The Evolution of Allstage
In November of 2012, the creation of Allstage arrived on the Internet. The entire platform was done on a Word Press template that while it suited us at the time, it was extremely hard to work with and had serious limitations in order to do what we wanted a site to do. The original site was helped along by David Workman in the initial stages and we hobbled along as we could, until we found a better way to accomplish our objectives.
As months went by we tried Word Press upgrades that we purchased from a web developer in Britain and at this point Tracey Moore stepped up and helped us out with the new site, but soon we are once again at the ceiling of what this platform could accomplish for us. The site was garnering only on average 900 hits per month, so it was time to invest some serious money in a site.
This time we decided that an app would be a great compliment to the online Allstage site and sought out someone to supply us with both. Well I won’t get into the ugly details but we spent a lot of money on a site and an app that while it increased to about 1,200 hits per month – the site was inherently a mess in regards to technical issues and problems as once again his “development of a site” was nothing more than yet another lame Word Press template.
And at this point Allstage was nothing more than a middleman to get information out about bands/artists/events.
We put up with the situation until the developer bailed on us and seven other London business’s, and left us all holding a worthless product we each had invested thousands into relating to our own business.
The only upside to all of this at this point, was Allstage won a London Music Award for all the presence we had in the local music scene at that point.
At that point Barb and I had to make a decision of whether we were to continue on or just call it a day. We had lost a lot of money to an unscrupulous individual and were pretty jaded about the entire thing. We wanted to continue with Allstage as we firmly believed in the concept and the London Music community as a whole, but just felt that we couldn’t go backward – it was time to take the leap of call it a day.
Barb had met this wonderful woman named Courtney Hance who with her partner Trevor Adams, had a local company called The Branding Firm that specialized in marketing and web development. Barb had to do some convincing with me as I was pretty gun shy after the recent incident, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to hear them all out. We set up a meeting to explain what it was that I was looking for if I was going to pursue Allstage, plus I needed some reassurance that the two of them were actually legit business people as opposed to the last one.
I made some calls to good friends in the business community and they had nothing but great things to say about The Branding Firm, so that certainly made me more open to what they had to say so off we went.
By the end of this meeting with Courtney and Trevor I was excited again. The proposal was for a new site built entirely from scratch, not some Word Press platform but one designed, coded and built from the ground up. As the months of prep went by we had to use a temp Go-Daddy page as a stop-gap until the new site was created.
The new site was going to be more vibrant, give us the ability to add more information and be rock solid in terms of efficiency. The app was miles ahead of the previous one giving us features like members MP3’s on it, the ability to “Follow” patrons, bands, venues to see where your friends were attending events on any given night, adding your own followers, a more pronounced and effective calendar – it had all the things on both the site and the app that we had envisioned for the past few years. Now it was just a matter of waiting to launch it.
March 10th, 2017 – the new Allstage Launch
The day had arrived, the new site and app were ready to go, although to be truthful, the app was in essence in a Beta state. The Branding Firm team had worked endlessly on getting the entire platforms in place; the workload had been immense in the coding of it.
We held the launch on the main floor of Innovation Works and invited a 150 of our supporters to participate. Zach McCabe supplied the acoustic music and many in the London music community showed their support by attending.
We were on our way at last and it didn’t take long to see some solid results. The monthly hits went from 1,200 (old site) to 7,000 to 346,000 in one month, settling in on a monthly average of 257,000 each month.
Unique visitors average 3,000 per month and downloads of the app took off as well from Google Play and The App Store. Allstage was no longer the middleman – we had become the place where music patrons were going to check out who was playing where and when.
As the months slipped by, Allstage became involved in more and more of the many facets of the London Music scene. Jim found himself on the Executive Board of the LMA, two London Music Office Committee’s at City Hall. Associations were cemented with the Jack Richardson London Music Awards, Tourism London, and London Arts Council.
Allstage ran a very successful Allstage Jam at The Eastside Bar for five years (which is now going to be at the revamped Norma Jeans venue in the Fall of 2018), initiated a well received Allstage Youth Jam that will also be held at Norma Jeans and Fox and Fiddle in the Fall of 2018.
We won a coveted JRLMA Award in 2018 and things have been going gangbusters with new connections and marketing plans as we whip along.
In the very beginning I had some dear friends who trusted me and believed in the concept: Sarah Smith, Archie Gamble, Diamond Dust, Wade Sharp, Peter Choma, Doug Varty and their support was enormous. Since then I have the pleasure of hundreds of dear friends who share my love of live music and who are wonderful, caring people that I am proud to call my friends. Allstage has been heavily involved in countless benefits for sick children, abused animals, homeless teens, flood victims, cancer victims, Madam Vanier, Tinnitus Association – all the things that musicians and the music community are known for in terms of giving back.
Now we have taken yet another leap in the release of Allstage 2.0 version by Trevor Adams company ODigital. The new Allstage has been expanded to incorporate more musicians/bands/venues. We have added more social media features for members and non-members alike. We’ve streamlined the layout and given bands a “Book This Artist” option for those that want to hire them.
We’ve added 51 local artists and Subscribers have been downloading our Free App on a regular weekly basis.
And we have incorporated a new feature for Venue members and patrons alike on the web site where we list daily specials as supplied to us by Venues members.
The site has made the transition from “middleman” to a go-to destination for fans of live music and we thank you all for your support as we continue forward in the years to come.
Thanks to my wife Barb for her un-wavering support and love, and all those that have helped along the way.
Allstage (FB version) – 3,019 Members
Twitter – 2,886 Members
Instagram – 1,424 Members
LinkedIn – 1,248 Members
Musicians Wanted – London (FB) – 2,120 Members
Jim’s Local Artist Page (FB) – 1,194 Members
Allstage Jam (FB) – 957 Members
Live Band Gigs (FB) – 767 Members
Open Mic Jams – London (FB) – 658 Members
Allstage Band (FB) – 406 Members