Queremos was founded in Rio de Janeiro to increase the number of concerts held there. Many big-name bands from the U.S. and other major markets wouldn’t perform there despite the city’s high population and cultural status, because concertgoers there frequently wouldn’t plan ahead to see shows. Most would wait until the last minute to decide whether or not they wanted to attend a live event. That made life difficult for concert promoters who couldn’t predict attendance for events and, as a result, meant that many artists wouldn’t tour there.
Queremos, launching at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today, seeks to solve that by creating a platform where fans interested in seeing a certain act could pledge money upfront to get a concert funded. Once a minimum threshold was reached, the concert was planned. Those early supporters who participated in the initial funding ended up getting first dibs on tickets before they went on sale to the general public. That way, artists and venues would be guaranteed to make money.
It’s like Kickstarter for concerts, and it’s been pretty successful in its home market. Co-founder Tiago Compagnoni says that the startup has successfully planned and promoted 36 live events since being founded in 2010. Surprisingly enough, despite the market’s reputation for fickle event attendees, Queremos has yet to have an unsuccessful campaign, Compagnoni said.
But that was all about Queremos promoting its own events. At TechCrunch Disrupt, the startup is opening up its platform to let other promoters create their own crowdfunded events. The hope is that by doing so, bands might be more inclined to visit smaller markets that they otherwise wouldn’t have stopped at on their tours. And lesser-known bands might find they have more of a following than they originally thought — enough, at least, to justify playing a city or venue they probably didn’t think about.
Q: How do you work with the band and the venue to make sure that each is available for an event?
A: We have a business-to-business ecosystem that allows a promoter to see if a band is available on the site. Then you can go to a mezzanine and see if the venue is available.
Q: How do you start creating events and building an ecosystem in the U.S.?
A: The way it works is that bands have a booking agency, and you have to reach them. That’s what promoters do today. They’ll go to the band or ticket agency through queremos and see when they’re available.
Q: How many of the bands that you booked were from Brazil?
A: Only one concert we’ve done was a band from Brazil. Everyone else has been from the U.S. or U.K.
Q: How will you do things differently in the U.S.?
A: We started this as fans, and were doing this to bring concerts to our home market. But the U.S. market is much bigger.
Q: How do you build up a defensible business so that you’re not one of many startups fighting for a piece of market share?
A: The database is what protects in the music business. It’s not just a matter of getting a venue and band together, but also the fans we have, and getting feedback from the bands themselves.