Interview: Kevin van Eekhout from Bluelist

Interview: Kevin van Eekhout from Bluelist

By Wesley Verhey and Utsa Bhatia

Bluelist is a new app made for EDM (Electronic Dance Music) lovers and party goers. It’s core purpose is to make your nightlife and festival decisions much easier and assist you in finding the right event.

We’ve talked to 23 year old Kevin van Eekhout , a young entrepreneur from Hilversum, The Netherlands. We asked him how he started out and what to look for when starting a company. He shows us that a passion, working hard with a purpose and following your dreams will eventually pay off. Although Bluelist is in the startup phase, we predict greatness for this company. Here’s what he had to say.

Bluelist is an app, when did you start the company and launch the app?

We just launched the app at ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event), which was back in october 2014. The company was founded in July 2014, but the idea started in September 2013.

Could you tell us a bit about Bluelist, what is it all about?

It’s an application for iOS, it’s still in development for Android. The app is all about dance music, because we think that’s what the people in The Netherlands want. You can search in full event lists, but also events based on your location. If you tap the event you can look at the artwork and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp or email. You have the line-up, date, location and you can buy a ticketWe have Soundcloud and Youtube integration to get a preview of the DJs. The app helps you navigate to your event with Google Maps and public transport integration.. It’s all about the emotions, we want to share as much of the event as possible, so you can see, feel and taste the event.

It’s also possible to win tickets. The busiest days are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. To keep your users engaged during the weekdays we offer deals and competitions, because tickets are very expensive and this generation wants to spend their money only once.

This is really specific to dance music. How did you come up with the idea?

Well...We work at Radio 538, the biggest radio station in The Netherlands. We have the biggest DJs like Afrojack, Nicky Romero and David Guetta, who have their own show. A great place, but still I was looking for something bigger. For weeks I was searching for ideas, but didn’t know what. Then one day: “an app!”. First thing I did was go to my desk and searched the app store and google for what’s already out there. I go to a lot of parties and just knew something wasn’t right, I missed something.

So that’s how it started. Then I thought, okay I can design and do marketing, but the app must be built and we need sales. So who do I need for this project? That’s when I got in touch with Borai van Uden, Nick de Vree and Thomas Valera.

So you work at 538, but what is your background?

I finished high school and after went to ROC. I used to work as a host for RTL. My mother’s friend worked at Slam FM (part of 538) and she had an offer for me at the reception, because I didn’t know what to do and initially wanted to join the marines. She told me I could train for the marines, but in the meantime earn some money at the company and that’s how I got in.

What’s a good party to you? Whats the best you’ve been to?

I’m going to Climax, because I like hardstyle. Climax is the biggest indoor event of organiser Q- dance. It’s their main event. The best party I’ve been to is 7th sunday. A good event has thought of everything, good entertainment, nice food, nice drinks, good toilets and a good infrastructure. Also important is nice decoration and the show, it’s in the details.

Who’s your favorite DJ, do you have any?

I like all DJs, but I also like every style. Techno, hardcore, hardstyle, house (a little bit), I always enjoy myself. My favourite DJ, Radical Redemption.

 

"It’s very cliché, but do things you like, because you get more energy out of it."

 

Which are your big affiliate companies? Collaborations, artists, DJs, labels or event organisers.

We have deals with all the big ticketing partners, so Paylogic, Ticketmaster, Ticketscript etc. We get their information, so the content of the app comes from them and every ticket we sell we get a percentage of sales. We’re now working with 7th Sunday, Chicago Social Club, Sugar Factory and Club Air here in Amsterdam. We’re connected with all the big promoters and organisers.

At ADE we also talked to some big record labels. They represent a lot of big DJs and always want to present their DJs in the best way possible.

What’s the most important thing when starting a company?

You always got to have a goal and something you work towards. Think, Where do I want to go, how do I get there and who do I need? You need structure.

Any setbacks? Something that went wrong?

When writing my first business plan it took me 4 hours just to write 2 sentences. Another thing was with a restaurant in Amsterdam. Their font is exactly the same font as ours in the logo, so they sent a lawyer to us several times. If you’re going public you have to be sure that it’s not copyrighted. Look it up and sort everything out. There’s always something that could go wrong.

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

I wanted to draw, I just wanted to draw stuff.

Do you have any tips for (future) entrepreneurs, what’s the ultimate tip?

It’s very cliché, but do things you like, because you get more energy out of it. You got to go full throttle, because else it’s not going to work. You have to go and grab it. Sometimes you have to be bold. Surround yourself with people that have the same drive.