Concert Archives: the digital archive for all your favourite gigs
From the fans for the fans: “if you have fond memories of concerts and an urge to never forget” Concert Archives is for you. USA based Concert Archives is a digital platform dedicated to music lovers of all genres, allowing subscribers to list, rate and share details about their favourite concerts with an international community of fans.
Created in 2013 by founder Justin Thiele and his team, Concert Archives was born out of musical devotion and a touch of nostalgia. As Thiele explains: “I’ve been really nostalgic about music […], which has manifested itself in a couple of ways. First, I got back into vinyl. I rediscovered my record collection and began trying to backfill my favorite albums. […] Second, I’ve gotten an urge to research and catalog all of the concerts I’ve been to.”
Luckily enough, Justin used to keep a list of most of the gigs he went to during his college years. He knew he had it somewhere, but had to “travel back in time” to find it: he went on a hunt for the “bands I have seen.txt” file through his numerous hard-copy CD backups (yes, this is how people saved their files before Time Machine and Dropbox!) and he managed to find it.
He finally had a list of almost every concert he had seen from about 2001 to 2004 in his hands, but unfortunately half of them didn’t have dates and none had venues. However, Justin did not give up: “With lots and lots of Googling, searching email, and flipping through photos, I was able to put together the puzzle pieces and get “bands i have seen.txt” mostly up-to-date and mostly thorough.”
What stroke him through this process, was the idea that most of the gigs he had been to might have been archived in much more detail if he ut together his own memories with information and details his friends and other concert goers may have. In addition, Justin asked himself another question: “Cloud backups are great, but what if I still lose “bands i have seen.txt” again?”
This, is the spark that led Justin Thiele to conceiving Concert Archives, “The social network & diary for concert lovers”.
I began building Concert Archives to try to coax my friends into creating their (and my) concert archive and to get it all into a safe, centralized place.
Justin Thiele – Concert Archives founder
Today, you can browse Concert Archives and get lost in thousands of pages listed by Band, Venue, Location or User profile, and deep-dive into thorough information about hundreds of artists and events including set-lists, photos and videos, catalogued by users like you.
The database is built on clear community guidelines that explain users how to list their gigs and entry information correctly, and sometimes relies on other services for specific data – e.g. Setlist.fm., from which Concert Archives attempts to pull setlists for the listed concerts, or Last.fm. where artists’ bios come from.
With over 13K photographs’ pages to browse, Concert Archives works just like any social media platform, where you can find a community of fans like you and discover concerts from the 1960s to today’s date through a wealth of crowd-sourced pictures, tour programmes scans, ticket stubs, close-ups and more, framing some of the greatest names in music as well as the lesser-known bands.
As Justin told Rock&Roamer, typical Concert Archive users are (obviously) music lovers, and range from “people who have just started going to concerts, to people who have seen hundreds, or even thousands, of concerts over the last several decades.” For some of them, sais Thiele “it’s a hobby where they spend hours documenting concerts from the past 50 years – finding old newspaper articles, ticket stubs, photos, and videos”.
Whether you are a nostalgic cataloguer or an eager fan looking forward to your next gig, Concert Archives is a great tool to explore: the platform not only allows users to gather details on past concerts, but also facilitates the research for upcoming gigs and seamlessly redirects you to tickets’ sales channels.