It’s nice when you ask for something and then it turns up, even if it takes a while. Four years ago I (Pete, btw) put in a request to the interwebs for a “searchable small gigs database feed site thingy” which I could throw a bunch of criteria into and be given regular updates of stuff happening in my area that might be of interest – a middle ground between my usual sources and the useless torrent of information that most what’s on sites provide. There have been a few attempts since then but Live Brum is the first that’s gotten me slightly excited.
Partly this is the pedigree. It’s run by Josh Hart who recently left Made Media to concentrate on this project. Made, as you may know, built the fantastic Town Hall Symphony Hall website and Live Brum looks to be applying the ideas there to the rest of the city’s venues.
The other part is that its incredibly flexible. You can filter the information in numerous ways and subscribe to those results with ease. Stuff like subscribing to Rock and Pop at the Hare and Hounds is nice enough but being able to subscribe to a search for a band or any keyword is quite lovely.
Lots of other neat things too, such as embedding the event in your blog or website in the same way as YouTube videos, the magic being if the details change on Live Brum those changes will be reflected on your site too. Think of them as dynamic flyers. Here’s one:
And, with my tech-head on, the way Josh has built the site lets him add all sorts of new and innovative features and integration with other social networking sites with ease. This is still early days for the site.
The trick, of course, is making sure the site has all the correct information. From chatting to Josh the other week he’s pretty sure he’s got this sorted out in a sustainable way, partly by ensuring promoters and venues can take their information back out in a variety of ways making it worth their while putting it in. I think there might be a bit of a steep learning curve for some of them here but, frankly, it’s about time the live music industry caught up with the 21st century. And, of course, if this site works then it will put Birmingham miles ahead of most other cities.
So, in short, cautious big grins all round. Nice one.