This App Keeps You in the Know About Events Happening in Boston

Trill gathers events happening in real time based on user recommendations.

Courtesy of Kathleen Stetson

Image courtesy of Kathleen Stetson

It’s Saturday evening and someone asks, “What should we do tonight?” Stumped? Trill, an app that launched earlier this month, may be able to help.

Vowing to get people out and about with their mantra “Less couch, more culture,” Trill is a digital smorgasbord of events; it lists shows, concerts, performances, and exhibitions happening around the city, separated in five categories—music, comedy, theater, dance, art. Events can be filtered based on date and time, from what’s happening right now to what’s happening three months from now.

Conceived in 2014, Trill initially mapped out live events in the city chosen by a team of curators. Cofounder Kathleen Stetson realized, however, that an element was missing from the original—a sense of community. “We wanted to have a bigger impact [and] create a social network around the arts,” she says.

Today’s newly released version, now available in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York, is built around a web of users—art lovers, musicians, museum-goers, theater enthusiasts, and everyone in between—who can follow one another, share, and recommend events. Users are able to browse through what’s trending in the area, what’s trending with “your people” (followers and people you follow), and what’s trending in real time.

“Even with the advent of the internet, the reason most people go out to go see something is because a friend told them it was amazing,” says Stetson. “With the new Trill, that’s exactly what it does. It just gives the friend a bigger megaphone.”

The name itself reflects the genuine connections that Stetson hopes to inspire within Boston’s art community, borrowing a hip-hop slang that marries “true” and “real.”

“We love that,” says Stetson. “We feel that that’s the kind of dialogue that we want to encourage on the app. Really genuine discussion about what’s cool in each city, about what the art means to people. It ends up being much more personal.”

For Stetson, a former opera singer, the driving force is the exhilaration one gets from being a part of live art: “For me and for a lot of people, there are only a couple things in the world that are awe-inspiring,” she explains. “For some it’s being on top of a mountain and for others it’s hearing a high note in a performance or witnessing the creation of something brand new because the performance is new each night.”

It’s also about intimacy, both between the art and the audience and between people. “There are so many things in our culture now that are so solitary,” Stetson says. “Sometimes people forget how wonderful and gratifying getting out there with people can be.”