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This couple created an app for DC live music while in quarantine

The developers hope the app will help revitalize our live music scene once venues reopen

WASHINGTON — We've all developed new hobbies and ways to stay busy during the last year of the pandemic, and coming up with new COVID projects. One local used their time together to develop a new mobile app for finding live music in D.C.

Nameer Rizvi and his girlfriend Naomi-Grace "NG" Panlaqui, who live in Virginia and D.C. respectively, came up with the idea during one of their date nights before clubs and venues shut down in March of last year. Both discussed how annoying it was to plan a night out by searching several different websites to find live music, Rizvi told WUSA9.

Then the pandemic shut down live music venues across the country, causing several of our area clubs live event spaces to close up shop for good. While vaccination efforts have helped some areas of D.C. life to begin returning to a sense of normalcy, most stages remain quiet.

Rizvi and Panlaqui both work day jobs as web developers, and began working on their app to stay busy in quarantine. Rizvi said they launched their new app as a website back in September, but didn't get a lot of traction, so they decided to change it to a mobile app. Something that was new to them.

"It was definitely a new experience, the shift from developing for the web to developing for mobile. Although some aspects were challenging, dealing with native modules and accounting for two different platforms in our development, being able to use a language and framework familiar to us, Javascript and React, helped ease the transition," Rizvi said.

Since pivoting to mobile, Rizvi said the app has gotten more attention on social media. A recent post about the app on Reddit garnered hundreds of responses from people offering feedback about how to improve it. Feedback Rizvi said was valuable when plotting next steps in its development.

"We're looking to incorporate user accounts into our app to allow for favoriting of events and saving user settings. We also want to provide an option to view venues by genre," Rizvi said.

Even though many venues remain shuttered more than a year later, Rizvi is optimistic the quarantine project will make an impact once live music comes back to D.C.

"We're trying to build something that makes live music as accessible as possible. We hope this helps not only revitalize the local music scene, but transforms the city into one where going to a live show is just part of the day-to-day for Washingtonians."

To download the app on Apple and Android devices, click here.

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