We’re BandWagon. And We Want to Fix the Sonicbids ‘Pay-to-Play’ Problem…

And what is the Sonicbids ‘pay-to-play problem,’ exactly?  In the wake of a $15 million acquisition, the accusations are that Sonicbids unfairly charges thousands of artists for the mere chance of getting a festival slot.  Even if the chances of acceptance are essentially zero.  “Your $15 million exit is made up of the sweat of unsigned artists who gave you their last $30 in the hope of playing a show somewhere, that 10 years ago they would have applied for for free,” Ditto Music Matt Parsons blasted, the start of a very heated debate.

Which brings us to BandWagon, a UK-based startup headed by Stan Mcleod that just secured deals to power submissions for Secret Garden Party and goNORTH.  The difference is that artists only have to pay for more premium packages, not to submit.  “It’s important to us that BandWagon pushes for more transparency in the live music industry,” Mcleod explained.

“The anti-pay-to-play agreement is just the start in our mission to promote a fairer live community.”

The startup is clearly at loggerheads with the Sonicbids approach, but does this alternative make business sense?  “BandWagon is taking a firm stance on pay-to-play ‘initiatives’. Distancing itself from any company looking to profit from artists trying to get gigs, BandWagon will incorporate its own community agreement into its terms and conditions, disallowing any such activity on any of its gigs.

“BandWagon is a platform connecting artists and promoters. We’re also staunchly anti pay-to-play.”

13 Responses

  1. Wes Davenport

    Was kind of hard to find their website, but here it is:

    I like the freemium model, ala LinkedIn or Monster. I think we can agree that competition would be healthy for this space. Looking forward for an opportunity to try it out here in the States.

    Wes Davenport – wesdavenport.com – @wesdavenport

  2. Jeff Robinson

    Hmmm, egalitarian review of promoters from the musician’s community at large should be an invaluable result of that service.

  3. truth

    BandWagon? There’s a reason you haven’t heard of them and won’t hear about them tomorrow. Mark my words as these fly by nights will be gone tomorrow.

    So who will be here tomorrow?

    Google: EVIL

    Spotify: EVIL

    Pandora: EVIL

    Sonicbids: EVIL

    Major Label: EVIL (okay *used* to be successful)

    Live Nation/Ticketmaster: EVIL

    Radio: EVIL

    Grooveshark: EVIL

    • Ghost of Rick Ross

      That’s dark. Not every company that makes it is evil but a lot are.

      • Nathan Macias

        Agreed. IF this company survives (IF) let’s see how “artist friendly” they are.

    • Anonymous Coward

      Also Evil:

      Sony ATV, Apple, YouTube, The Pirate Bay, TuneCore, Gracenote, Deezer…

  4. Vail, CO

    Truth be told if Panos had a conscious he would have hung up on SonicBids ages ago. There are the gigs on bid where the artists has zip chance of getting accepted but there you have SonicBids taking the cash anyway. I even hear of ones where this is already known to all sides except for the clueless artist forking over their rent money.

    That’s what’s called “Used Car Salesman” folks and he’s now $15 mill. richer than you are.

  5. Pricey?

    Isn’t the premium service (which seems to be similar to Sonicbids paid services) MORE expensive then Sonicbids? 8 Pounds a month equals $16 bucks a month roughly equals $192 a yearish…