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Stageit - Your Tool For Online Gigs

Middle of September Ophelia Syndrome thrilled their fans with an online gig via Stageit (promoted by 50K MUSIC MAG). Deanna, singer of the band, shares the experience of this gig with all musicians who've already thought about performing online straight to their fans. Published October 31 2013.

  by Deanna

I heard about Stageit from my best friend about a year ago. What is Stageit you ask? It is an online venue where you can broadcast from anywhere, to anyone, at anytime, directly from your laptop. Also, it is never archived, so it is a one time concert experience. The charm of Stageit is that most artists broadcast directly from their homes, which makes the concerts very intimate. Also, during the concert anyone who has purchased tickets can ask questions of the artist, or share their thoughts which are made available to the right of the screen in a column. It’s an interesting concept.

Our band, Ophelia Syndrome, have been working on a new album for the past year. We have completed the songs that we will be recording on the new album. We are currently fan funding by way of an album pre-order online, and wanted to showcase this new material to our supporters and potential supporters. In September we recently returned from our second (very small) European tour, and we thought this was a good time to perform these new songs. We were faced with a dilemma: how do we showcase these songs to both our small audience here, and also our audience overseas?

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am not very tech savvy, and so the prospect of an online show overwhelmed me at first. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t get e-mail until I was in College, and Facebook for the most part creeps me out. But a trusted ally Shane encouraged me to seriously look into using it, as it is a very good way to be able to perform to audiences when touring costs are very expensive, and it is not an option.

So I very carefully read through the website and set-up an account. When I started looking through the dashboard, I found it to be very user friendly. The only thing that artists need to be aware of, is that yes Stageit is totally free, but they do take a percentage which varies depending on how much you make from the show (the breakdown is here). The artist sets the date, time, set duration (with a maximum of 30 min, with an encore option of another 20 once you have started the concert), ticket price (we went with a Pay What You Can event and set the lowest price possible on Stageit of 10 notes, which is $1.00 USD), and can even set incentives to the highest “tipper”. Yes, you can even get tipped on Stageit during your performance if the attendees decide to. It is important to note, that Stageit uses a “notes” system for payment, and 10 “notes” is equivalent to $1.00 USD.

So we approached a local venue here in Hamilton that has been so supportive to us, the Artword Artbar run by the lovely Ron and Judith. We picked a date, which was Sunday Sept. 15th at 2:30 pm to account for the 6 hour time difference from here to Western Europe where we toured the last two summers. We then started selling tickets here and online, and prepared for the show.

Stageit is set up to be broadcast from an artist’s living room and is appropriate for acoustic performances. We, however did not perform acoustically, and so we had to be a bit more particular once we got to the venue to set the laptop in an area that the sound was good, and also had a good view of the stage (we found a nice spot on top of the raised bar). Also, Stageit has a “Soundcheck” option that you can set-up anytime to check your levels. I would highly suggest getting someone to help with this. There is a 30 second delay, so bringing a good set of headphones is helpful as well to listen back. We were lucky to have my best friend, and fellow musician Kori Pop on sound duty to make sure it sounded right. We did have to fuss with it for a bit. This was our first time using Stageit, and so we made sure to get to the venue extremely early and work out all of the sound and laptop placement issues ahead of time. I would highly recommend this to any artist considering using Stageit for the first time. We used our bass player Josh’s Mac Book (which we would suggest using as I did a couple soundchecks at home with a lesser laptop, and the picture and sound were not as clear). Also, we used the standard built in camera and web cam feature because it was the least complicated, and it seemed to go over well. If you want to get fancy you can also use an external camera and microphone, a high def camera and external audio mixer, or even a multiple camera shoot (for all of the details, please click here).

We ended up being really happy with the show. It is important to us that the show sounded great both at the venue and online, which took some fiddling around, but in the end we got it. We got a really positive response from everyone watching online through Stageit and also from the show attendees at the venue. We will definitely do this again.