Stimulating culture across borders – Perform Europe

Perform Europe is an EU-funded project which aims to rethink cross-border performing arts presentation in a more inclusive, sustainable and balanced way in the 40 countries of Creative Europe and the UK. The ultimate goal of Perform Europe is to design a future support scheme for cross-border touring and digital distribution of the performing arts in these countries.

The challenge: bringing performers and presenters together

To reach its goal of cross-border distribution of culture, Perform Europe aims to bring performers (artists and groups) and presenters (stages and venues) together physically as well as digitally. After all, there are many artists out there looking for the perfect venue to perform their arts. Vice versa, there are also many venues that are constantly in search of international performances. 

To help these different parties find each other and plan performances, Perform Europe wanted to build an online platform. Using this platform, performers and presenters can join to apply for subsidies for their art. This way, the platform helps stimulate culture within the EU. Moreover, thanks to the accompanying website, users can easily see whether a performance can be enjoyed by people with a disability or how ecological a particular venue is.

The platform itself needed to be built in a short amount of time in a cost-effective way. Additionally, it needed to include a custom sign up process with a specific flow with clearly defined user groups and access.

ballet dancing person

Our solution: user-friendly platform built with Firebase

Perform Europe had already carefully planned the project from the very start. In order to be able to respect that set go-live deadline, we needed to closely monitor the scope and iterations of the platform. We therefore started by looking at a detailed view of what we were going to build exactly together with Perform Europe. We then split up this scope into manageable sprints of 3 weeks. This way, everybody had a good understanding of what the end product would look like, and how we’d get there.

perform europe platform login screen

Built on the shoulders of a giant

We built the Perform Europe platform with Firebase, a powerful part of Google’s Cloud Platform stack. Thanks to its enormous flexbility and extensive possibilities, Firebase takes care of many things at once: hosting the front-end of Perform Europe, storing documents from users, sending notifications, user management, secure login and so much more.

The choice to use Firebase was an easy one, since it offers a lot of functionality out-of-the-box, such as a real-time database, authentication, fine-grained control and remote configuration.

Additionally, Firebase’s generous use quota keeps the cost of hosting the entire Perform Europe platform extremely low.

platform perform europe

Hand in hand for an excellent user experience

One of the partners within the Perform Europe consortium developed the minimalistic design of the public website and platform. Since the unique, artistic design strongly deviates from the standard look and feel of standard components, we couldn’t use our usual front-end frameworks.

To solve this problem, we custom-built a lot of these components. This meant we were able to build exactly what Perform Europe wanted, and also use our UX expertise to further enhance the user experience of the platform. This includes helping users filling in forms correctly with labels, notifications, buttons for specific actions and more.

Independent content editing

Perform Europe also wanted a degree of independency when it came to the public website. After all, it would be inefficient to always have to rely on us every time they wanted to edit a page or add content. We re-used a lot of Firebase parts to quickly and reliably build a custom solution that lets Perform Europe editors edit web pages in a user-friendly way straight via the front-end.

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Gunter Van Steen
Solution Architect

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