By Chris Bongard
7th December 2012

When I’m not busy here at KDR I like nothing more than taking in a gig. I love all kinds of music, from The Smiths to Midlake to Fat Boy Slim and I’ve been lucky enough to see them all live over the last few years.

But for the most popular shows, competition is high. It’s vital to know when a band is playing so you can bag yourself some tickets as soon as they go on sale. The bottom line is that I, along with most other people, simply don’t have the free time to constantly check the websites of all the bands/artists/DJs I like on the off chance that they have announced a tour where ever in the world it may be.

RecentIy, I discovered a very handy mobile app – Songkick – which allows me to track where my favourite bands are playing live close to me through a clever use of unstructured (ie big) data.

Songkick, a British company founded in 2007, gathers its data around events/concerts from multiple external sources. It then gathers your music ‘data’ ie the artists in in your electronic music library, and matches the two pieces of information, plus any other artists you want to add yourself, to pull together relevant concerts.

It also allows you to tailor your profile by selecting specific locations (in my case Manchester and Sheffield/Leeds where I have friends) that are relevant to you, though as I sit here now writing this it knows I am near Manchester!

This avoids getting your hopes up when your favourite band announces a new concert, only to find they are playing a one-off spectacular gig on the other side of the world! It also offers the option to buy tickets for events/concerts.

The thing I really love about Songkick is that it alerts me (on my phone & iPad) every time one of my favourite artists / bands announces a new gig, which means I no longer find myself getting frustrated because I have discovered that I missed a local show before I even knew it was happening.

Far too often in the past I have found myself scratching my head, thinking: “How did I not know they were playing in Manchester!?’’ Thanks to Songkick, and its innovative use of data, theoretically I shouldn’t ever miss a gig again.

Check them out here - Songkick.com

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