I’m sure this has been discussed before, but I find it difficult to keep on top of upcoming gigs.
When I was a kid, I’d buy the NME every Wednesday and find out all the latest tours, either from the editorial or from adverts placed by bands. I’d then head down to Mike Lloyd Music in Wolverhampton where there was a ticket counter, and I’d buy my tickets. It was a great system.
Now I have no clue. I follow a few favourite artists on Twitter/Instagram, which works ok. I follow my local venue, but 99% of the gigs are crap tribute bands which I tire of seeing posts about. I’m on the Ticketmaster mailing list, but just get constant spam about the latest Michael McIntyre tour.
I hear about tours from DiS, which is great (got Slowdive tickets recently after reading the Slowdive thread).
The other problem, for a lot of artists, is you have to hear about the pre-sale. Or in the case of the likes of Swift and Olivia R, the pre-pre-pre-waitlist-pre-sale. When I was a kid, I never ever failed to get tickets because of a sell-out, now it happens all the time.
And because I’m middle-aged, I don’t have the desire to go to many gigs, half-a-dozen a year maybe, and I don’t have the energy to stay on top of announcements. Is there a better way I can manage my life, please? At the moment, if feels like mostly luck that I hear about gigs I want to go to.
I like songkick — you can follow all the artists you’re interested in seeing and pick a location and you get an email alert when a gig is announced
Yeah, this. Scans your Spotify library for artists you like too.
If you want to get in on the presale for huge artists it’s a good idea to sign up for their mailing list (apologies if I’m stating the obvious)
Spotify has a ‘live’ section which is great.
Follow promoters on Insta
Check venue pages on ents24
some mish-mash of doing a forward look locally on Songkick every now and then
checking what Tickets Scotland have recently added
I also know the venues that usually have the bands I like most, so will just browse their sites now and then to see what’s coming up
They seem to reach me my osmosis somehow.
Follow a few promoters on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter and just see their announcements I think, plus tour announcements from artists themselves.
I do have a scroll through some individual venues’ listings every few months, occasionally spot something I’d missed
Having recently switched to them, bBeing an O2 mobile customer usually gives you pre-sale access to anything happening at an O2 venue.
A mixture of here, Songkick, artist/promoter mailing lists, checking venue listings, and (decreasingly) posts on Twitter.
The Dice app also seems to have fairly decent coverage for acts playing locally, and does notifications / recommendations. I found it amusing the other day that it tried to triangulate my taste from these three artists (and got two right):
I think it’s easier if you live in a city with one or two venues that regularly put on good gigs. But my town doesn’t and I need to travel to London, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Cambridge, amongst other places.
You can add multiple locations on songkick — I was signed up for alerts for three different cities for a bit.
(I don’t work for them, honest!)
Thanks, I’ll give songkick a go.
Another vote for dice, there aren’t that many venues in my home town that put on that many gigs that I like so I typically just browse their listings when I’m in London I use Londonears which is pretty good (we probably need something like that that works nationally tbh) https://londonears.com/
Oh, and somehow I completely forgot to mention https://www.headfirstbristol.co.uk - which is no use if you’re not looking for gigs in Bristol, but absolutely essential if you are.
The local promoters mailing lists.
Posters in the kebab shop.
I’m lucky and in Norwich there are only 3 sites you need to check in order to have all the local venues covered. For London gigs it’ll usually be for bands that I read news about on nme or it will be mentioned here that I’m prepared to travel for. Through friends who like similar music as well. Often they will drop me a message if they’ve seen a tour they are thinking of going to.
I think the speed which those big tours sell out and the hoops you need to jump through to stand a chance is fairly limiting for anyone not really plugged into that artist.
Last.fm is good, seems to list everything big and small and you can set a radius so it grabs gigs for me in Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Newport and a few other accessible places. Following bands and venues on twitter too. Spotify has started messaging me about upcoming tours, it knows what I may like from history which is nice.