The view from the moshpit and other fan tales

May 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo by Julie Warmington

Julie Warmington says she’s always been a big music fan and avid gig goer and she’s got the ticket stubs, set lists, photographs and autographs to prove it.

Coinciding with New Zealand Music Month, this enterprising music fan has started the crowd sourced website, Fantale: Tales From the Front Row, for all music lovers to share their reviews, photos, videos and other souvenirs.

Originally, she had planned to create a timeline of her gig going history (“hundreds of gigs”) with her ticket stubs. She did some market research on what the average concert goer did with their show souvenirs – both digital and analogue – and arrived at the concept for Fantale.

Julie says the website – which is fully socially integrated where contributors can build up their profiles and follow and be followed – has only been live since April 25 but she’s been encouraged by the traffic, links and referrals that Fantale has been receiving.

“I even got a retweet from a Britpop star (James Walsh of Starsailor) which was unexpected and welcomed, but the most exciting thing was seeing the first user post a photo and review on the site,” she told SMNZ.

Fantale’s first listing was made on April 27 – a post by Loniusunknown of a Disasterradio/All Seeing Hands/Huf show in Palmerston North on April 21.

Julie says the reaction from musicians and the music industry has been really supportive. “I have been blown away by the feedback. Those people really count so I am pleased it has been well received.”

As far as Julie knows, there is no equivalent website in New Zealand for fans to share their reviews of live shows, as well as other concert ephemera. There are websites like Songkick that allow fans to add photos but it is not the main focus.

Fantale is also a natural extension of what Julie has been doing. She has worked with music companies and digital agencies in Britain, including four years as a marketing manager for MySpace. She currently works in Wellington as a digital producer.

The website is designed by Joanna Alpe at We Love Inc. “Not only was she the natural choice for me because she is enormously talented, but she totally got what I was trying to achieve.”

Julie’s next priority is to create a mobile app for Fantale because mobile technology means most fans are increasingly expecting to upload images or video directly from gigs. She promises a development in that regard and is currently looking for funding to make it happen.

Music lovers and artists now have a dedicated website for sharing their experiences of live music, long after the last beats have played. As New Zealand Music Month closes out for another year, it is hoped that one of the long term legacies from this year will be Fantale.

Also look for Fantale on Twitter and Facebook and send Julie your feedback on what you think of her website and how it works for you.

The Phoenix Foundation play the Fan Zone

October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Back in their hometown after two European tours in one year, the Phoenix Foundation’s most recent show on the Wellington waterfront as part of the city’s Rugby World Cup festivities reminded me just how lucky we are in Wellington that they continue to do what they do.

The Phoenix Foundation is one of Wellington’s treasures. They’ve released four wonderful albums, contributed to a couple of film soundtracks, made a few EPs and been a constant cultural organism in the city’s musical fabric for over ten years.

Singer and guitarist Luke Buda told me the day after the show that the group had played 50 concerts in 2011, as many as the band had played in the previous four years. They were disappointed by the small but faithful crowd of about 400 that showed up to see them play the Fan Zone but it was a weeknight and the publicity had been ramshackle.

It didn’t matter to those of us who were there. The Phoenix Foundation is back among their first fans and the music shimmered across the waterfront while the wind stayed away and the stars sparkled.

There are many better quality videos of the group to be found on YouTube and elsewhere but for a little while at least, these videos I took of them on a still and clear Thursday night on the harbour’s edge will be the most recent.

For the record, the videos were made with a Flip video recorder – high definition on a small screen and fuzzy on a larger one.

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