Local company helps performers make a band and book a show
BY LEA YAMASHIRO
Special to the Daily Press
How do people cope with the struggle to find band members and gigs? They invent an online, live music-marketplace.
After working on Wall Street and then at AOL during the dot-com boom, Canadian-born turned Santa Monica-local David Baird, founder of Gigmor, moved to Los Angeles in 2007 to continue to pursue his passion for technology. However, technology has not always been Baird’s only focus; he has always had a passion for music.
Baird has been the leader and guitar player for many bands, playing guitar; these have been varied types of bands – original bands, cover bands, and “a little bit of everything,” as he put it. He helped create a few bands while working in New York and Virginia.
When he moved to Los Angeles, Baird opened up a digital agency called Troubadour Digital Media and served a few notable clients. Meanwhile, while forming a band, he realized that despite the obvious implied advantages of being a musician in Los Angeles, he had a very hard time booking gigs and finding musicians to fill in for band members.
He launched into this issue with the vision of creating an musician-matching, gig-booking website, on which people had a forum to both self-advertise and search for needed musicians with more ease. Hence, Gigmor was borne.
“It all kind of came to the forefront when I moved to LA. I was a lone musician, and needed to put a band together. I needed a rhythm section and other players, a singer, and so on. That was when the lightbulb went off that, ‘Hey, technology could really solve this problem,’ just as dating sites did for people looking for other kinds of people, just under different circumstances,” Baird said.
Gigmor was founded and launched in 2014, initially as a “Linkedin for musicians,” Baird explained when asked about the early days of the company. This first iteration of the website was simply a musician-matching website designed to help people find members for their bands. This allowed musicians to post an ad looking for, say, a drummer, and the website helped connect them.
Over the last year, the Gigmor team created a new parallel version of the company that not only is a place for musicians find each other to fill spots in bands, but is now a “music marketplace” where musicians can find gigs to play and hosts can find musicians to play at their concerts.
“As a percentage of all working musicians and bands, a very small number are actually represented by labels and managers, about 15-20,000,” Baird said. “The rest, which number in the millions, are kind of in a do-it-yourself world.
It’s a very fragmented world where there are over 10,000 music venues in the United States. And these millions of bands, they have no real easy way to connect with each other. The venues have no real way of evaluating talent.
The whole process is very inefficient and frustrating for everybody. It’s an ideal candidate for an online marketplace to come in and solve problems for both sides.”
On the site, musicians make profiles that allow them to apply for gigs that are posted by event planners, talent buyers, venue managers, and others who are on the search for musicians. Bands and solo artists can also make “avail posts,” letting buyers in their areas know that they are available for certain dates, times, and types of events. Although the site is now very focused on being a marketplace, it still helps musicians find each other very easily through the website’s help.
The idea that fueled Gigmor in the first place was the search for live music; owners need musicians to play at their venues and musicians need members in their bands to perform.
Local-live music is the foundation of this type of marketplace, which is why it is such an important aspect of the company.
“Our mission is global, but really comes down to that local level.
Our mission is to bring more live music to life and to the world, because we’ve made it easier to find and book talent. In every community, like Santa Monica, around North America and around the world, there’s a lot of unused capacity,” Baird said. “Venues are quiet or dark or closed entirely on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Bands are sitting idle and would love to be out there playing. Our goal is, in making it easier to find and book talent, helping there to be more live music in a community like Santa Monica, and we think that’s absolutely what’s going to happen.”