Live music firm Songkick’s Detour programme is turning into something genuinely significant.

Having tested the idea of fans crowdfunding gigs for Tycho and Hot Chip in the UK, now the company is stepping up a notch with plans to crowdfund an entire South American tour for Andrew Bird.

He’s planning to play six gigs across the continent, with 12 cities listed as possibilities. Fans are being asked to pledge to attend, and the first six cities to pass 250 pledges will get the gigs. Sao Paulo has already blasted through the limit, with Rio de Janeiro and Ciudad de Mexico well on the way.

“The traditional live music industry model has not yet brought Andrew to South America,” writes Songkick CEO Ian Hogarth on the company’s blog. “Via Songkick we knew that Andrew’s fanbase is at a level where we believe the demand is high enough that Andrew could tour in South America. So through Detour we are enabling fans across South and Central America to bring Andrew to their city.”

There’s a wider context here, which Hogarth also explains, suggesting that despite the huge disruption for recorded music over the last 15 years: “Live music as an industry looks much the same as it did in 1990. We believe that there is an opportunity to use technology to make things better still, for the fan, and for the artist by more directly connecting fans with artists.”

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