Meet the DC startup connecting people with live local music shows

As we prepare for the summer music and concert season, a pair of local technologists want to make it even easier to find your next favorite band.

Local founders Naomi Grace Panlaqui and Name Rizvi have revived DC Live Music, an app that connects residents with local music shows and concerts. DC Music Live, available for Android and iOS, lets users search for concerts in DC (and a few in Maryland and Virginia). The app allows users to filter by price, date, neighborhood, location, and even metro line accessibility. DC Music Live originally launched in April 2021, but the founders re-released it with new features like the ability to save favorite shows.

Panlaqui and Rizvi, who are dating, came up with the idea before the pandemic when they were actually looking for dates to go on themselves. While the concept began as a way to find DC dates, the couple eventually focused on their love of music during quarantine, when they actually found the time to bring their idea to fruition.

“We had a lot of trouble trying to find shows in general on our own,” Panlaqui said. Technically. “We like to catch live music shows for our dates so it was a little frustrating having multiple tabs open and going through [them] like, ‘Wait, is this close to us?’ »

An app overview of DC Music Live. (Courtesy photos, image from

The duo, who are both web developers in their full-time roles, began developing the page and app in 2020 and officially launched in 2021. The app began by fetching data from 10 local sites using Javascript modules before developing, creating a backend server that accepts requests and redevelops the application in Expo. With the relaunch, DC Music Live expanded to include approximately 65 local music venues.

With DC Music Live, Panlaqui hopes to energize local venues (especially smaller ones) and the DC music scene.

“AAs we started to take this project more seriously, it became super necessary to represent these places and make this information more accessible,” said Panlaqui. “Because the people who live near the sites, they’re going to be aware [the shows]. But I feel like not everyone knows how many live music venues there are in DC — and not only that, but also just how diverse the music scene is.

The co-founders, who still work part-time on DC Music Live, have recruited additional talent and plan to expand the web option to include all filters from the mobile version. They would also like to add featured promotion for certain shows and find a way to include one-off shows like festivals, launch an email subscription service for people to find new local shows and expand into merchandising .

Eventually, they plan to put the site into full startup mode and even add neighboring cities like Baltimore, Richmond, and Pittsburgh.

“What we really want to do is nail down DC, have a sustainable model, get to a point where we’re super confident in the data we’re presenting to the user,” Rizvi said, adding, “Our bread and our butter are having a show that no one else can provide in terms of quality and affordability.

As for Rizvi and Panlaqui, the couple said that building a startup together as a couple has been a great experience. They’ve even achieved their original goal of finding places to go on dates, as they often turn the chore of taking photos of new places into dates, Panlaqui said. It’s almost like a third person in the relationship, Rizvi added with a laugh.

“It started out as our couple project, but it grew into so much more than that, and it was great to have that person you could bounce ideas off of anytime,” Panlaqui said. “We keep it real with each other. There’s nothing to hide from your other co-founder because we’re really open to each other.



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