Phone Theft at Music Festivals

There is light at the end of the tunnel to this whole pandemic, and Live Events are due for a comeback, Ubbi Dubbi just happened last weekend, but it might be a bit for the rest of them to return. With the first live event, unfortunately, that means phone theft at music festivals again. 

We’ve covered this topic in the past, here in fact, but it’s due for a refresher.

Reddit Thread- Ubbi Dubbi Music Festival Phone Theft

That headline is false and a common rumor that blows up the lost and found process. But if the rest of the Reddit comments have any validity, phone theft is back this year with a vengeance.

So what now?

Well, if you were there that weekend and had your phone stolen, there’s a few things you need to do immediately:


  1. Lock the phone and put it in lost mode
    • Highly likely they already removed the sim card, but if not, lost-mode can be crucial; we already wrote a guide to do that here.
  2. Watch out for phishing attempts- there’s a lot of valuable stuff on your phone (like personal data, bank accounts, email access, so on), so bold thieves will try getting it unlocked.
    • NEVER GIVE OUT PASSWORDS- Krebs on Security did a great write-up on phishing attempts from a stolen iPhone, and you should check it out (link).
  3. Check the Lost and Found
    • It might not be stolen; regular old loss happens a lot. Lost and Found is your go-to; we’re not running L&F for this festival, but you can get info from the Ubbi Dubbi website.
  4. If all else fails, erase the phone if you can, file a police report, claim insurance (if you have it), and get a new phone. 

Pretty bleak but stay hopeful

Loss is not a fun experience, and theft doubly so–but you can’t let a few jerks ruin everything. We’re trying to impact the Lost and Found experience by building a better process, empowering consumers with the tools to protect themselves, and using data for good–instead of, you know, Facebook.

How to avoid it in the future?

There are many precautions you can take to avoid becoming a victim of phone theft at music festivals in the future, which we’ve already written about here. But a quick summary wouldn’t hurt:


  1. Backup your devices- regular backups can mean the world when something is lost or stolen. It’s just a device if you can save the data.
  2. Carry less- if you aren’t carrying it, you can’t lose it.
  3. Runners belt- it’s a tight fanny pack; waterproof, close to the body, easily worn under clothing, and difficult for strangers to get into without you noticing.
  4. Have each other’s back- the classic if you see something say something can have a big impact; thieves are opportunistic, so a wary crowd doesn’t make for an easy target.

Oh, and push for our help.

Very selfishly, if we were at more places we can help more in these situations, a loss is a very neglected problem until it happens to you. So if you’ve stumbled upon this post, I hope it’s helped. You might be inclined to suggest us at your favorite events, venues, transportation hubs, or even police districts (yes, they handle many lost and found and found and usually pretty poorly).