The afterparty app
Philip Ellison 28 October, 2014 at 03:10
The last song has been played, the club is closing, you walk out onto the street. You should go home, to bed, but you can’t help feeling that the night is still young, and so are you. You want to keep this party going. And now there is an app for that.
KickOn is a location-based app and website which tells people where in their area they can carry on partying. It was founded by former investment banker Charlie Stewart, who is taking the company from Australia to the US, targeting college students. “Three years ago, the thought of using an app to go on a date based only on a photograph was unheard of – but look at the success of Tinder,” says Stewart. “We’re using the same philosophy for private parties.”
The app was originally created to stem street violence following the introduction of ‘lockout’ laws in Sydney, where door staff will not allow entry to a club after 1.30am. “The lockout laws resulted in people congregating on the street, and KickOn disperses those people back to private homes,” explains Stewart. So far KickOn has garnered over $400,000 in private funding, with potential investors in party capitals such as Cancun and Ibiza expressing their interest in Stewart’s ‘Tinder for parties’.
After attending a KickOn party, users are then invited to rate the party out of five stars, and the host is able to name three people MVP (most valuable partier). “People end up generating a score out of 100 for their historical partying,” says Stewart, “and if you get a party pooper rating it will ruin your reputation which means you won’t be invited to any more parties in the future.”
Stewart didn’t expect the app to get any more than 1,000 downloads when the app went live, but it was downloaded over 5,000 times in its first weekend. And while there certainly appears to be a demand for this kind of service, the app (along with its target 13 to 35 year old demographic), has sparked concerns over illegal warehouse parties and under-age drinking. But Stewart insists that the app shouldn’t be used as a free pass on personal responsibility. “Our terms and conditions put the onus on the user,” he says. We are just a platform that allows people to discover parties around them… We see KickOn as a safer solution, due to the ticketing system. Yet, if someone swipes right on 3,000 people, don’t be surprised if you get that many people rocking up to the party. The user has to show discretion.”