GigPig tech stages live music new era for UK hospitality | City & Business | Finance

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The UK company’s pioneering platform links performers with places, underpinned by bespoke technology developed in-house,

Free to artists, they cover a broad spectrum from bands and DJs to drag acts and jazz virtuosos. 

For them it’s about finding a spot, playing and then getting paid, helped by the company’s automatic invoicing service.

Venues and bookers have tools offering access to thousands of verified artists and can preview their music before seamlessly securing gigs. 

Curated analytics also provide deeper insights for venues about what works best and when, artists’ locations, customer preferences, timings, the impact of weather and the viability of developing repeat nights. 

As well saving time and money, different pricing levels enable access starting from just £10 per gig as a pay-as-you-go alternative to subscription.  

“We’re leveraging technology to empower artists and venues to connect at scale. GigPig stakeholders will be able to harness the power of data to make solid decisions and plan for the future,” explains Forster.

“We’re determined to democratise the music scene and nurture emerging talent so it stays in the industry. 

“Our transformation of the way the sector discovers and books artists means they have a reliable way to earn a living and structures are more transparent.

“Music makes places more culturally vibrant. By opening up choice and opportunities for venues to stage performances every day of the week, this boosts their bottom lines and UK hospitality at a very challenging time. 

“Venues have a targeted and realistic chance to bring in more customers, vary their offering and expand it. New options could be possible such as hosting corporate or special occasion events.”

From national chains – its customers include BrewDog, TGI Fridays and Hard Rock Café – to local hotspots and some of the country’s top bookers, GigPig has been the driving force behind more than 18,000 gigs already.

A recent Music in Hospitality survey showed that 78 per cent of people were more likely to visit “seed” venues, such as pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs, if they offered live performances. 

Developed by music and hospitality sector veterans Forster and co-founders Andrew Garner, Kit Muir-Rogers and Ed Francis, it was the pandemic, and the lockdown closures crisis that caused for UK hospitality, that were the catalyst for Manchester-based GigPig which launched 18 months ago.

Success came quickly and, with more than 600 venues and 5,000 artists on board, gigs worth £6m have been staged across 22 cities.  

Turnover is set to be £1.3m this year and after pre-seed funding the business is preparing now to seek a further £1m-plus growth backing, potentially from angel and institutional investors. 

With that GigPig plans to scale domestically with the aim of bringing thousands of more venues into the fold staging 200,000 gigs a year and for gross bookings to exceed £22m annually.

It will also add a dozen more staff to its 18-strong workforce and roll out the technology internationally starting with Berlin, Ibiza, Barcelona and the US.

With a new app in the pipeline that will allow artists to upload their profile, another new product GigPig Live will give artists of all backgrounds the chance to perform on the same stage as major names, while its Live from the Studio concept gives artists another showcase to reach new audiences. 

And to ensure the platform is on the right track, regular artists’ steering groups will also contribute to the platform’s development.

“We aren’t a finger in the air, GigPig does the heavy lifting,” says Forster. “The future of our music industry depends on it being fair, equitable and accessible.”


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