We built GigsGuide because we are passionate about great live music and want more people to experience it wherever they go.
We often talk with fellow travellers, and our conversations confirm what several travel industry reports have pointed out many times before: cultural experiences - and live music in particular - are one of the most important things we look for when choosing a destination for a trip.
The interest to travel for music is also confirmed by what we see in our visitors statistics. A large percentage of our organic traffic consists of people that find us while searching for information about a specific event. What is very interesting is that in most cases these events are in a different location than where the visit comes from. Like someone from Birmingham looking up a rock concert in Madrid, or someone from Stockholm searching information about a hip-hop gig in Paris.
Even when the main reasons for a trip are others (e.g. business), the desire and motivation to get out and experience something unique is bigger when we are away. The typical "excuses" for not going out when we are at home (kids, nagging significant other, comfy couch, long day at work tomorrow) are usually not there when we travel. Instead, the lust for discovery and a pinch of fear of missing out make us more keen to explore the local cultural offering of our destinations.
This is, however, where problems usually start: for many, the biggest pain points are finding event listings in an unfamiliar location, figuring out whether the performers are a match to one's taste and knowing where to buy tickets without ending up in the hands of unscrupulous online scalpers.
Luckily, this is where GigsGuide comes to the rescue...
Announcing City pages on GigsGuide
Unsurprisingly, "Gigs in XXXX" (and variations on the theme) is one of the most popular online search queries.
Whether you are looking for things to do in your own town or in the city you are visiting, the new city pages we just added to GigsGuide should help you make sure you never miss a beat 😎.
For instance, if you are curious to see who's playing this week in Hamburg (one of our favourite cities and probably one of the top live music destinations in Europe!), all you need to do is head over to the Hamburg's page on GigsGuide.
If you are logged into your GigsGuide account, the results are scored based on your personal preferences, making it super-easy to spot when an old favourite is back in town or to discover new artists to love.
You find links to the city pages on the single events pages or in the new cities directory that we added alongside the artist directory we created a few weeks ago.
The bigger picture
The arrival of the city pages is reason for celebration also for another reason: they are the knight in shiny armour in our vision for a more effective "live music" tourism.
It is our firm belief that making it easier for people to find great gigs wherever they go is the key that puts in motion a lot of great things.
Giving serendipity a gentle push is not only a great way to help travellers make each trip more unique and amazing. It also means opening up more opportunities for up&coming local artists to get in front of a new audience and for local venues to reach a new market and sell more tickets (and a few extra beers 🍻).
In times when many small grass-roots venues are struggling and closing, we see an untapped potential for tourism to play an important role in helping local venues make ends meet, so that they can still be there not just for the tourists, but most crucially for the benefit of their entire local community.
Focusing on tourists and out-of-town visitors has also another important implication for us: it enables us to build a solid business that instead of taking money "from" the music, helps putting more money "into" the music. Not having to charge venues or artists for "promotion" gives us the freedom to put each user's best interest first, helping them find the events that are closest to their taste no matter how big or small they might be.
You may say, we are dreamers...
But we sure hope we are not the only ones.
While traffic to the GigsGuide site is growing steadily, we are still tiny and it is going to be very difficult for us to make any real difference on our own.
We do, however, see an incredible potential for forward-thinking cities to take full advantage of what we have built and make a smart investment with a potentially huge multiplier effect.
Consider, for instance, that only in Berlin music tourism puts over 1.5 Billion Euros in the local economy every year, according to a study recently released by the Berlin Club Commission.
We believe that proactively leveraging the local live music scene to promote music tourism can be a winning strategy that even less-known locations can use to attract new visitors. The result is more, real business for local venues, bringing more money in that trickles down to support local artists and local jobs. It also makes visitors happier and creates a stronger connection with a city in a way that no hotel tax will ever be able to accomplish.
In a longer-term perspective, a healthy local cultural life is not only a great argument for tourists. It's an investment that helps making cities more livable and more attractive for their inhabitants*.
Our call to action to all the Tourist Boards out there is quite simple: if you share our vision and passion and are ready to start this fire (and maybe win one or two Music Cities Awards in the process 😎), talk to us.
We have the spark 💥!
* On this subject, check out the excellent report entitled "This Must Be the Place: The Role of Music and Cultural Infrastructure in Creating Better Future Cities for all of Us" that Sound Diplomacy and Legal and General released a couple of months ago.