So Your Band Wants to Tour? Gigit: DIY Digital Tour Management
The touring model, one of the oldest ways used by musicians to promote and monetise their work, has remained relatively unchanged despite the rise of digital platforms such as Spotify, Facebook and YouTube. These new platforms provide more opportunities to make musicians’ output more accessible to a larger audience by helping to build their presence and profile online. However, for bands that are starting out that want to keep control of their work by self-managing, the do-it-yourself (DIY) model, where bands personally contact promoters and venues to book tours, positions promoters as gatekeepers and perpetuates a sense of distrust and uneven power relations between bands and those that can help them organise tours. This research analyses the experiences of musicians and promoters who have organised tours in New Zealand, through a series of online surveys, focus groups and professional interviews. This data was used to create an online platform, Gigit, which allows musicians to book their own tours in a fair, secure and transparent manner, disrupting the unfair power relations between musicians and the gatekeepers who traditionally controlled the key aspects of successful touring.