Halifax platform Side Door brings indie artists to South By South West | Arts + Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Status/Non-Staus is among the Canadian acts headed to SXSW.

Halifax platform Side Door brings indie artists to South By South West

The Airbnb of gigs launched in Halifax's north end–now it's making Austin's biggest fest more accessible.

It's depressing but it's a fact: Any night a band spends on the road *not* performing, it is hemorrhaging money. This is what makes touring complicated and difficult. How do you get from your town to the next without running into the red?

Since 2017, Halifax-founded online platform/Airbnb of gigs Side Door has been solving this issue, connecting artists with alternative venues so that, suddenly, the stretch between Halifax and, say, Montreal, is an opportunity instead of a financial liability. If anywhere—from a bowling alley to your living room—can be a concert hall, cities with venue dearths (like ours) have a chance at attracting more live music and touring becomes more accessible.

During the pandemic, when touring screeched to a halt, Side Door rose from national music industry notice to international buzz as it pioneered an interface for livestreamed shows.

Now, it's helping kick-start in-person show-going again. Earlier this month, the platform announced it is partnering with Texas mega-festival South by Southwest, its biggest venture yet. "It can be challenging for artists to afford the expense of getting to SXSW, let alone generate interest for their showcases. In partnership with SXSW, Side Door will work with selected artists and their teams to set up shows in Side Door 'Spaces' en route to Austin, amplifying their journey by pairing them with photographers and videographers at each tour stop," a press release explains, naming buzzy acts like Status/Non-Status (formerly known as WHOOP-Szo) and Bad Waitress among the acts involved.

The tour culminates with an official artist's showcase at the festival on March 18.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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