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GIGCO app hopes to boost beleagured North East live music scene

GIGCO app founders Kindlan and De Vrijer

A pair of North East entrepreneurs are hoping to boost the region’s live music scene with a comprehensive What’s On guide that digitally links venues, artists and fans.

GIGCO App, which has been created with support from the North Tyneside Business Factory, is the brainchild of Ben Kindlan and Frank De Vrijer, and aims to promote closer relationships between these three crucial pillars of the live music scene.

Kindlan said: “We are true music lovers at heart. Our initial product on the GIGCO App is our comprehensive What’s On guide. Fans, venues and artists are being let down by social media platforms and ticketing sites. Venues and artists can build a following of thousands only to find the platform’s algorithms only inform a small number of these followers about events. And ticketing sites only promote the events they profit from selling.

“Our platform features all gigs in any city. You can share your discoveries with friends. You can buy tickets from the host’s ticket site. The live music landscape has been hit hard by covid restrictions, the rise in energy bills and cost of living crisis. We want to do what we can to reignite this sector by removing some of the difficulties in discovering what is happening in your neighbourhood.”

The business has attracted the backing of a series of North East heavyweights in the tech start-up world such as Malcolm Cowley, founder of Performance Horizon, and Pete Cheyne, founder of BottlePay.

The GIGCO App is available in the Google and Apple app stores now, and it’s initial North East launch will be followed by a series of strategic regional launches throughout the UK – pre-registration for venues or artists is now available.

Open to all venues, musicians and fans alike, GIGCO will allow artists across the music industry to take bookings, sell merchandise and interact more directly with an audience through the app.

At the same time, GIGCO will support venues to source and locate artists to fill their live event calendar and meet the needs of customers eager to witness more live music in local venues.

The North Tyneside Business Factory and TEDCO Business Support in the Borough, the Business, along with their experienced advisors, offered one-to-one support to the ambitious pair in the form of business planning and financial guidance. The Business Factory is the enterprise support programme from North Tyneside Council and is funded by the ERDF.

Lee Casey, business advisor at The Business Factory / TEDCO said: “Ben and Frank aim to make GIGCO the go-to platform in the music industry for connecting artists to venues and really help in the recovery of the live music scene. They have the background, knowledge and skills to really provide a solution to a problem that they themselves have experience of, having run the types of venues that would have benefitted from the tech. They have such passion and it’s been wonderful to work with them and connect the team to the type of support that will help GIGCO get off to the best start.”

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