Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Entertainment

Crowdsourcing Concerts — the Future of Live Music? 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the crowd.-source.-everything. dept.
New submitter roryed writes "Performer Jonathan Coulton, famous among some geeks for 'Code Monkey' and writing Portal's 'Still Alive' wrote on his blog, 'Salt Lake City, the last ticket link for the Nov/Dec tour, has finally gone up. The reason for the delay was that we were working on the details of this experimental ticketing thing called Bring the Gig.' Bring the Gig is a new form of crowdsourcing, much like a Kickstarter for concerts. The idea is to have fans put up the money to bring bands to their city by buying premium tickets. If the goal is met and the band is booked, general box office tickets are sold. If the show sells enough at the box office, or sells out, the original premium ticket holders get a full refund and keep their ticket, effectively seeing the show they helped bring for free. Coulton also writes, 'Could be a disaster! Exciting! Honestly I have no idea if this is going to work, but as you know, I am a scientist. I like to watch what happens.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Crowdsourcing Concerts — the Future of Live Music?

Comments Filter:
  • I am no economist, but there are some serious flaws with this economic model. Also it smells like a pyramid scheme.
    • by ElmoGonzo (627753)
      How does pyramid fit into this? The original premium ticket holders get to see the show they paid for either at the price they paid, or at a lower price.
      • TFS says that the premium ticket holders would get a full refund and get to see the concert for free. I think that they should get refunded down to the regular ticket price but still get good seats. Allowing them to see it for free seems to make it more likely there will be attempts to manipulate the system.
        • by Americano (920576)

          Allowing them to see it for free is a formalized version of, "hey local fan, if you help us by putting up some flyers for our gig in your town, and telling all your friends and neighbors about it, we'll put your name on the list to get in free, or give you a free t-shirt, or a free signed copy of our latest CD, or maybe meet with you for a bit and take some photos with you after the show." Lots of small bands do this already; I don't really see much potential for abuse here.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          Think of it more like an early investor vs. just a customer - like they said, it's sort of like Kickstarter for concerts. If the show sells well, the early investors/promoters get a return on their investment of the price of a ticket.

          Investment, like their premium for a ticket, involves risk, which is done in expectation of a possible reward.

          • Think of it more like an early investor vs. just a customer - like they said, it's sort of like Kickstarter for concerts. If the show sells well, the early investors/promoters get a return on their investment of the price of a ticket.

            Investment, like their premium for a ticket, involves risk, which is done in expectation of a possible reward.

            It's not THAT much of a risk, though. Either way the premium ticket buyers get to see the show.

        • They would get to see the concert for free IF the concert is successful enough. Let's say it takes 50 pre-ordered tickets to book a venue, so the first 50 to preorder get premium tickets. If the show gets only 100 people total, the 50 pre-order ticket holders have paid full price for admission. However, if 500 people pay to get in, those 50 can get refunds. There is thus a bit of an incentive for the dedicated fans that would buy pre-order tickets to get as many friends as they can to come see.
        • by scot4875 (542869)

          Allowing them to see it for free seems to make it more likely there will be attempts to manipulate the system.

          To what nefarious end? Getting to see a concert that they helped promote for free?

          --Jeremy

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      No, it works just fine--providing the band or musician in question is already well-established and well-known. The more obscure the musician(s), the less likely this is to work.

      This sort of thing works for performers like Louis CK because, of course, he's Louis CK. He already spent decades inside the existing system establishing himself and becoming pretty well-known through conventional means. Not so great if you're trying to start out this way.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You're wrong. In Brazil, the precisely same model was successful in bringing bands that could be classified as alternative or indie to play in Rio de Janeiro. The trick is getting the hardcore fans to buy first, and have them help you in spreading the word to their friends. One thing to note, is that this special ticket sale usually happens months before the show itself, so those fans have some workable time to convince friends. Come to think of it, in a sense, this also helps in promoting the band.

