Side Door is a marketplace for the arts, where artists and hosts connect directly in-app and build shows together in alternative spaces, such as living rooms, backyards, warehouses and bookstores. We spoke with Dan Mangan, Co-founder of Side Door, to learn more about what they do.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Side Door is a marketplace for the arts where any space is a venue; living rooms, backyards, warehouses, bookstores, you name it. Artists and hosts connect directly in-app and build shows together. They can create unique revenue splits on each show and sell tickets. After the shows, all parties are automatically paid their cuts of revenue directly in their bank account.
What made you want to do this work?
I played hundreds of house concerts in the early days of my career. When I played for 30 people in a bar, I got paid in beer tickets. When I played for 30 people in a backyard, I made $500 and sold lots of merch. More importantly, I felt like I was leaving a footprint in each market, even if it was small. For years, I dreamed of an online network of hosts who artists could count on for touring in alternative spaces.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
It’s too expensive for artists to tour and it’s hard for them to find venues in which to play. Side Door provides a means to tour that is extremely low overhead, and helps them develop meaningful, long-lasting support bases.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Committed artists who consider performing to be their primary occupation, but who have yet to find significant traction within the industry. Also, anyone who is interested in hosting artists in their space.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We take 10% of net proceeds from show settlements, and we charge audience members a $2 fee per ticket.
What is the best part about what you do?
When it all comes together, it’s a triple win. Artists make a living, hosts get the reward of curating magical experiences for their communities, and audiences get unforgettable artistic experiences.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
That artists will do anything for exposure, but you can die of exposure.
What are your social media channels?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Vancouver business that you love?
We love The Coast Goods. It’s like Dilly Dally for adults. Tanya, who runs the joint, has impeccable taste, and it’s a perfect spot to find a gift for someone who is hard to shop for.