These two women want to make touring easier for indie bands
Australian musicians Kate Bradley (Dark Fair) and Liz Thomas (Ouch My Face) are in Austin this week for the annual SxSW music conference.
Both of us had gone on tour interstate and we’d spent our entire fee on hiring backline and getting it delivered.Liz Thomas, Everywhere Roadie
But they’re not there trying to sell their band to prospective booking agents and management. This year they want to tell the world about the genius business idea that they hatched quietly last year and has been gaining
Everywhere Roadie connects touring musicians with fellow artists in cities all around the world. But it’s not for friendship, support slots or restaurant recommendations.
This practical service allows a band to hire gear – amps, drums, other hefty instruments tough to travel with – direct from regular artists who aren’t using them.
“Being touring musicians we’ve been on the road and had a lot of struggles around sourcing gear, or even music services,” Bradley told Double J’s Myf Warhurst.
“It’s expensive, touring, especially as an indie artist.”
“Basically it was just born out of a shared frustration,” Thomas said. “Both of us had gone on tour interstate and we’d spent our entire fee on hiring backline and getting it delivered.
"We were like ‘there has to be an easier way of doing this. It’d be great if we knew people in this town where we could just hire straight off them and save a bit of money’.
“The flip side of that is that artists, when they’re not using their gear, are able to make a bit of money on the side.”
Everyone wins, including the founders’ own bands.
“Being independent artists we know how hard it is,” Bradley said. “It’s selfishly like, ‘oh great, now when I’m on tour and I need an amp, I can source it from someone around me instead of having to spend a fortune and worry about delivery.’ It certainly simplifies the process.”
And the founders felt compelled to share the profits of their idea with the very community that has inspired them.
“A huge part of Everywhere Roadie is about the community, so we wanted to give back in whatever way we could,” Thomas said.
“We decided to donate 30 percent of profits to Support Act – an Australian charity that supports musicians and music professionals in times of need. For me personally I’ve had a number of friends that have had Support Act help them out.
“We’ve also got a piece of gear on the site that used to belong to Dean Turner of Magic Dirt, where 100 percent of the profit goes to Support Act.”
This gem of an idea has landed them a prominent spot at SxSW, where they will be able to tell some of the world’s biggest players all about Everywhere Roadie.
“We’ll be featuring at a session that’s called the Spotlight,” Bradley said. “We’re in a segment that’s called the Music Startup Spotlight.
“Twenty companies get selected across the globe to present at that event. We’ll be doing a lot of talking and demoing. It’s attended by all sorts of people – from musicians to industry and people who want to invest in businesses and so on.”
The initiative has already drawn some overseas attention, which the women are hoping will continue in the wake of their showcase.
“We’ve had membership emerge in the States, New Zealand and the UK,” Radley said. “I think that’s what gave us the thought to see how we go and start reaching out more globally.”
“I feel like it’s a global issue,” Thomas said. “Independent artists all face the same issue.”
Find out more about Everywhere Roadie from their website