        But, as

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Actually, I'd say the opposite is true. It doesn't really matter for well-known performers. Those performers don't have a problem booking venues and selling tickets, their problem is they have many more fans than available dates, and they usually sell out. This strategy would be most useful for performers with a small but loyal fan base looking to become more well-known and/or fill a larger venue.

        Maybe you were thinking of big name artists selling tickets directly and not through the ticket monopolies li

  • by SoundGuyNoise (864550) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @02:10PM (#41743809) Homepage
    I'm not optimistic on this working for say an arena or stadium concert, only the club circuit. Event promotion has a lot more than just selling tickets and bringing in a band. You have to advertise the act to sell the premium seats. If the show does not go on, the advertising money is gone. And it's difficult to get any kind of event liability insurance with a calendar date of "maybe" or an expected crowd of "it all depends."
    • Indeed. And how to resolve date conflicts? (Two different groups of fans a significant distance apart want the same band on consecutive nights.) And venue conflicts? (Two different groups of fans want the same venue on the same night... and the venue owner wants a contract before he reserves a date...)

  • The fact that people pay money for the possibility of getting to see a show for free sure sounds like a game of chance. I hope they've cleared this with all the buzzkilling lawyers who know the laws about what is and isn't gambling.
    • by Aaden42 (198257)

      According to the site, if the show doesn't happen, the early-in's get a full refund. So kind of like Kickstarter except they take your money then give it back instead of waiting until the project funds to actually charge you. Assuming the site doesn't go under in the mean time, you shouldn't be out anything if the show doesn't happen.

  • by erickmartins (2736215) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @02:18PM (#41743903)
    For a couple of years in Brazil. It seems to be working. http://www.queremos.com.br/ [queremos.com.br]
  • It sounds like groupon for concerts. That means it is going to fail!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @02:28PM (#41744043)

    This model has worked REMARKABLY well in Rio de Janeiro. It's called Queremos! [queremos.com.br], and has managed to bring several bands that wouldn't come to the city otherwise. Their pricing model is precisely as explained in the summary, and so far all the gigs were completely sold and the first-comers received their money back. There is, however, some details to their practice that one has to note before trying this elsewhere:

    1) Queremos allows other companies to buy up to 50% (IIRC) of those special tickets, so that they may distribute those tickets as part of promotions or similar.

    2) Queremos allows fans to buy more than one special ticket but, seeing as that ticket is not a physical ticket, but rather a name on a list, transfering a ticket to someone is something you have to request to the promoters. This looks burdensome, but also protects the promoters from smart people trying to resell those special tickets at a profit.

    3) The fact that the special-ticket holders are interested in a full house gig (because of the money coming back to them), they are going to help spreading the word of the gig a lot. You HAVE to capitalize on this - specially in the age of social media.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the push to make themselves more & more "family friendly" concert venues have sucked all the fun out of going to rock concerts.

    The last big concert I went to was like a fucking mini police state.

    I dont care WHO comes to town, I'll never go to another big-name concert ever again.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      In the push to make themselves more & more "family friendly" concert venues have sucked all the fun out of going to rock concerts.

      Tell me about it...if someone lights up something...lately I've seen security swarm towards them...I mean, really?

      And strangely enough in these twisted times...you'll be better off if you lit joint rather than a regular cigarette. They my confiscat the former, but will come near beating you and ejecting you for simply lighting up a Camel.

      :(

      I guess on the positive side...a

      • Ahh...and the good old days before assigned fucking seating....

        Hell Yeah! I'd walk over you to see The Who. [yahoo.com]

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          Sure...one bad thing at a concert happened...and they ruin it for everyone else.

          And, if the idiot promoters/mgmt hadn't done the stupid 'open one door'....it wouldn't have happened.

          If it was so inherently dangerous....we'd have had dead long before that Who concert...I went to tons of open seating concerts growing up..never a problem.

    • I've gone to quite a few concerts in the last several years, but the most I've ever had the people at the entrance do is ask to glance into my purse, and that only happened once. The most likely difference is that I'm not into the current hits, which means most of the concerts can be held at smaller, more relaxed venues.

