You Sing, I Write: GigMaven: An Easier Way to Book Shows

Thursday, June 19, 2008

GigMaven: An Easier Way to Book Shows

I'm always interested in what's going on in the constantly changing music industry. I originally started this blog to feature interviews with musicians, but there are so many aspects of the music industry to cover. I think I'm going to try to branch out on things that I find interesting that might intrigue others as well. GigMaven is just one example that is helping with the rapidly changing industry. Below is my interview with Howard Han, founder of GigMaven, a new website dedicated to helping musicians find and book gigs online. Check it out for yourself at As always, feel free to leave comments or E-mail Me! on suggestions, artist features or ways you'd like me to improve the blog!

Tell me a little bit about GigMaven. How did you come up with the concept?
One of my friends, Richard Pan, was a musician for three years out of college. He was working at Abercrombie and Fitch in Ohio while driving out to NYC every couple of weeks to play gigs. He was doing pretty well, consistently booking gigs in NYC. He played at the Knitting Factory and at CMJ ’08 and got signed to an indie label, but he was having a bit of trouble getting gigs outside of NYC. Ultimately, he ran out of money and decided to go to law school.

At the time, I was helping him out while working in finance, and I started thinking about ways to help him get exposure and book gigs outside of NYC. After doing some research, we realized that booking is still very much an old-school process where people walk around and try to get their press kits to bookers at clubs. We felt like there had to be a better, more efficient way to do this. Out of Richard’s struggle and decision to forgo his music dreams, came our idea for GigMaven.

How are you working to get this project off the ground?
Currently, we have close to 300 musicians and 15 live music venues in NYC helping us beta test the website. We are slowly looking to expand to Boston, Philly and DC over the next couple of months and then expand to the rest of the nation in 2009.

What stage do you think you're at right now?
We’re at the very beginning of something that will change the way the live music industry operates. We want to make everyone’s lives easier and allow them to book gigs online, lowering the average cost and time to book a gig.

Are you planning on eventually helping out with merchandise and releasing these artist's albums, or just gear it towards finding venues?
We’ve definitely thought about the opportunities around helping musicians sell merchandise or mp3s and we have some interesting ideas around how we can make that process easier. That being said, we are 100% focused on our core business right now, which is booking gigs for musicians and venues.

What type of artists are you working with?
We primarily work with indie rock musicians, some unsigned and some signed to indie labels. Although our core is indie rock, we don’t focus on one genre or specific type of music or club.

What type of venues? Is it just based in New York for now?
Currently, we are only booking gigs in NYC, but we plan on expanding to Boston, Philly and DC in the next couple of months. In 2009, we aim to expand to the rest of the country.

How do you decide what venue to book these artists at?
We do not make any decisions regarding the actual booking. GigMaven is a platform for musicians and venues to find each other. Venues ultimately make the decision who they want to perform and musicians ultimately make the decision where they want to play.

Do you think what you're doing is the future of the music industry?
We believe that it will be the future of the booking aspect of the live music industry. The music industry is going through a period of turmoil, which I believe will result in a tremendous amount of innovation and opportunity. We believe that booking gigs online is a natural solution to the inefficiency in the live music booking process.

For more on GigMaven listen to the guys explain their concept in more depth on a previous radio interview here.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Sounds like a pretty neat idea! And I like your idea of posting other music related things besides reviews. The industry seems to be changing so fast these days, and it's nice to get the word out about all the new ideas.


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