Live Local Music Finder

By: Ryan Counihan

I am focusing on a better way to promote live local music for my social justice app. There are many great musicians and great musical acts that do not receive nearly as much attention as they should or could in suburban areas, yet there are plenty of places for them to play and receive attention. I believe that it is due to a lack of promotion from these venues, and lack of notice from the public. Nowadays I find it extremely difficult to actually promote anything via MySpace, or Facebook. This is especially true in regards to music. Most people won’t give a local musician or group a chance, they would rather stick to something they are used to or something that is on top 40 radio. This is obviously not true in all cases, but for the majority music seems to be suffering especially in the suburbs. I am designing an app called the Live Local Music Finder. This app will help promote live music from the suburbs of Philadelphia. I would like the opening screen of the app to feature an interactive map where one can scroll around and view certain areas. The map will show a gold lit up musical note if there is a show at a certain venue, bar, restaurant, house, apartment, etc. If there is a musical note that is not lit up it means that the venue has no music going on that night. Now if you were to click on the lit up gold musical note you will get a list of information. You will get the name and address of the venue, bar, house, etc. You will also get the name of the artist or musical group who is performing as well as a clip of one of their songs and a link to their website. At the bottom will be a rating scale of 5 stars. People who use the app will be able to give the band ratings and comment on the performances. This will be done to give people an idea of what they are going to be able to see live.

From my field research I noticed that not much is being done at local establishments to promote live local music. They may have a small sign somewhere in their building saying who is playing, but their Facebook and twitter accounts are promoting their food and drinks rather than helping draw a crowd for their local acts. That can be understandable, especially if it’s a bar or restaurant. They are trying to promote what makes them money. But what gets me is that they are missing out on a big opportunity. There are many local musicians and musical acts that can draw a large crowd if they had the right kind of promotion by these venues. And with the right kind of promotion comes larger crowds to their place of business, which means they will make much more money. Who doesn’t buy a few drinks or maybe something to eat at a show? I feel that venues that host live music are missing out on this opportunity to make more cash. By introducing the Live Local Music Finder to these venues they will be able to promote not only their place of business but also other live music acts. And the app encourages them to have a live act as much as possible, and to find local musicians interested in playing. These performance places in suburban areas could also offer different specials for people using the Live Local Music Finder, which would encourage more people to attend.

I would also like for this app to include a section where musicians can post a local garage or basement show on the Live Local Music Finder. I want this app to be able to be used by any serious musician, no matter what the venue may be. I have seen some of the best shows of my life in basements in the suburbs. This app will allow people to seek out new and undiscovered bands right in their own area, because sometimes it’s a little too much to go to the city to see a band. And why go to the city when there are great local acts right in your own neighborhood? I feel like most people do not travel to the suburbs to see a live act is because the city is seen as the “place to be” for live music. But this app will show that there are many places “to be” to catch a great live act.

Timeline for completion:

I plan on creating visual components of the project, perhaps drawing my own sketches of the project design and look within the next week or so. I still need to do some research in local suburban areas that host live music, I have already been to a good amount of local venues, but not always when a show is going on. I still need to pick a time to meet with Kristina DeVoe, and will be doing that this week. I need to find more links for the project research. I will start on the final paper in 2 weeks when I have worked out all of the kinks, and will be ready to present this project shortly after.

1. Goodwin, A., & Grossberg, L. (1993). Sound & vision: The music video reader. New York, New York: Routledge.

2. Graham, G., & Burnes, B. (2004). The transformation of the music industry supply chain: A major label perspective. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

3. Kusek, D., & Leonhard, G. (2005). The future of music: Manifesto for the digital music revolution. Boston, Massachusetts: Berklee Press.


One thought on “Live Local Music Finder”

  1. Much of your research literature so far is about the major label music industry or music videos. It might be more useful to find research on independent music and social media (Nancy Baym has done a lot of research in this area, for example). Research on suburban entertainment culture might be useful as well, or anything on suburban life. That sort of research can help you unpack why bands have such difficulty attracting followings in these areas. Perhaps you can even try to figure out how you might answer why the businesses that host shows aren’t doing a better job of advertising them. Research on local or indie band marketing will probably be useful as well.

    Be sure that what ever you make for the visual design component clearly explains what the app is and does.

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