Musician Booking Platform Sidestage Launches in London

By David Knight |

Musician booking platform Sidestage appears to be in tune with its userbase as it launches in London, its second city following Berlin. Sidestage is a new marketplace which enables users to find and instantly book musicians from classical violinists to indie bands and DJs for private events, parties and performances.

The Berlin-based startup initially launched in the German capital in July following a period in beta. It is the brainchild of Schuyler Deerman, an American who first moved to Berlin eight years ago and who previously founded Moped, a messaging platform which was eventually acquired by 6Wunderkinder. Deerman was also one of the original founders of Silicon Allee.

There are now more than 80 artists on the platform, including an accordionist from the Royal Academy of Music, a violinist who has played with Coldplay and Rihanna and a flamenco guitarist who has entertained the Pope.

The move to London – where there is a much larger market to be tapped – makes perfect sense if the Sidestage team can whip up enough interest, and to that end they will be holding an artist meet up in the UK capital on September 9 for musicians, bands and DJs who want to learn more about the platform.

And it seems they are already making an impact on the Big Smoke, with Rosemary Hudson of Goodbye Leopold in London saying: “Sidestage helps us focus on making and playing music. [It] makes it easy to accept booking requests and protects us against cancellations. As artists, we love it.”

The startup has so far raised around $100,000 (about €74,000) in angel investment from Christian Reber, co-founder and CEO of 6Wunderkinder, Robin Haak, co-founder of the Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator, and the founders of Moviepilot, who recently sold their original German site for €15 million to concentrate on growth in the US.

Unlike US competitor Gigit, Deerman said that while every musician was welcome to create a Sidestage profile, artists with record deals or managers were not the target performers. Indeed, he added, “in ten years, we’d love for headliners to say, ‘We started out on Sidestage.’”