Be There (and prove it): Sundance Film Festival Teams Up with Gowalla

For anyone who's made the trek up to Park City and attended the Sundance Film Festival, you know how much there is going on—from hundreds of films to watch, concerts, panels, skiing, and just as many parties to attend and people to meet there’s just so much to do. Amidst all this you also want to know what’s the “it” spot or find out where all your friends are hanging out.

Now, thanks to Sundance Film Festival teaming up with Gowalla, you can find all this out easily on the go while also sharing your Festival experience, discovering new places and uncovering prizes. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves, let’s talk a little bit about Gowalla.

Gowalla 101

Gowalla Mobile

Gowalla is a location-based service that lets you “check-in” at real world locations or “spots.” It works as an app on your Apple iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Palm and uses the phone’s GPS capabilities to find spots closest to you so you can check-in quickly and easily.

Not only can you use the app to catalog the places you’ve visited (and share it on other social networks like Facebook Places, Foursquare, Twitter, and Tumblr), but you can also attach a photo, comment, or note to a spot as well as drop or pick-up “virtual items” left by other Gowalla users. Think of it as a Virtual Passport on your phone that catalogs the remarkable places and life journeys in a fun, easy and social way. In addition to the app you can always manage your own profile and see the profiles of friends that you follow online at

Great, now how does all this fun location stuff enhance your experience at the Sundance Film Festival?

Gowalla and Sundance Film Festival

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First off, you can’t talk about Gowalla without talking about their attention to design. Their stable of talented artists have been busy creating amazing sets of custom artwork for the Sundance Film Festival including “stamps” for all Official Venues.

So when you check-in at The Egyptian Theater you’ll get a cool looking custom Stamp on your Gowalla Passport. Here's a preview of three Stamps made just for the festival:

Audiences will also be able to opt into a “Your Day at Sundance Film Festival” Gowalla email digest that shows you everything you’ve managed to cram into your experience.

Special to Sundance Film Festival will be the time-stamped check-in that’s only available for specific film premieres or special events. Miss the window of opportunity and you’ll lose the chance of earning that special stamp...forever.

Secondly, the virtual items feature is something that Sundance Film Festival and Gowalla plan to have a lot of fun with. Placed across Park City in random spots will be special promotional items that you receive if you check-in. These items can then be redeemed for special prizes later. Essentially, every time you check-in it’s like a slot machine.

You can also use Gowalla to see where your friends are at during the Festival or which spot is hot to trot. Check-in, meet up, meet after, or find each other on Main Street or around other happenings.

Then there’s the custom “Pins” which aren’t just another pretty face. They’re actually special rewards for completing a “trip” which is made up of a set of specific spots.

Some Pins can be redeemed for prizes or special access to events and parties. Instructions appear right in your phone. So the more you check-in then the more likely you can get some cool stuff. Official Sponsors are finalizing plans on what this cool stuff will be and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on that front. For now, how does a free flight sound?

Win a Free Flight to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival

Southwest Airlines is helping kick-off this amazing team up of film and social networking by flying 20 lucky people to Park City in January to become part of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival audience. All you have to do for your chance to win is check-in between December 9 and December 31, 2010 at any airport that flies direct to Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC).

The First-Artist To Collaborate With Gowalla: @LanceWeiler

Lance Weiler, a leading evangelist and world-renowned storyteller working in TRANSMEDIA, will become a part of the project by contributing exclusive experiences thru Gowalla as a compliment to his 2011 New Frontier Project at the Festival, called Pandemic 1.0. For the first time: an Artist will be leveraging the power of geo-social media in the creation of unique and innovative storytelling, breaking new ground in this emerging technology space.

Sundance Film Festival on Gowalla

There’s still a month and a half until the Festival, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting on and starting to check-in with Gowalla now. Simply download the free Gowalla app onto your phone here Make sure to friend “sundancefest” for the latest updates and whereabouts of the Sundance Film Festival.

Until then, keep exploring and discovering on Gowalla. In January, just be there.

Lead photo: