Local Chicago Mobile App Developers Win Lollapalooza Contest

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Chicago's new upstart tech group Aqueduct Development LLC hit one out of the park with their first public mobile app by winning the HackLolla competition’s Popular Choice Award. The Hacklolla competition is a Lollapalooza organized mobile app development contest administered by ChallengePost and sponsored by C3 Presents.

This year, for the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza - the 3-day summer music festival - organizers have embraced the communal enthusiasm of its supporters and modern technology by holding a mobile app development competition. Winners of the Hacklolla competition (http://hacklolla.com) were judged both by popular voting and by an expert judging panel on the Quality of the Idea (Including creativity and originality), Implementation of the Idea (including user experience and design), and Potential Impact on Lollapalooza fans and attendees. And this years Popular Choice Award went to a local Chicago tech group Aqueduct Development LLC.

Community involvement was at the heart of Aqueduct Development's victory from the beginning. “Even before we had an app developed we had a blog, a Facebook page, and a Twitter,” says Paul Solans, Aqueduct Development CEO / Lead Strategist. “It was key to involve fans of the festival. Their direct feedback helped us choose ‘moods’ for each band and helped develop the ‘mini bios’, two key aspects of our final product.”

The app project was and still is referred to as the "Who's Now, Who's Next" app both internally and on all promotional material. And that's what the application sets out to do - tell its users who is playing right now or who's playing next during the festival in a quick, clean and easily digestible way.

Everyone of Aqueduct's team are music fans and festival goers. As they state on their Lolla2011.com blog, "We’re more than a small group of web & mobile app developers – we’re out in the crowd. Our dev team has 11 Lollapaloozas, 4 Coachellas and 8 Pitchforks under our belts. So we set out to create an app that would be useful to us as festival goers." And useful it is.

“You may think you know who you are going to see at the show, but many things can derail your well thought out Lollapalooza ‘plan’,” says John Fitzsimmons, Integrated Marketing Strategist. “From there on out you need to improvise. That’s where we come in. We'll let you know who's playing now and who's playing next.”

Ken Solans, brother of Paul and the project's lead programmer adds, “We wanted to add to the API data HackLolla made available - not just spit it back out. So we feel we took things a step further when added the Dance, Rock, and Chill categories.”

One of the keenest ideas behind the Lollapalooza app is that it's functional despite mobile app reception. Summer music festivals - including Lollapalooza - are notorious for having poor mobile phone reception. The Who's Now, Who's Next app has all the necessary data packaged with it when it is downloaded. Just download it and use it - no lag, no loading.

“And it looks good!” adds Michael Hahn, Aqueduct Development's Creative Lead. “When you go to festivals and when you experience that environment it's supposed to be ‘festive’ by definition. People are enjoying themselves and dancing and if you look at the clothes they wear, the face paint, the wristbands and other decorations - it's all lively and bright. The app design reflects that and at the same time remains visually functional. That was the goal and I feel we achieved that.”
Teamwork, community, experience, and vision all went into the Who's Now, Who's Next - Lollapalooza mobile app. And the Aqueduct Team sees a bright future ahead. The 'next level' - according to the Chicago based team - is to create and utilize better online tool sets which make it easier for the community to participate and help shape future versions of the app. Who's Now, Who's Next mobile app is truly an app by and for the Lollapalooza festival goers!

The Who's Now Who's Next - Lollapalooza 2011 Edition is available on the Android platform.
Download the app: http://lolla2011.com//lolla-app/

About Aqueduct Development
Aqueduct Development is a Web Applications and Custom Development Solutions organization based in Chicago, Il. They specialize in custom web solutions, mobile apps, and integrated marketing.

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Paul Solans
Aqueduct Development, LLC


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