Live Music CPT
APP BUILD, UX & UI DESIGN, RESEARCH
Over the years I’ve often sat on the couch and wondered if there was any live music happening tonight in Cape Town. Googling “live music tonight cape town” always rendered unhelpful results: articles of outdated live venues, and links to events that had already happened. Why couldn’t Google just spit out all the events happening tonight close to me, so I could go out and support musicians!?
How can we get more people to watch live music?
I wanted to create a simple platform that listed all the live music events happening tonight, in Cape Town. Preferably with a Google map integrated, so you could immediately see what was close by. The overarching goal was to make more people go out and watch live music – and if they had all the info, I figured it would be easier for them to do so. The platform needed to be simple, intuitive, and free from ads or insane info dumps.
Even though I knew exactly what I wanted to build, I had a look around the internet for anyone doing the same thing. I found websites like allevents.in, Bandsintown, What's on in Cape Town, and thenext48hours, but I found them all to be very busy, overpopulated with all kinds of events (food, music, kids, news, everything!) and covered in ads. Very off-putting:
Quicket is actually an amazing site for finding live music, and the platform is easy to use and ad-free. However, they still miss the smaller venues, and anyone can add an event - which means you sometimes end up with some weird ones in the mix. Cape Town Jazz Guide is a great website, but only for Jazz. There was also an instagram page @music.tonight.nyc for live music in New York, which I really liked.
Crafting a simpler solution
After some wireframe sketches, I attempted to build the idea as a website on Wix. However, after a day of fighting, I gave up and moved to Adalo instead. (Wix couldn't handle all the necessary filtering and clever logic that was needed, and Adalo is really good at this).
So the idea became an app. It was very simple: a landing page which immediately showed a map and all the events happening tonight. Then two more navigation buttons: “tonight list” (if people preferred a list to a map) and “upcoming” (all upcoming events, filtered by the date picker).
I created a database with the necessary fields, including name, date, time, venue, address (for the Google map integration), ticket price, image, and booking link. Then I added two relationships that would be necessary for filtering: a “ticket price bracket” and “genre” field. For the ticket price bracket I got creative: “free”, “budget (<R80), “premium (R80 – R150)”, and “big spender (>R150).
FEEDBACK & SURPRISES
First users and beyond
I spent a day gathering enough data so that the app would show at least 4 events per day for the following 2 weeks, then shared the MVP with my friends. The positive response was immediate, with most people saying they would definitely watch more live music because of this tool. Thereafter I sent a weekly WhatsApp to the same people, with the top 3 music events for the week. I also kept sharing the MVP with more and more people in my social circle.
The next step was to grow some users organically, so I decided to post the app on LinkedIn, asking the community to please test out the platform and give me feedback. The response was enormous, everyone commenting that they’ve wanted a solution like this for ages. The post also allowed me to do some customer development, and contact senior UX designers and product owners to get their feedback and advice going forward.
Make it legit, and then add email
The platform/app works, users love the idea, but people aren't using it actively yet. My goal for the next month is to find a way to build this back into a website format, so that it can carry some legitimacy on Google. When people Google "live music cape town", this platform needs to rank top (SEO), and from there I will be able to track usage properly.
Another feedback point has been around an email newsletter possibly being a better format for this idea. I think that having a website online where the data can sit for those who (like me) often google "live music cape town", will be a great anchor, from where a newsletter option could be added for those interested (perhaps at a small cost).