March 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Hack SummerStage: NYC Wants You To Vote for a Music Festival App (Updated)

New York City takes data and crowdsourcing pretty seriously. It has data sets for everything from subway entrances to WiFi hotspots. Since 2009, the city has been asking people to make stuff out of them for its BigApps contest.

Update 5/20: It’s time for the public voting; the winners will be announced in two days.

Apparently, this data-driven, app-happy approach extends to music festivals. New York’s City Parks Foundation has issued a call to app developers, asking them to build an app for SummerStage 2013.

Hack SummerStage supplies app developers with an API designed to help them make an app to enable nearly 300K music fans to navigate the festival across 100 performances in 17 parks in all five boroughs. (The parks include Central Park and 16 others, according to what Hack Summerstage spokesman told, although the website lists 15 parks).

“From finding information on an upcoming show to mapping out the easiest way to get to a venue and much more, SummerStage is seeking to enhance festival-goers’ experience with an app that will help fans get the most out of their time at SummerStage,” according to the announcement. So, basically, this should be a fairly standard festival app.

The winner as determined by the judges will receive $8,000 in non-cash prizes; their app will be used as the official app for the festival, and their name will be announced multiple times from stages. Meanwhile, the “people’s choice” winner will get $1,000 in prizes.

For an aspiring app developer, a winning app could be much more valuable than either of those numbers, however. Given the size of this festival, and the intensity of New York’s love affair with apps and data, whoever wins this thing should be able to launch (or invigorate) a career designing festival and other apps.

It’s a good field to be in. Music festivals seemingly happen every weekend, and they all need bespoke apps to help attendees and, erm, “reinforce the brand.”

If you or someone you know would like to enter the contest, here are the relevant dates:

  • May 8: Submissions close
  • May 13 – 16: Judging and public voting
  • Week of May 20: Winners announced
Summerstage photo courtesy of City Parks Foundation