I've always preferred prognostication to nostalgia, so rather than replay the best of 2007, I'll use these late December doldrums to make 10 predictions for the coming year. Some editors will warn you that this kind of list is suicide--it's too easy for everybody to look back a year later and see where you were wrong--but it hasn't hurt Cringely, so here goes. In no particular order.
Urban events site Going.com, which targets party-friendly 20-somethings with a hipster slant, announced earlier this week that it has expanded into local event ticketing. This means that promoters and event hosts on Going can now sell tickets for their concerts, benefits, parties, and other social get-togethers through the site.
The structure is much like a standard ticket site's "will-call" option; no paper tickets are mailed. "You go to the venue or the place of the event," Going CEO Evan Schumacher explained in an interview with CNET News.com, "and we tell (you) to … Read more
Pollstar magazine asks a good question: why aren't more artists recording their live concerts to CD and selling them at shows? I recall that the Pixies recorded most of the shows on their reunion tour in 2004, but I haven't seen many bands do it since.
Pollstar notes that some venues retain the rights to sell anything recorded there, while others charge artists a fee for the privilege of recording their own shows for resale later. (Fair enough--the venue has probably invested heavily in sound gear, or at the very least in acoustics, which may have an effect … Read more
With all the attention paid to iPhone speakers and other related gear, one might imagine that the iPod has fallen off the planet. But rest assured, the cottage industry is still churning out various accessories for the media player; after all, if they're being made for the Zune, then certainly the iPod should be well equipped.
Logic3, which already has made its mark with several iPod-related items in its "i-Station" brand, is continuing that streak with the "i-Station Concert." This speaker-dock system isn't as sleek as previous products in the line, looking something like … Read more
Ticketmaster has sued a Pittsburgh-based company, RMG Technologies, for providing software that allegedly enables brokers to bypass Ticketmaster's online security provisions and snap up all the good tickets minutes after they go on sale. Brokers then turn around and sell these tickets for a hefty profit on sites like StubHub or Craigslist. Both stories quote Chris Kovach, a former broker who was originally named in Ticketmaster's suit, but settled with the company. He claims that he used RMG's software to buy … Read more
I hate the whole experience of arena rock shows today: the security staff who assume you're a criminal, the overpriced food and drink, the "down in front" screamers who always seem to be seated behind me (it's a $100 rock concert, not your daughter's piano recital). Consequently, I don't go to many big shows--one or two a year.
So I was a little surprised when I first encountered the "fan club" charge when the Stones rolled through Seattle's Key Arena in October 2005. The ticket prices were painful enough--$200+ for … Read more
RockMe. has got to the be the only five-day music festival where you won't pay for tickets. It is social-networking site Me.dium's attempt to rock your world, and the only thing you need to get in is your Web browser. (Of course, you still have to bring your own drinks.)
RockMe., which runs from September 18 through September 22, 2007, will feature bands, music video competitions, and the world's safest mosh pit--it's virtual. More important to Me.dium, the RockMe. festival will provide plenty of opportunities for band members and music lovers to swap fond memories of choice lyrics and drum solos using Me.dium's service.… Read more
UPDATE: A few minutes after I first published this post, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced a tour for 2007. I've removed him from the running because (a.) he has no tourdates scheduled for 2008 and (b.) for this experiment in predictive markets to be interesting and valuable, I feel that it has to run for more than a few hours.
Although the recording industry's in the doldrums, the concert business has been pretty good of late.
The Rolling Stones just wrapped up its two-year-long Bigger Bang tour. The tour started in fall 2005, and a … Read more
In a move that further shapes its image as an MTV-like pop-culture hub as well as a social network, News Corp.'s MySpace.com has announced that it will be sponsoring a concert tour this fall.
Appropriately called the MySpace Music Tour, the series of shows will kick off October 16 in Seattle and will host more than 30 performances before winding down in Las Vegas around Thanksgiving.
The tour will also … Read more
It's early February. Do you know where your favorite band is?
iConcertCal does. This free iTunes plug-in for both Mac OS X and Windows scans your iTunes library and lets you know when the bands you listen to are coming to town.
After installing iConcertCal, the iTunes visualizer becomes a calendar that lists local concert dates for bands in your library. Clicking on each listing in the calendar lets you buy tickets, and changing the city and state brings up personalized listings for other cities.
Since a co-worker sent out a link to this free plug-in last week, I'… Read more