Many musicians get into music and stay in music because they love the thrill of live performance.
But booking gigs can be time-consuming and difficult. It’s hard to find good help,
I recently had the chance to ask Mark Mckelvie about his project known as Gigroad, which proposes to create the best live experiences possible for both the artist and the fan.
Here’s Mark to answer my questions.
1. Tell us about who you are and what you do.
My name is Mark Mckelvie, and I created Gigroad to fix what’s gone horribly wrong with the live music industry. As I see it, there are two major issues:
- Many concerts are rip-offs, and not accessible for a vast number of fans. Corporate greed is running amok and consequently concert prices have tripled since 1998. At the same time, musicians who are not charging offensive ticket prices are having trouble making a living, since music sales are a joke and many venues are in decline. So who’s winning? The usual suspects, Ticketmaster and musicians willing to gouge their fans.
- Connections, not quality, often dictates which musicians get the best gigs. When I was a gigging musician in LA, I noticed many great artists were having trouble getting good gigs, unless they had the “right” connections (or were willing to rent a party bus with a free keg for their “fans”). I also noticed how hard it is to set up a tour, especially if you’re not familiar with the cities and towns you hope to visit, or their venues. I realized technology could solve these problems. Some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen have been in random basements, backyards, living rooms, warehouses, etc. Why not enable fans to connect with artists from anywhere, and create gigs, sell tickets, and scan them at the door? No middle-men, corporate greed, and fancy connections needed! Just the best music scene possible. So, I taught myself to develop and design software, and just released Gigroad on the iOS App Store, with Android and Web coming soon.
2. What is Gigroad? How does it benefit artists?
Gigroad is something like Airbnb for concerts, connecting artists with fans and places to play. Venues on Gigroad may be professional, but they may also be just about anywhere, which enables artists to create gigs in towns that may not have many professional venues. Fans can literally provide the venues, opening up a much broader spectrum of possibilities for artists to share their music.
Artists and “venues” from the 25 countries Gigroad supports can easily connect and create gigs; deciding the details of each gig before it goes on sale. The showtime, ticket price, profit sharing for all participants, keywords, etc. are all editable on Gigroad. Gigs, artists and venues also have a private chatroom where they can hash things out. Because Gigroad makes it so easy for artists and venues to create gigs, an artist can easily set up tours on the fly, travel around the world, creating concerts and sell tickets as they go. What better way for artists to share their music while funding the trip of a lifetime?
3. How will Gigroad enhance the fan experience?
Gigroad enables fans to be directly involved with the artists they love, and make money doing it. Many fans have somewhere they can host music, even if that somewhere may not have been thought of as a possible venue before. No matter what the space is, there is bound to be an artist who can create a great live experience there. Backyards, garages, even street corners can be “venues”… the concert possibilities are endless.Gigroad enables fans to be directly involved with the artists they love, and make money doing it. Click To Tweet
Also, buying tickets on Gigroad is super easy. Gigroad accepts Apple Pay and all the major cards, making buying tickets simple, fast, and secure. Tickets are kept on your phone, and the host of the gig scans your phone at the door. That’s it! Multiple tickets can be bought for friends, so an entire group can get in with a single scan. Tickets also can be easily refunded up to 24 hours before showtime with no hassle and no service charges.
4. What are some unique ways artists can use Gigroad to promote their music?
Firstly, gigs, venues, and artists on Gigroad can be conveniently shared on Facebook, making promotion to social media super easy. Also, if artists film their gigs and send Gigroad the raw footage, we will be happy to professionally edit the video and post it to all of Gigroad’s media pages, including Facebook and YouTube. The professionally edited video will also be provided to the artist free of charge to be shared by them as well.
At the heart of Gigroad lies collaboration between artists and fans, especially because fans have the power to host the artists themselves. Through directly involving fans in the music creation process, a bond is forged that is difficult to match in any other way. What could be a better way for an artist to promote themselves than making the fan a partner in a creative experience they will never forget?What could be a better way for an artist to promote themselves than making the fan a partner in a creative experience they will never forget? Click To Tweet
5. Is there anything else I should have asked?
Hmm, how about, who’s the greatest American rock band of all time? Well, since you didn’t ask…The Allman Brothers Band! Really! Put on Live at Fillmore East, and tell me of another band who can do that!
Thanks to Mark Mckelvie for sharing his perspective on what’s wrong with live music, and how he intends to fix it. I hope you enjoyed this interview, and you’re starting to think about how to incorporate Gigroad into your career efforts.
If you enjoyed this interview, please take a moment to thank Mark on Twitter: @markmckelvie
And, as always, if you have any questions, please share them in the comments section below.