Gigit, a platform allowing venue owners or hosts to book both well-known and up-and-coming bands for private shows, was unofficially at SXSW earlier this year after organising private shows for Path, Ashton Kutcher and Spotify. On Gigit, you pick an artist, a date, answer questions about the venue, the vibe they want etc. It then charges the host and takes a small fee from the artist.
But while Gigit is currently geared to more professional event organisers and is curating artists, a new startup wants to create an even flatter marketplace. Sidestage will let you instantly book musicians for your live event, and pay with a credit card. Artist profiles are managed by the artists themselves. The idea is to connect users directly with musicians, displaying the artist’s costs up front, and avoiding booking agents.
Launching out of Berlin today, this is a “community marketplace to find musicians to play private events, parties and performances.” Ideally they want you to suggest more cities they can launch in.
Sidestage was initially founded by Schuyler Deerman. His first product, a messaging platform called Moped, was acquired by other Berlin startup 6Wunderkinder. Co-founder Daniel Roberts, founded and ran the controversial Pirate Cat Radio in California, and more recently led product development for Nokia’s Mixrad.io.
The company has raised around $100,000 in angel financing from Christian Reber, founder and CEO of 6Wunderkinder, Robin Haak, co-founder of Axel Springer’s Plug Play accelerator and the founders of Moviepilot, who recently sold their German site for $20 million.
Meanwhile, Gigit has raised $365,000 to date in initial Seed funding from Paige Craig, IVP’s Dennis Phelps, Rator Ventures’ Jim Pallotta, ff Venture Capital, and Jeff Lo.
The problem of course is that while Gigit is already gaining traction in a large market like the US, Sidestage is starting just today out of Berlin.
That said, if the concept takes off, it could find itself doing well in the diverse European music scene.
It’s clearly a bad time to be a booking agent…