TourVote Brings Democracy To Live Music

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — When the band Army Of Me takes the stage at Washington D.C.’s venerable music venue The Black Cat on Friday February 11, they will be secure in the knowledge that at least a portion of the attending audience had proactively requested the show. Both the band and the venue are taking advantage of a unique, new “request line” that empowers music fans to communicate their live music wishes not only to the musical artists they want see in concert but also to the venues and promoters that put shows on stage.

Rather than simply waiting and hoping that local music venues and promoters will book shows by the musical artists they want to see, some consumers are registering their requests through a growing number of web sites – collectively called The TourVote Network – run by live music venues, promoters, radio stations, entertainment publications, and the artists themselves. The requests are funneled to the artists and to live entertainment buyers who want to gain direct insight into the deepest desires of concert-goers.

“The people have spoken. DC loves Army of Me. That's cool because we love DC,” said Army Of Me lead singer Vince Scheuerman. “TourVote is great – it gives the fans a voice. Let them be heard.” Army Of Me currently has the distinction of being the most-requested indie band in the DC Metro area, according to the TourVote system. A much larger number of fans have requested live shows by Army of Me in other cities around the US, fueling the band's hopes for breaking out into a wider market.

The TourVote Network is the brainchild of Demand ID Systems, a Baltimore startup company testing their novel supply-and-demand matching system locally before taking it to the national stage. “Much like with any other product, live shows will be more successful if they are produced based on a clear picture of what the market wants,” points out Ben Cruz, co-founder of Demand ID. “I’d be hard pressed to think of a company that made a mistake by asking prospective buyers what they wanted. And I’ve never met a consumer who didn’t think well of those that responded by delivering exactly that.”

The TourVote live music request line is available free to web sites wanting to give their visitors a voice in local, live music under the site’s own brand. Site owners have online access to reports detailing the votes placed from their pages. Voting music fans receive a co-branded “TourAlert” by email when the act they voted for is scheduled to appear locally. "I'm always happy to find new ways to tell people about our shows, especially when I know it's an event that they are interested in," said Dante Ferrando, talent buyer for The Black Cat, an 800-capacity venue. "It's hard to get good information to help determine what a band will draw. CD sales are just not as good a gauge as they used to be, so I find any extra tools incredibly helpful". More than a thousand people have placed requests for the shows they want to see using TourVote right from the club’s web site.

The company’s forthcoming DemandIntell service enables live music venues and promoters to see comparative levels of local demand for shows by any artist in the database and to uncover opportunities to stage shows they might never have considered otherwise. "The demand for live shows by an increasing number of artists is greater than ever before as millions of consumers discover new music on the internet,” points out Jay Bartlett, Vice President at Demand ID. “Until now, the live music industry has had no means to take advantage of that trend.”

"TourVote and the DemandIntell service promise to be a boon to all participants in the music industry – artists can tour more profitably; venues and promoters increase audience attendance with reduced expense; A&R and talent agents can spot rising talent at a grassroots level; and more recorded music is sold,” said Carl Freed, a leading national concert promoter. “The revolution begins with web sites that believe that the key to sustained success on the internet lies in delivering the power of community – that their site visitors will delight in having a collective voice in shaping their own local music scene.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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