SongKick.com Ltd., which alerts users when their favorite bands are coming to town, is expanding a service that lets fans choose the cities where artists will perform.
Recording artist Andrew Bird will make himself available to play in 12 Latin American cities during a 12-day stretch in February, SongKick co-founder Ian Hogarth said in an interview. Where he actually performs will depend on pre-sales through the London-based company’s website. Hogarth said he hopes to create six shows out of the 12 possible dates.
The goal of SongKick’s Detour program is to give artists the financial support to venture into new territories. The service adapts the Internet’s crowd-sourcing funding mechanism, by which individuals pledge money to bankroll a startup -- asking fans to buy tickets ahead of time for concerts. If half the tickets are sold, the show will take place.
“The crowd creates the show online and shows up in real life for the concert,” Hogarth said by phone. “This is still very experimental, but crowd-sourcing has the potential to revolutionize the concert industry.’
Crowd-sourcing provides funding for artists to travel to towns and countries normally omitted from their tour routes, Hogarth said. The company has previously used Detour to bring bands to London that wouldn’t otherwise travel there.
Bird, who has played with the Squirrel Nut Zippers, releases his album ‘‘Hands of Glory,” on Oct. 30. He has never played in South America, according to Hogarth. The proposed dates, from Feb. 17 to Feb. 28 of next year, would occur in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil and six other countries.
SongKick gets paid a referral fee by clients including Live Nation Entertainment Inc.’s Ticketmaster and Anschutz Entertainment Group when users click through and buy a ticket. The company, which averages about 7 million visitors a month, received $10 million in March from Sequoia Capital, a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm, its third funding round.