Is This New Website Australia’s Airbnb For Live Music?

An up-and-coming online platform called Parlour is being heralded as Australia’s answer to popular accommodation rental website Airbnb, but with a focus on allowing fans and artists to easily organise gigs around town.

Developed by Melbourne singer-songwriter Matt Walters, Parlour cuts out the middleman and allows people to negotiate and host gigs wherever they please, although the platform is currently based in Melbourne. Artists such as Thelma Plum, Caitlin Harnett, Grand Salvo and Viox D’ior (pictured) have already played shows around the city.

Reports Fairfax, Parlour is putting its focus on connecting artists with fans, whilst also promising to give musos a good deal. With Parlour, artists take 90 per cent of a $10 ticket price.

In March this year, Walters posted to the official Parlour blog, outlining the story behind the business, which first launched in January.

“From being signed to a major label, to touring with some incredible international artists, I’ve certainly experienced all the ups and downs the music business has to offer,” Walters wrote in his post.

“But for some time now, I’ve felt a change coming on. Of course, with the traditional music model well and truly behind us, there is more emphasis than ever on playing live. But for most musicians – especially those up and coming – it’s hardly worth it. The experience of playing a great show can be a reward unto itself, but at the end of the day – artists, like all working people, need to get paid for their work.”

Walters went on to say some of his friends have gone into debt just to go on tour, and that means it’s time for a change. Walters recounted the time he played his first house concert, and how that has shaped what Parlour is today.

“I was asked by a fan to play a house concert, and it was incredible – life changing even… He had invited 60 or so of his closes friends – they’d all chipped in $10 bucks and brought a bottle of wine or a plate of food.

“Not only had I played the most beautiful and meaningful show of my career, but I’d also been paid about 5 times more than I was used to getting for playing a venue.

“This is what Parlour is all about. We are building a platform that will finally connect artists and hosts and allow them to share the magic of house shows with the world. We are building a web platform that will encourage a host[‘s] creative expression. We are building a web platform that will transform the live music economy.”

Parlour will host a series of Winter gigs next month, featuring Tin Pan Orange, Oh Mercy and Jen Cloher. For more information, visit the Parlour website.

Watch: Thelma Plum – Parlour gig at Freeman St, North Fitzroy

Watch: Parlour – Why Parlour Gigs? Pt 2

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