      • by anyGould (1295481)

        That's an oddity I've noticed at the (admittedly few) times I've had to get a patdown for a concert or nightclub. The guys get the full treatment, but they'll give half a glance into the woman's purse and then wave them through. (My wife's purse was messy enough that there was *no way* they saw the entire contents.)

        I always wonder how many fights start by the lady pulling a weapon out from under the eyeliner...

  • Crowdsourcing ________, the future of ________?

    Please fill in as appropriate...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This band has tried a few experiments with corwdfunding gigs and blogged about it:

    "We launched a gig funding (gigstarter) site a few months back called OneCityPerSecond.com. The idea was to see if we could get some concerts pre-financed to reduce the financial risk of touring.
    After one successful campaign for a solo gig in Gothenburg, Sweden, and two concerts with the full band in Zaragoza, Spain, which were indirect consequences of setting up the website, we decided to try and organise a tour in Germany.
    Th

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @02:48PM (#41744265) Homepage

    Because the biggest return you can get is a refund on your ticket purchase, it's not an "investment". If you could get back more if the event was a big success, it would be a public offering of a security. There are some short form public offering arrangements [sec.gov] available under SEC rules, but you still have to file a basic offering statement and financial statements.

    "Crowdfunding" schemes have to be careful of this. If the pitch is that you can make money, it's a securities offering. If the pitch is that you get a product if some funding threshold is reached, the Mail Order Rule [ftc.gov] applies and there has to be a refund, without your asking for it, if the product isn't delivered by the stated date, or 30 days if not stated. If the pitch is that you're donating as a charity, the laws about charity frauds apply.

    In the early days of the Internet, many small companies were fined under the Mail Order Rule because they had online ordering that didn't stop taking orders even though the manufacturing and delivery end of the business couldn't keep up. (Now, everybody with a clue has the shopping cart system hooked to inventory control, so the order isn't accepted unless it can be filled.) Companies don't get to hold onto the money until they get around to filling the order. They can beg the customer for more time, but must, by default, refund if they don't hear from the customer.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      Because the biggest return you can get is a refund on your ticket purchase, it's not an "investment". If you could get back more if the event was a big success, it would be a public offering of a security. There are some short form public offering arrangements available under SEC rules, but you still have to file a basic offering statement and financial statements.

      "Crowdfunding" schemes have to be careful of this. If the pitch is that you can make money, it's a securities offering. If the pitch is that y

      • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @04:50PM (#41745737) Homepage

        I thought it essentially made it legal for a Kickstarter type site, to now offer not only 'prizes' etc...but could legally offer $$ returns on investments by individuals that plunk down some money, and not have to worry about all the SEC filings, etc....

        That's not quite how it works. [fundinglaunchpad.com] First, the JOBS act allows "funding portals" like Kickstarter, and they have to register with the SEC. Issuers then work through the "funding portal". Issuers still have to file and publicize certain statements, including financial statements. Issuers up to $100K only have to provide signed financial statements certified as true by the officers of the company. Up to $500K, "reviewed" financials. Above $500K, audited financials. There are also tight restrictions on how such investments can be marketed. Ads have to go through the "funding portal"; you can't pay some third party to promote your investment. (Remember all those old stock spams like "XLPI is headed straight up!" You don't see those much any more, since the SEC cracked down on that type of pump and dump. If you see one, send it to "enforcement@sec.gov". They do take action.)

        "An investor can sue an issuer, as well as its directors, partners and officers, for making an untrue statement of a material fact or omitting to state a material fact". And no, that can't be waived via an EULA.

        In other words, Kickstarter is going to be able to fund investments, but it's not open season on small investors.

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          Its too bad they still made it so hard for the 'little guy' to raise cash.

          I'd much prefer to make it looser, with lower limits of money involved...and let there be caveot emptor....

          If someone is too stupid to research and investigate...then let them lose some money...but it shouldn't prevent honest folks that want to raise a bit of money to start,and potentially have the $1 million idea that makes early investors money too....

          For low limits investment, I'd rather err on the side of risk.

