Canadian Music Tech Platform, Side Door, to appear on CBC’s Dragons’ Den

Redesigns Platform to Help Artists and Hosts Connect and Create In-person Shows

Side Door's Laura Simpson and Dan Mangan on DRAGONS' DEN. Photo credit: CBC/ Side Door. (CNW Group/Side Door)

TORONTOOct. 20, 2022 /CNW/ – Canadian tech company, Side Door has launched a redesigned platform that better connects hosts with artists to create incredible in-person concert experiences, and they’re entering the DRAGONS’ DEN this fall. Tune in on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022, at 8:00 PM (8:30 NT) on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service to see Side Door’s Laura Simpson (CEO and co-founder) and Dan Mangan (co-founder and JUNO Award-winning artist) pitch the popular show’s Dragon investors.

Side Door is a web-based platform that supports in-person shows in non-conventional spaces like living rooms, bookstores, warehouses, etc. It does so, by connecting artists with hosts and providing easy-to-use show-booking tools. Since 2017, it has facilitated over $1.3 million in ticket revenue. Side Door helps streamline many aspects of a show, including matchmaking artists and hosts, communication, ticket sales with flexible pricing, revenue splitting, show promotion, and audience check-in and ticket scanning. Side Door empowers anyone to turn their space into a venue to create memorable live experiences.

“Side Door believes live performance can build community, lift hearts and generate empathy,” said Laura Simpson, Side Door CEO and co-founder“We’re excited to pitch the Dragons on how we help anyone who wants to host a show in their space to invite artists to play.”

More than 700 artists and bands have used the Side Door platform to book shows, including Broken Social SceneHaviah MightyRural Alberta AdvantageSaid the WhaleCadence WeaponJohn K. Sampson, and Dan Mangan. Through Side Door, Broken Social Scene was able to offer fans a very exclusive and unusual concert experience when they performed at a goat farm. Side Door also booked tours for five artists from their hometowns to Austin, Texas, as part of a partnership with SXSW 2022. Over 400 spaces have booked shows with Side Door, including breweries, galleries, farms and homes.

The core of the new Side Door platform is a powerful tool called “Show Calls,” which allows artists and hosts to broadcast their availability to their fan bases and the Side Door community. This one-to-many approach works with demand and momentum to make the best matches and create the best shows. Artists find shows based on where and when they’ll be, and hosts can dictate when they are available and what they can offer. The unique smart contract technology allows for a simple ticketing and payout process.

“The Show Call feature was the perfect tool to zone in on finding what I was really looking for,” said artist and Side Door co-founder Dan Mangan“A hundred people casually said they’d be interested in hosting me in Vancouver on my Instagram post; 17 of them created Side Door space profiles and messaged me on the platform so I could check them out. About five of those were seriously worth considering, and in the end, I found the perfect space that I would never have found otherwise. The process naturally narrowed the focus for me. It happened quickly, and I didn’t have to waste hours going through endless social DMs.”

During the pandemic, Side Door facilitated more than 1,200 online shows, but the return of in-person events refocused the company to its initial purpose – to connect artists with hosts to create in-person events. After a two-year break, shows have vigorously returned, and the competition artists face for booking traditional concert venues is staggering. Additionally, as a result of the pandemic, hundreds of music venues across Canada have closed. More artists than ever are touring, but they have fewer venues to play and the need for the vibrant network of non-traditional venue spaces that Side Door offers has never been greater.

Halifax-based Side Door was founded in 2017 by music industry professional Laura Simpson and JUNO Award-winning artist, songwriter, and musician, Dan Mangan. As of October 2022, Side Door has facilitated over 2000 shows, and artists have earned over $1.3 million in ticket revenue. More than 140,000 tickets have been purchased on the platform and over 2700 hosts have spaces that can hold 20 or more people. Earlier this month, Side Door received the 2022 Licensed to Play SOCAN Award, which recognizes a Canadian business that represents the mutual respect that music creators and businesses have for each other, allowing them to continue to grow together. Side Door also won the 2022 East Coast Music Award for Company of the Year and has been nominated for several other prestigious awards. In June of 2021, Side Door raised a USD $3 million seed round led by Vancouver’s Rhino Ventures.

Side Door aims to build a future where live performance is accessible and welcoming to all and strives to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive ecosystem. Side Door’s equity, diversity and inclusion strategy is available here.

To watch a preview of Side Door’s DRAGONS’ DEN pitch, click here.

SOURCE Side Door

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