Discovering concerts, made easy

Like many people, I spend too much time online. I wouldn’t call it an addiction, but perhaps my curiosity gets the better of me and I find myself cruising through the digital universe at hyper-speed. Recently, my delicious account surpassed 1000 bookmarks. Many of these I intend to save for future use. Some I keep coming back to as I make plans for summer travel. With unlimited filing of websites why not click and attach some tags? In an effort to share some of my amazing finds from across the web, I intend to start a series of posts categorized as “Site of the Week”.

This week’s feature is: Bandsintown (http://bandsintown.com)

Although many of you might be familiar with Eventful as an easy way to search for concerts, local movie times, and other events, Bandsintown specializes in music. Without any need to log-in or set up an account, your location is automatically detected based on your IP address, allowing you to discover upcoming concerts at nearby venues.

A quick search for “The Decemberists” shows they are coming to Portland, OR in September and will play at Pioneer Square. There are quick links to purchase tickets through Ticketwest, although the pricing options displayed are confusing. When I clicked the low-cost option it took me to a page for General Admission $32 (of course charges bring it to $38.50). Those higher priced selections include VIP passes and other exclusive extras, such as a MusicFestNW wristband. You’ll have to click each option to find out what the specific prices buy for you.

A great sidebar if you can’t attend, or want to find other concerts you might like is the Similar Shows listing. This makes it simple to discover other musical artists that are coming to the same region, and which venues they are playing at. Because I searched for The Decemberists, and people who like that band also enjoy Hot Hot Heat, it recommends their August 17th show.

What makes this site unique, in my opinion, is the ability to upload your saved musical tastes from a last.fm or Pandora account. Your preferences are converted into a tag cloud which serves as a starting point for learning when your favorite bands are coming to town.

Although I only attend one or two concerts each year on average, and have neither a Pandora or last.fm account, I would still consider Bandsintown a great source for checking into upcoming concerts. It’s easy to search, provides relevant information, and directs you to purchase tickets without even needing to register. It also beats Eventful or Ticketswest searches by displaying similar artists shows without the need for a new search.

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