If you are interested in music and want to get into the music industry as a business, there are many venues that you can choose: Ticket sales, event/gig organizers, musician promoters – the list can go on and on. As there is a fierce competition waiting for you in the arena, you need to differentiate what you’re offering. But how?
In this post, we’ll learn from a case study – you may call it a success story, if you want – on how to stand out among the rest, including to be there in the level where the big players play the ‘game.’
You can’t quite beat the expectation and adrenalin rush of actually ‘being there’, whether that is a festival, a stadium gig, a huge comedy show or a smash hit West End spectacular, and GetToTheFront is a site with a commitment to ensuring you don’t miss out on that.
On many occasions the involuntary tingling feeling comes from just getting the tickets in the first place; a heady mixture of excitement and relief. Equally, there is frustration at missing out completely on tickets or spending hours refreshing websites. It was this contrast of emotions, and more pertinently the general lack of information and control that the ordinary punter had, that prompted Nik Clarke to start GetToTheFront in 2008, and eight years later he has lost none of his appreciation of how the live experience needs to be captured, and this shines through in the enthusiasm of the site.
How it began
GetToTheFront started as a blog called Penguin Gigs in 2008 and has evolved to become a trusted source of information specifically for live events. Music-wise, therefore, the site differs from most music news sites by concentrating on the live experience rather than artist features, album releases and reviews.
The site’s focus is on the gig-goer; the average music lover that frequents the Student Unions, O2 Academies, dingy pub basements and multi-million pound Arenas every day of the week. So whether it is announcing new tours, providing links to ticket agencies and box offices, or carrying gig reviews and photographs, GetToTheFront has it covered.
“We work closely with agents, venues & promotors to provide up to date information including exclusive presales,” claims Nik as we discuss what GetToTheFront’s main focus is, “we feature all tours, from rising stars to mainstream acts. We list every ticket agent that is selling tickets for each event.”
Nik started the site when his own frustrations at sourcing gig tickets provided a lightbulb moment: “In May 2007,” Nik begins “at a press conference in London, Prince declared he was going to play 21 nights at the former Millennium Dome in Greenwich, about to reopen as the 02 Arena. I searched around online for tickets unsure about the official agents selling & when tickets went on sale, if I was having problems, thousands more must be in the same boat, the result, GTTF was born.”
With ten years in the industry Nik has met people and built working relationships that have resulted in the website going from strength to strength. Across the site there are now ten people involved to varying degrees, working on sourcing gig information, social media, constructing daily newsletters, writing reviews and of course, attending gigs.
The site retains its enthusiasm for the live experience, however, and that frontline passion for being at the centre of the action is reflected in who Nik sees as his target audience, i.e. people who are “passionate about going to gigs, shows or sporting events, looking to discover the next big thing, conscious about giving themselves the best chance of obtaining a ticket.”
Nik is a regular gig-goer himself and as a frequent festival-attendee tries to seek out a new one every year. With that in mind, there can be no complaints that Nik isn’t in touch with his market, and the volatile and changeable nature of the music industry, and particularly, the live music scene, is what drives him on.
Clearly there is always something happening, and GetToTheFront will always be there with the information, whether it is reunions, supergroups or intimate secret shows announced at the last minute and open just to a select few.
Music news go-to source
GetToTheFront has established itself as a leading source for the latest music news, live event ticketing information and reviews, and of course there are various skills involved in achieving that. In terms of advice for other budding online entrepreneurs, Nik simply suggests you should have faith in your idea, and in staying true to it, should also keep in front of the competition. Essentially, a good idea that constantly evolves and adds great content, will run and run and gather momentum with more visitors. Like the hottest band on a whirlwind tour, attracting more attention as it goes, that is just what GetToTheFront is.
The expression ‘seeing the whites of their eyes’ originates from the American War of Independence and offers visions of a bloodthirsty quest to find fear in an opponent. The phrase has evolved to suggest a search for intimacy and exhilaration, really feeling a part of the action due to your proximity, and that is where ‘GetToThe Front’ (GTTF) fit in.
‘Seeing the whites of their eyes’ could well be the hookline of their well-established live event site; dedicated to ensuring its readers get to enjoy the thrill-seeking joyride of a red hot and happening occasion in the flesh, rather than on DVD or Blu-Ray or worse still, through someone’s out-of-focus mobile phone on Facebook.