The story of FestEvo goes back to March of last year. I was in Austin, Texas to attend South By South West. I spend three weeks a year in Austin attending festivals (SXSW, Austin City Limits) and the International Music Festival Conference. Even with all of the travel that I get to do I can still say that Austin is my favorite city in America.
One of the reasons it’s so fun for me is that by traveling to Austin so often I’ve developed a really awesome group of friends. Through festivals, other friends, and by reuniting with the person who found my ID in the middle of the street I’ve developed a really solid crew.
SXSW is an amazing place to spend time with your friends. It’s more of a scavenger hunt than it is a music festival. You and your crew spend the entire week running all around Austin in search of free food, free booze, and trying to get in to see your favorite acts. I absolutely love it and recommend it to anyone (especially if you have a free place to stay).
The one downside for me is that my Austin crew still has work during the week and there were a couple nights that I ended up up doing the scavenger hunt solo. Now don’t get me wrong, SXSW is still a good time even if you are by yourself. You still get to see some of your favorite acts in very small venues and you still get lots of free boozeif you play your cards right. Overall I considered 2013 to be my best SXSW by a large margin (out of 3 trips).
After SXSW had come to an end I finally jumped back on Facebook. I hadn’t looked at it once during the week because SXSW is an escape from the real world for me and Facebooking was the last thing on my mind. When I brought up my news feed my heart broke a little. I saw that four different friends from different parts of my life had been at SXSW as well. We would have hung out but we didn’t know each other were there. I felt like I had been robbed. Those solo nights could have been fun SXSW adventures with people i hadn’t had the chance to see in a few months or a few years.
This was not the first time this had happened. When I thought about it I realized that nearly every festival I went to had someone there that I didn’t know was going to be there. Sometimes I run into them and most the time I just saw their pictures after the event on Facebook. I decided right then that I was going to fix this problem.
Once I returned back to California I started the process of starting a website called “My Festival Family.” The website was going to be a place for festivalgoers to select the festivals they are going to and the site would show them which of their friends were going to be there as well. Then I thought about a little more and decided it would be cool to list the festivals that you wanted to go to so you could see which of your friends want to go to the festival as well. That way you could still go to new festivals that you’ve always wanted to go to without having to go by yourself.
At this point I decided to run the idea past my friend Alan Smithson who has a successful company called Smithson Martin. Alan said, “Tucker you need to make an app.” So I ran with it and decided to make an app as well. Now that I was making a festival app I started to play the game “Wouldn’t it be cool if______.”
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could listen to the lineup for each festival without having to Google the festival lineup over and over? Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a place that had tickets and rideshares listed from trusted people instead of randoms on Craigslist? Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone that went to the festival reviewed it so that the rest of the world can see what it’s like to go to the festival? Before I knew it my little idea has spawned into something much bigger that I could have ever imagined.
By July I had mapped out all of the features, brought a friend of mine on board to help with business matters, found programmers that were excited to develop it, and a friend that was willing to invest his retirement to make it happen because he believed in it so much. Suddenly we were creating the app that festivalgoers have been waiting for.
Now it was getting serious. We needed a new name. This app was way more complex than where it started and “My Festival Family” would simply not work. I wanted to combine Festival and Evolution because I believed that this app was going to allow us to do festivals better than we every had before. The best I could come up with was “Festalution.” Which was awful. Then one day my roommate (a producer you should definitely check out soundcloud.com/ChrisBmusik) called me and said, “dude, it’s FestEvo.” My heart jumped and I pulled up GoDaddy willing it to be available. To my surprise it was and I registered www.FestEvo.com that day.
There was one final feature that I knew had to be added to the app. Users needed to be able to create a camp and give it a name. This would act as their group chat between everyone they are going to the festival with. Now the entire group could get to know each other leading up to the event. This will let everyone be friends from the beginning of the festival instead having to get to know each other for a day or two before everyone is friends. It’s also true that when you give your group of friends a name you become more than friends, you are a family. Festivals come and go but these camps will live on and the festival experience will continue through the year.
So that’s the story of of hour FestEvo got started.
Where does it go from here? Good question.
I believe that FestEvo is going to really take festivals up a notch this year. Users will be more organized before the festival, they will know the lineup which is going to make the vibe electric earlier in the day, and they will even be able to review the festival so now the promoters are held accountable for throwing a good festival.
Check out our IndieGoGo video if you haven’t done so yet:
To become one of the first users of FestEvo you just need to donate $1 (or more) to our IndieGoGo Account. We plan to be in BETA in February and have it fully launched by April. FestEvo is not just going to be the mobile app of the festival world, it’s going to be the company that solves festival problems. I see other areas that need to be improved and am super excited to get to work in making the festival experience better than ever.
Click here to donate: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/festevo/x/297548
Make sure to invite your friends so you can get your camps started and get planning ways to make this years festival season better than any of us could have imagined.