Innovative project to help unsigned musicians find and book gigs.
GigSwell is a relatively simple site, with a relatively simple purpose; to bridge the gap between musicians and live music hosts. The site is designed to allow musicians to find suitable music venues, promoters and events, as well as detailed information about them. This information could then be used by the musician in order to judge whether or not to approach that host to ask for a gig.
In addition to this basic functionality, the site also offers visitors the opportunity to post comments about live music hosts, or provide additional helpful information to prospective artists. Hosts may also post requests for artists if they have any gig slots that they need to fill.
We started the project in 2011, and began by discussing the concept with a few musicians and promoters in order to gauge the site’s potential. From this, we developed a startup strategy for the project, as well as deciding upon its name.
We built the website from the ground up. Its framework is relatively simple, the site acts as a large filtered search, allowing visitors to find hosts by location, genre, capacity etc. Once they have a shortlist of suitable venues etc, they can view a profile for each. Each profile contains a wealth of information obtained from their own websites, as well as information contributed by visitors.
Revenue is generated from simple ad links and banners, as well as sponsored listings. These premium profiles are found at the top of search results for relevant categories, providing extra exposure.
The site is marketed organically, through search results for specific venues. At the same time, social media profiles on Twitter and Facebook strengthen the brand and act as useful tools in the site’s promotion.
Progress to Date
GigSwell continues to expand as new hosts are added to its directory. The site’s Twitter account continues to gain followers, expanding its audience ever further.
In the near future, we hope to begin the next round of marketing, contacting live music hosts directly and encouraging them to use the site. Sponsorship of a regular live music event is also being considered. Watch this space!