“Less hassle, more music” – Gigstarter

Imagine you want to arrange live music for a wedding. First, you need to decide what kind of audience and what kind of music you want for the wedding. Thereafter, you will need to find and contact agents, and compare different quotes of bands and musicians to find your best options. As you can imagine, it can be a hassle to arrange live music for an event. The founders of Gigstarter wanted to facilitate this process and lower the threshold for live music. As their slogan states:

Less hassle, More music”.

Gigstarter is an online platform which connects musicians with everyone who is looking for live music. Currently, they are offering more than 800 artists, varying from cover bands to classical ensembles. As an event organizer, you can either search for the perfect band or place a call and let the musicians find you. Through the platform, the founders want to ease the process of finding live music. After you have filled in your filters or placed a call, the platform matches you with the musicians. Thereafter, you can directly get in contact with the musicians to discuss the terms and needs for your event. Finally, you can enjoy your event with live music.

The other way around, as a musician you can sign up to the platform as well. Having between 5,000 and 10,000 visitors a month and more than 150 bookings a month, the platform offers a great opportunity for musicians to play at gigs. Another benefit is that the platform does not mediate but facilitate the booking. Therefore, they do not take a commission of the booking.

The platform works with an explicit content-filtering (Tsekouras, 2016) to provide the user with the best recommendations. As some users might be experienced in organizing events with live music and others are not, they implemented both a parameter based interface (search on genre or name), and a need-based interface (search based on type of event). The novice users can use the need-based interface and the experts can use the parameter-based interface (Randall et al., 2005).

In order to enhance trust between the users and the musicians, Gigstarter let musicians create a profile with their personal information and Youtube videos to give an idea of their performances. Moreover, the profile contains user-generated ratings and reviews. Although, the majority of the reviews on the platform are positive, the platform needs to provide musicians with the possibility to respond to negative reviews whenever they get one. Abramova et al. (2015) identified the best response strategy to regain the trust of the platform users based on the setting of the complaint (high control or low control).

As Gigstarter is growing rapidly, both on the consumer side and the musician side, it will become cheaper and easier to book musicians. Will this be the end of booking agents? Will Gigstarter disrupt the live music industry, like Uber did in the taxi industry? We will know in the upcoming years.


Abramova, O., Shavanova, T., Fuhrer, A., Krasnova, H., & Buxmann, P. (2015) Understanding the Sharing Economy: The Role of Response to Negative Reviews in the Peer-to-peer Accommodation Sharing Network. European Conference of Information Systems 2015, Paper 1.

Gigstarter. (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.gigstarter.nl [Accessed 10 Mar. 2016].

Randall, T., Terwiesch, C., & Ulrich, K.T. (2005). Principles for user design of customized products. California Management Review, 47(4), 68.

Tsekouras, D. (2016). Decision Making & Personalized Product Recommendations– Customer Centric Digital Commerce.

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