Songkick co-founder Ian Hogarth has written a blog post about the concert, which the company helped to fund. Well, helped Tycho’s fans to fund, more specifically.
“We have hundreds of thousands of fans using Songkick in London, so we looked at our trackings data – turns out there were a good number of people like Gideon who lived in London and were tracking Tycho on Songkick,” explains Hogarth.
“We contacted Tycho’s manager and agent who said that they’d would love to come to Europe, but hadn’t heard there was enough demand. On the flip side we spoke to a local promoter who saw it as too risky to try to bring Tycho over at this stage. It seemed like a perfect test.”
That test being for a website called Detour, created by Songkick to help Tycho’s fans pledge to buy tickets for the (still-unbooked) concert. 100 fans quickly signed up, then friends, then friends of friends… And the result was a 500-strong audience seeing the gig.
“We got really excited after this gig and a small ‘special ops’ team in Songkick has been testing the idea further all year,” writes Hogarth, indicating that Detour is far from a one-off, and alluding to a follow-up post later this week that will detail Songkick’s next experiment with the idea.
Hogarth is inviting artists who’d like to try the model, or fans who’d like to bring their favourite artist to a particular city, to get in touch and join the experiments.
The idea of fans requesting bands to come to their hometown isn’t new. It’s a staple of digital marketing contests, but there have also been companies making widgets for social networking profiles for donkey’s years helping fans drum up enough support to tempt a band round their way. Meanwhile, some artists – Pixies most famously – have sold out gigs just by pinging their mailing lists.
The difference here is the fact that fans pledged actual money for Tycho tickets, for starters.