audience with hands in the air

Live music discovery app Eventbox is a Joining the Dots winner

Joey Baxter, CEO of Eventbox unveils the inspiration behind his pioneering project which unlocks the potential of a location-based listing service.

Social events are one of the most significant forces in the evolution of mankind. That simple formula of a place, something happening and an audience. They bring us together to be entertained, educated, challenged, inspired and to share those experiences. The internet opened up a world of opportunities for evolving how such events take place. Whilst we are massive fans  of innovations which are already contributing to this evolution such as Meetup, we feel that the possibilities have hardly been tapped yet. That’s where we get excited and get involved.

Eventbox wants to provide endless innovations to the ways events come into existence, are discovered and are experienced. This is the first of a series of posts over the course of the next 12 months. I’m sure that along the way there will be chance to share plenty of the ideas we’ve had such as organising an event for the year 3,000 for which tickets are to be handed down generations. Or trying to get Google to tell everyone when the Google Earth satellites will be taking photos so people can leave messages on the surface, have mass lie downs looking up to the sky or in the case of many simply show off their middle finger. The result would be a very different version of Google Earth. Anyways, more on such ideas in future posts.

With such a spectrum of possibilities it was through time, the testing out of various ideas, and input from experienced advisers that we managed to arrive at our current focus:

Eventbox is a mobile app that lets you listen to listings to discover music events happening nearby. So within one kilometre, or any distance, of where you are, you can listen to music from musicians, bands and DJs performing tonight, or on any night, to figure what you and friends want to go to.

Local live music discovery app is a Joining the Dots winner with Eventbox from the hub on Vimeo.

How we arrived at the idea for Eventbox
Where the ball really started rolling was with ideas around critical mass events: events that only go ahead if enough people want them to. While there was plenty of playing with ideas such as using it for protests “We’ll only organise a protest once 1,000,000 have said they’ll come” and things like having events go ahead on the first sunny day in Month X, we decided to focus on music events.

We designed a set of tools that would allow bands to create super interactive content rich profiles, to find other bands to perform with, venues to book provisional dates with and ways for marketing the event. When we showed our designs to a number of venues in Brighton they all said the same thing; “We like this critical mass stuff, but what we really like are these interactive musical listings you designed to promote the events. Why not just focus on delivering interactive content rich listings for events that are booked to go ahead?” So we did.

What they’d identified is something that has always frustrated me. I hate seeing names of artists on listings and not knowing who they are. Listings often contain words upon words about an artist when all you want to do is hear them. Why not let their artistry lead you to a decision? This also tends to be more of an issue when you are looking for something to do in the near future and/or location is a critical factor. For bands you know well, you book tickets ahead of time. But, if you want to find something tonight, near where you are due to meet some friends, close to your home or near the hotel you are staying in then it’s more likely the music events will be performances from artists you don’t know.

What stage it is Eventbox at now and what’s the next step?
Ten phones in the world currently have Eventbox on. We are gathering feedback and iterating design changes.
We will soon extend to 30 people, then 100.
There are some other cunning plans afoot but I am afraid they are, for the moment, going to stay under wraps!
We’ve been chatting with the Joining The Dots team about an event that brings musicians, venues and promoters together with the music tech community. An event that starts by taking industry problems and investigates how the tech community could rise to their challenge. Some ideas on how to execute are abrewing. Watch this space.

What help do we want from the hub and its followers?
Anyone who wants to be one of the earliest testers of the app should get in touch. joey@eventbox.fm

Any musicians, venues, promoters, labels and other music industry pros who want to get in touch…. joey@eventbox.fm

* Find out more about the other Joining the Dots winners here.

* See photos from behind the scenes at the first Joining the Dots away day.