  • I'm all for this, especially living in a 2nd-class city (when it comes to concerts). But just as important as getting artists to play here is removing Ticketmaster from the equation. Could this mean the ticket price is what you pay, no more hidden service fees, etc.? No more monopoly by one ticket service? I won't get my hopes up... surely TM will just buy them if they show any sign of doing well.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Thanks for identifying the real problem with major concerts, namely Ticketbastard: Their totally bogus processing fees not infrequently account for 30% of the total ticket price. As much as I find scalpers annoying, they at least operate in a market that isn't monopolistic.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        If it gets medium-sized bands to stop by an area, that would be great... bands that are not beholden to the big labels, nor TM.

        I wonder about going with a different system, but similar to Kickstarter:

        1: An amount would be set for tickets.
        2: Discount tickets (for each tier and seating) would be sold.
        3: If the project makes it past the needed amount, people get charged. Otherwise, nobody gets charged.

        The result is that people want to buy their tickets, they can. Otherwise, they pay full price if the conc

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Good luck getting Ticketmaster out of the loop. They have close ties with the major studios and major venues. So, yeah, as long as the band in question isn't signed to a studio label, and you've got a field for them to play in. Otherwise, forget it.

      • Fortunately I only care about bands that are not signed to major labels, which tend to play at small to medium sized venues.

  • I can see it working in places where populations are pretty concentrated but in the US I'm not quite so sure. I guess it seems like it could work if you only planned on doing a few periodic shows now and then but I'm not seeing how you work an entire tour like this.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @03:27PM (#41744729) Homepage Journal

    The idea is to have fans put up the money to bring bands to their city by buying premium tickets. If the goal is met and the band is booked, general box office tickets are sold.

    What if the goal isn't met? Do I get a full refund, or will I be charged a "service fee?"

    Will I get a refund at all?

    If the show sells enough at the box office, or sells out, the original premium ticket holders get a full refund and keep their ticket, effectively seeing the show they helped bring for free.

    What if the show doesn't "sell enough at the box office?" Does the band cancel the show? Do I get my money back?

    From the FAQ: [bringthegig.com]

    What happens if we reach the goal but no Box Office Tickets sell?

    Then the fans who funded the show get an exclusive show and have already paid for their tickets.

    What happens if we don’t reach the goal?

    Fans who purchased BringTickets receive a full refund.

    OK, that's... that's actually kinda cool. Especially the "exclusive show" part.

    Conclusion: I like this idea; maybe now we can get some half decent shows in the podunk, BFE, third-largest-city-in-the-state where I happen to reside.

    • by roryed (1732998)
      Bring the Gig refunds all of your money, but that doesn't cover Paypal or credit card fees. Sorry.
  • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @03:28PM (#41744759) Journal

    I believe "crowdsourcing" is quickly overtaking "the cloud" as the new and cool buzzphrase.

  • Doesn't this produce the wrong incentives? If a person can purchase "advance tickets" and the possible outcomes are:

    If the show doesn't happen, you get a refund
    If the show happens you get a refund and a free ticket

    Wouldn't this just result in thousands of people purchasing "advance tickets"? Seems like that would be useless as an indicator of whether there is enough real demand to make the show cost-effective.
         

    • by Americano (920576)

      There's a limited number of the "advance tickets," which are sold at a price that will ensure the band & club don't take a beating and lose money putting on the show. If those sell out, the band will commit, and "general tickets" will go on sale. If a certain number of "general tickets" sell, then the band and club will also be sure they won't lose money, and so the "advance" tickets are refunded.

      This basically gives the die-hard fans (those who would be paying for the advanced tickets) a reason to ge

    • by hguorbray (967940)
      the advance purchase is also supposed to provide incentive for early purchasers to promote the gig to friends, social media, etc to help get enough people interested to make the concert economically feasible...

      If the venue was of fixed audience capacity you would only want to allocate a certain percentage (maybe 10-15%) of the refundable 'founder's' tickets, because you would be losing that amount when you refunded the purchase price of those tickets assuming the gig reached critical mass.

      If everyone got th

You had mail, but the super-user read it, and deleted it!

Working...