Hot Chip: Detour Goes Viral
A couple of weeks ago, I told you about how 500 true fans helped get Tycho his first ever European show by crowd funding a gig. Today I want to tell you about another Detour experiment, this time with Hot Chip. We sat down with Hot Chip and their manager and agent and they got really excited about using Detour to play somewhere new. The management team behind Hot Chip are super experienced and have been working in live music for years. One of the most interesting things they told us is that over the past 10 years, as live music has become more corporate, the routes that bands take have become more predictable and generic. A tour 10 years ago would have taken in more local towns and, in particular, involved more local promoters. They were really excited about the idea of using Detour to play a town they’d otherwise not get to. They were keen to do something right away and had already booked a tour of the UK and Europe, but they had a spare date…
We picked 3 towns they hadn’t headlined before and created a Detour where each of those cities had a chance to create a show on that spare night. We emailed all of the Songkick users in those cities tracking Hot Chip and things started to take off. We wanted to raise 200 pledges to be confident of demand and rapidly all 3 started to get momentum. What happened next though was incredibly exciting. A bunch of superfans in Folkestone decided that they were going to make it happen. As one fan said, “Most bands don’t come to this part of Kent, they tend to stop at London.” They got super proactive and started to email all their friends and even petitioned the local radio station and newspaper. It exploded and went completely viral in a matter of hours through fan to fan word of mouth marketing, Hot Chip sold out. Check out the sales curve of pledges for the show, the huge viral spike is when fans started to self-organise.
The line where it goes briefly horizontal is when people in Folkestone finally went to bed!
Some interesting things we learned:
- 70% of the people who pledged had never seen Hot Chip before. Detour is really creating new fan to artist connections.
- 66% of the attendees found out about the show through their friends (The rest from Songkick and Hot Chip)
- 1 (amazing) fan emailed over 2000 people they knew to try and spread the word.
Some fan feedback:
- “It’s a frickin’ awesome idea and works for true fans of bands.”
- “I thought the idea was exciting and persuaded some other friends to join me.”
I think the thing that really blew me away was the level of self-organisation amongst fans. In a world where half the music industry is still focused on complaining about file sharing, people often forget that fan is short for fanatic. Hot Chip’s fans are incredibly passionate about them and figured out a way to self-organise to make this show happen. Similar to Occupy Wall Street, or what is happening on sub-Reddits, social media is increasingly enabling people to self-organise about things they share a common belief in. I believe this could be a big theme for the live music industry of the future, and I’m very excited about this side of Detour.
Of course, the acid test is the show itself and so on Sunday night a minibus worth of Songkick team members headed down to check out the show. It was so awesome. A friend of ours designed a limited edition poster with the names of everyone who pledged on it. Fans were queuing around the block before hand and the sense of anticipation was huge. The Chip played an amazing two-hour set and the crowd responded. We chatted to loads of fans and the band and everyone agreed it was an incredible evening. I spent the whole of the next day listening to the Chip’s back catalogue.
So to recap, Hot Chip played a show that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. That’s 450 people who wouldn’t have seen Hot Chip otherwise and real incremental income for a hard working band. We saw the incredible power of self-organisation and, most importantly, the fan to artist connection that Detour creates carried over into the atmosphere of the gig itself. One of our engineers Paul is also an awesome photographer and he took a few awesome shots of the show, above.
Finally, here’s a playlist we made of Hot Chip’s set. What an incredible evening, I’m just so excited about the future of live music.