The greatest complaint we’ve heard from Singaporeans is that Singapore is boring. We’ve lived on this tiny island for so long that there’s nothing to do anymore. But at the same time, there are all these events going on that no one knows about; Singaporeans just haven’t quite perfected the art of discovering local events just yet.
A new Singapore platform is attempting to solve this problem. Called Hurly Burly (and no, it’s not that Kevin Spacey movie), it aims to be the go-to site/app for events happening on the island. And despite being barely a month old, its user base has been growing well, with an estimated 500 – 1,000 downloads on Google Play alone.
The secret to the organisation of this website is simple and familiar — hashtags. By using hashtags, you can very quickly find any type of event you want, from sports to family activities to great parties after hours. You can even create your own events: if you’re attempting to put together a street soccer game, for example, and are short of players, simply list your event on the site — the process is easy and takes a few minutes tops.
Events listing platforms aren’t entirely new to Singapore. There are already several platforms dedicated to helping people find things to do. Local startup 22 Experience is dedicated to organising one exciting event every month, while other local platforms like EventNook or Peatix support ticket sales and registration for events islandwide. Despite these efforts to help Singaporeans find things to do, however, Singaporeans are still a bored bunch. Hurly Burly claims that a third of all search queries locally are related to spare time activities.
“We don’t want to hear any more complaints that “Singapore is boring!!” because it isn’t,” says Natasha, COO of Hurly Burly. “There is so much happening on this Little Red Dot, the problem is that you just don’t hear about most of it. Currently, people find out what is going on in the city through multiple social media and event listing sites. This process is time-consuming, inefficient, and many events do not reach those that would find them of interest.”
“Where is the complete tool that covers events of all sizes, is tailored to your interests, enables you to organise your own activities, buy tickets, and is socially integrated? By bringing together various key features into one seamless and fun tool, Hurly Burly simplifies how users organise their free time.”
Social integration seems to be the twist that Hurly Burly is working on. With the platform fully synced with Facebook, it manages to pull even Facebook events onto the platform to give visitors a broader perspective of the events available. That means that if you’ve indicated that you’re attending an event on Facebook, you’re attending it on Hurly Burly as well.
In an age where Facebook is king and every event — whether its hosted on SISTIC, EventNook, or takes place in your own backyard — has a Facebook event, it makes sense for Hurly Burly to partner with the social media giant. Facebook events is its biggest competitor, but also the best partner they could have.
The website even pulls Google Maps information and Instagram pictures from that location to give you an idea of where exactly you’re going. Talk about comprehensive.
The platform is definitely ambitious, and is looking to launch in a second city before the end of 2015. It also wants to be present in key cities around Asia by 2016, though it’s unclear which key cities they’re referring to.
I think the social integration aspect of Hurly Burly is a great idea, and could set it up for success in the future. The success of events listing websites is pretty much linked to how many (real) events there are on a platform, and with Facebook events already integrated on Hurly Burly, it makes the various events on the site easy pickings for any visitor.
That said, there has yet to be a local events listing platform that has truly been able to make it in Singapore, and despite the demand for one, a real one-stop shop for events has yet to emerge. Will Hurly Burly be the first? It’s too soon to tell, so don’t blame me for holding my breath on this one.