Friend Finders: Lose Yourself in the Music, Not the Crowd


Even the most avid festival-goers have lost their squad—whether on purpose or by accident. Not knowing your way back to camp or losing a friend can be a stark reality of the music festival experience. However, two new solutions have emerged from festival-loving innovators Totem and Compass. These new devices are more than just cool tech—they’re a guiding light, offering a beacon among the chaos of the festival grounds. As we deep dive into what sets these innovators apart, we’re not just talking about a new festival fad. We’re witnessing the birth of a new festival era, where getting separated from your crew is no longer the mood killer it used to be and going on that spur-of-the-moment “side quest” looks even more appealing knowing you have a map home. This piece isn’t just a comparison; it’s a front-row ticket to the future of festival going, where Totem and Compass are about to become as essential as your festival wristband. 


While Totem & Compass aim to solve the same problem, there are certain features and perks to each that make them ultimately different and unique. Here’s the rundown:


The Origins of Crowd Compass and Totem


Crowd Compass emerged from a collective of empathic innovators who recognized the disorientation and distress of getting lost in the crowd. Unlike its predecessors in the location tracking arena, Compass operates free from the constraints of phones, internet, LTE, or Bluetooth, providing a unique independence that empowers festival-goers to navigate the festival grounds with ease and confidence. With the capability to send short message pings akin to an old-school pager and a full festival range of up to 5,000 meters (or 3 miles), Compass ensures that your festival family is never too far away.


Meanwhile, the story of Totem begins with a twist of fate at EDC Orlando 2019, where co-founders Chase Lemonds and Carter Fowler saw a problem waiting for a solution. Lemonds, after losing both his phone and friends amidst the festival frenzy, envisioned a device that would ensure no one felt lost or alone again. This vision came to life as the Totem Compass, a device that, since its launch in February 2024, has not only captured the imagination of festival-goers worldwide but also commanded a digital wildfire of over 30 million views and $1.5 million in pre-sales. The Totem is designed with an intuitive touch crystal for ‘bonding mode’ that connects festival tribes through GNSS and the Unity Mesh Network, leading them to each other with a ring of lights and syncing to festival beats in ‘vibe mode’.


Which Should You Choose?


Both Totem and Compass offer unique features that enhance the festival experience. Totem’s durable, waterproof design and extended battery life make it a robust companion for any festival environment, while Compass’s simple use, traditional compass-like navigation, and messaging system ensure a reliable connection even in the most crowded settings. Whether it’s through the bonding and vibe modes of the Totem or the independence and practical messaging features of Crowd Compass, festival-goers now have the power to stay connected, navigate effortlessly, and fully immerse themselves in the magic of the festival experience. In the end, both make great additions to your fest pack and the choice depends on what you prioritize in a friend-finder.


As we look to a future where festival navigation is seamless, safe, and social, Totem and Compass not only promise to keep friends together but also enhance the shared joy and discovery that lie at the heart of every festival journey. The arrival of Totem and Compass marks a new era in festival culture—one where the only thing you’ll lose is yourself in the music, not in the crowd.

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