I’ve thought for a while that the recent ‘sharing economy’ trend (AirBNB, Couchsurfing, Uber, etc) could easily be extended to musicians (especially touring). A friend sent me this TED talk by Amanda Palmer and it just clicked again:
What do most musicians want? They won’t mind being rich from their labours, but most of them would just want to gig, make music and share their music with fans. Today, this means keeping a ‘day-job’ to sustain it until they take the leap and do it full-time.
When a band tours, they need to get there, have some food (and some drink) and a place to crash. That’s all really. The problem now is, is that the band has to “guess” if they have enough support in an area to hopefully cover the loss from their touring. Usually a promoter assumes this risk. This is the internet, and we have a burgeoning sharing economy. It CAN be done differently.
All a band needs are their fans to pay up front for them to come play somewhere. This greatly lowers the costs and assumed risks (for all parties involved). The band can stay at a fan’s pad, be sponsored food and drink, and the venue can be booked by the fans (or even sponsored as well).
The execution needs work, but the idea is there. What do you think?