After 10 more fan-created gigs, Detour is opening up

We’re so excited to be lifting the veil on Detour, taking it out of private beta and opening it up for everyone to bring their favourite artists to London:

When we launched Detour London in November, we really didn’t know what would happen. In some ways, that’s the most amazing thing about the internet – if you give people a powerful new way to connect, they figure out ways to use it that couldn’t be anticipated in advance.

Up until now, if you’re a huge fan of an artist, the only way to influence whether they come to your city is by leaving a comment on their Facebook page, or @replying them on Twitter and that doesn’t really do anything given the heavy financial cost of touring. When we launched Detour London, we invited 100 of London’s biggest music fans and waited to see what they would do. Since then, the invite only private beta has swelled to over 1000 fans who have used their credit cards to show the artists they love that they’re for real. In just 5 short months, that has resulted in some amazing things happening:

– Through their pledges, those 1000 fans have made 10 concerts happen.

– We have seen fans use Detour to bring legendary acts to the UK like the 114 fans who brought Braid to London, and the 80 fans who brought over Desaparecidos. These have been amazing examples of the power of community online, with the Punktastic and DrownedinSound communities coming together to create those shows via Detour.

– We have seen promoters use Detour to find the right venue for amazing new acts and we are proud of the sold-out shows in the right venues that ATP used Detour to create for Merchandise and GOAT.

– We have seen London’s most legendary independent promoters start to use Detour to create concerts with far lower risk, enabling them to bring over more acts and invest more energy in the experience than the spreadsheet of costs. We are very proud to be working with the likes of ATP, Eat Your Own Ears, Kilimanjaro, Bird on the Wire, BleeD, Cafe OTO, and The Underworld.

– We have seen the first example of an artist responding to their fans on Detour and endorsing the platform directly in Zoë Keating, one of the most forward-thinking and transparent artists in the world.

– We have seen fans start to use Detour for comedians and already one show, that of Aziz Ansari, has already been confirmed.

– Most importantly, we have seen over $100,000 in ticket sales generated across these Detour shows, more income for acts and promoters, and income that results from a more direct and authentic connection between artists and fans.

So far, all this amazing stuff has happened in a closed private beta, available to just 1000 fans in London, but the ethos of Detour is that of openness. A more direct and open channel between artists, promoters, and fans benefits everyone and we have been working like crazy to get Detour ready for many more fans and artists to join. I’m excited to say that today we are coming out of private beta and opening up to any fan in London. Very soon we’ll launch Detour across the UK and have been thrilled at the emails we’ve been getting from fans and promoters across the world asking when Detour would come to their city.

There is so much cynicism in the music industry about fans and whether they really care about the sustainability of artists’ careers. All of us at Songkick have been so moved to see the way that fans have rushed to support the artists they love. New acts, old acts, esoteric and mainstream acts, the one consistent thing has been that fans care, they will do more than leave a comment on Facebook and that is having a profound positive change in the economics of touring, artists’ livelihoods, and the atmosphere at concerts.

I sat down with an artist the other day and showed them the fans that had pledged to try to bring him to London. He was very moved at the idea that people the other side of the world cared enough about his art to do that, and he felt closer to those fans. I don’t think we’re crazy to hope that that optimism and authentic connection can’t happen for every fan and artist wherever you are.

Thanks to all the fans who have shown us where Detour could go. We can’t wait to see what you do next!



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