove it by releasing something better. Instead, they killed it.

I don’t know why but UMF doesn’t provide an alternative aside from a piece of paper when you walk through the gates and this is unfortunate that only a handful of us will have access to the iOS based schedule this weekend.

I guess it’s not about the loyal conference attendees. It’s about you and dollar bills. If anyone at UMF reads this, they will have many many arguments to why I’m wrong. I’ll list a few possible reasons before I get an email from UMF about how wrong I am.

  • This company was profiting from our set-list and maps (the price of their application covers the development time it took them just as it would if you had a similar app built.)
  • It was a poor experience for our attendees (wrong, it was a great experience with syncing ever hour of any lineup changes.)
  • The application was leading users to believe it was an app made by us (no, the iTunes description said it was an unofficial application)
  • We are UMF and we can do whatever we want regardless of the interests of our attendees or a small 2-person company’s passion for our cool festival (much better, that’s what I thought)

Whatever the reason, my previous review is now null and void which sucks because I loved this iPhone app and as a 6 year veteran of UMF, it was the best thing I had used to not miss my favorite DJs at the show.

Triple sigh.