Your Window Into the Austin Invasion Music Festival

Concert Window allows ATX fest to be streamed online

Concert Window CEO Dan Gurney
Concert Window CEO Dan Gurney (by Shervin Lainez)

I first read about Concert Window last fall and immediately told my dad, Jon Dee Graham, about it. He's been using Concert Window ever since. Not a technical guy, Dad finds Concert Window easy to use. I call it high-tech streaming for the low-tech musician.

Since its launch in 2011, Concert Window has moved ahead of stiff competition with other streaming live show options. The program’s main feature is that a musician can pretty much broadcast from anywhere he or she wants with the click of button, with no additional software needed on either the musician or the viewer’s part. The payout is almost immediate to the musician. Viewer’s must enter at least $1 to view the show, can buy advance tickets and tip during the show, and post requests and comments throughout. It’s very folk-like in nature, and interactive.

Starting on June 22 and lasting one week, Concert Window is hosting “Austin Invasion,” an online music festival featuring some of Austin’s finest musicians. Participants include Milkdrive, Raina Rose, Warren Hood, the Belle Sounds, the McMercy Family, Kalu James, Slaid Cleaves, Matt Harlan, and Anthony da Costa. I’ll also be broadcasting a guitar pull on Sunday night with Colin Gilmore and friends from the Continental Club Gallery, as well as a show in the main room on Wednesday, making the Continental Club the first venue to use Concert Window in Austin.

The full Austin Invasion Music Festival schedule can be found here.

Curious about how Concert Window began, I talked to the founder and CEO, Dan Gurney, from his home in New York. Gurney is a solo artist, member of the Yanks, and a renowned accordion player.

Austin Chronicle: The first Concert Window shows were at Club Passim?

Dan Gurney: I had performed at Passim many times with Forrest O’Connor and our band the Hay Brigade. We pitched the idea of live streaming to the owners and they were willing to let us give it a try. It has worked out great and Passim is one of our most popular venue partners since our launch.

AC: What inspired you to create Concert Window?

DG: I’m a musician myself, and I’ve seen firsthand how tough it is to make money and reach new fans. I created Concert Window because I wanted to make things easier for other musicians.

AC: Concert Window is an innovative startup.

DG: A startup involves creating something that didn’t exist before. There’s no blueprint for what to do – it’s different in every case. So for me, creating a startup is about solving problems and finding solutions that resonate with people. And I’ve been lucky to get some great advice along the way.

AC: How is Concert Window different from other online show hosting sites?

DG: We’re all about the musicians. The whole team is made up of musicians and we build the site with that in mind. In addition, Concert Window offers the easiest interface, most flexible options, and best revenue share of any streaming site out there.

AC: What’s the idea behind Austin Invasion?

DG: We love Austin and have always admired it as a hotbed of musical talent. We thought it would be a great place to feature as an online music festival.

AC: Concert Window is particularly popular with folk musicians.

DG: As musicians ourselves, we often hang out in the NYC folk scene. Concert Window has organically grown out of that.

AC: What makes folk music different?

DG: Folk music is great because it carries the voice of the people, and it has for many years. There are tons of exciting and experimental folk acts going on and I think folk gives us a really interesting reflection of our society.

AC: What are some of the more unusual shows that you have seen people do with Concert Window?

DG: Phoebe Hunt did a show from the baggage claim at Laguardia airport. Blue Rock Studio in Wimberley does an amazing multi-camera shoot. Tunes in the Church once beamed a live stream from Ireland, and David Ippolito does a music and talk variety show every week.

AC: What do you think the future holds for Concert Window?

DG: Online concerts are becoming more and more popular. Concert Window will be the place that online shows happen. As we keep building features and expanding our base of artists, we want to make it possible for musicians to earn a full living on Concert Window.

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Concert Window, Club Passim, Dan Gurney, Milkdrive, Raina Rose, Warren Hood, Belle Sounds, McMercy Family, Kalu James, Slaid Cleaves, Matt Harlan

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