Stuff Cool List 2013: Songkick Detour brings bands to you

Songkick Detour will roll out from London to the rest of the UK by the end of July, letting fans raise funds for local gigs by musicians and artists

Being a music snob is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you only like super-cool bands none of your friends have heard of. On the other, these bands have very few fans, so they never tour near you. Until Songkick Detour came along.


Songkick Detour –Kick off

This venture, currently London-based but set to go nationwide, lets you pick a band, decide how much you’d pay to see them and if enough like-minded fans do the same, Songkick will try to bring them to your town.  It’s brought Desaparecidos to the UK for the first time ever already, so your favourite jazz-post-rockers could be next.

Songkick Detour – Growth

Detour, according to Songkick CEO Ian Hogarth, is “so open ended bands are taking it where it should go. We’re going to evolve it however it best serves the band and artists.”

"Artists" doesn't just mean musicians, either. Songkick Detour's moving outside the musical sphere, adding comedy acts like Aziz Ansari – who’s playing in the UK soon as a result of Detour.

And it doesn’t stop there, “We’ve had interest from authors using it for book tours, and some one-off strange ones”, says Hogarth. “We had an atheist group called the Sunday Assembly wanting to figure out where to base new events. We have bands in our database and now comedians – we might grow that in future”.

Songkick Detour – Future

In private beta alone Songkick Detour has managed to raise over US$100,000 from fans for performances and events. It now has over 2000 fans signed up and plans to go UK-wide in at least ten cities by the end of July. Then it’s the rest of the world's turn, as Songkick goes, in Hogarth's words, “as open as possible – from a small town in Russia to a big city in Indonesia.”

Songkick Detour – Integration

Since Songkick is still waiting to see how bands use the platform, the future of its app is open to question – though it is an inevitability, says Hogarth. “We’re already integrated into a ton of services like Spotify though Songkick, so we’ll have to see how we integrate Detour. We’re going to experiment in the next few months.”

For bands, it's an entirely new platform which they want kept open, a bit like Twitter, so it can best serve them and their fans. For example, Hogarth says, “A week ago a band called Anamanaguchi asked who wants to help bring them to London – and suddenly there was a hundred pledges for them.”

Potentially, the future of Songkick Detour could include Buy It Now prices, tiered rewards for perks like backstage access, and other artistic ventures like book tours coming onboard the platform. But for now, it's time to face the music – get yourself over to Songkick Detour and bring your favourite band to your front door.