Phil Giles

fantastic gigs and where to buy them

If you have read my post on records, you will know that I love music. I basically listen to it all day every day. So it’s not that much of a leap to assume that one of my favourite pastimes is going to see all of my favourite bands live.

I try to go and see live music at any opportunity I can. So much that I don’t think I could put a number to the amount of gigs I have been to so far in my 26 years. I could probably hazard a guess from the huge pile of gig tickets that I have kept over the years, but that still doesn’t represent the real number as some would be lost and with digital tickets these days you have nothing to take home. Although I can solidly say I have been to 13 festivals up to date with my 14th in August!

There’s a bunch of questions I get from people when I talk about my gig adventures like: “how do you find out about all these gigs”, “where do you get your tickets” and “how come you get a ticket after it sold out?!”. So I thought I would use this post to reveal some of my secrets!

follow, follow, follow!

This one might seem obvious, but when I say to people “do you follow them on social media?” the response is more often than not “oh, I didn’t think of that!”.

I would say that most of the gigs I go to, I find out about from the bands themselves over Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. They are usually the first to announce a tour or a one-off show along with details on where and when to get the tickets. Then it’s just a case of setting a reminder to buy the tickets!



Bandsintown lets you track your favorite artists and then notifies you when they are playing in your area. It uses a mix of artists and bands you follow on Facebook and Twitter, and also gets data from tools like Spotify to create a custom list of artists it tracks for you. It then uses a mix of data from the artists themselves and ticket sellers to notify you of an upcoming show near you.

Bandsintown has been very useful over the years, and I will continue to use it and recommend it to everyone I know.



Dice is one of my favourite live music booking tools. Their premise is simple. The best gigs with no booking fees. As someone who goes to gigs all the time, I have felt the sting of booking fees over the years. Extra cash added on to tickets that sometimes are already quite expensive. Luckily the folks at Dice hated this too and have created an app which cuts this out. Whatever the band wants to charge is what Dice charge.

Dice have also cut out the need for real tickets or print at home tickets by simply storing it within the app and scanning a QR code on entry to the venue. Although I do love having a ticket stub to take home with me as a memento, having a ticket which is linked to your device is a great way to tackle touting.

Dice also have a great model for when you can’t make a show. If the show is sold out, then simply request a refund and dice will put the ticket back on sale. They have a waiting list, which you can add yourself to, for each show and refunded tickets will be offered back to the fans in the waiting list.



Ahh twickets, I love you so. Why you ask? Well twickets is a fan to fan ticket resale website and app.

“There’s nothing new there Phil, we have been ripped off by sites like stubhub, viagogo and getmein for years. We don’t need any more!”

Well that’s the magic of twickets. It’s impossible to sell a ticket for more than it’s original face value price. It can only be sold for its original cost, or less if you’re desperate for the sale. They also work with a lot of venues and ticket sellers to be the go-to website once a gig is sold out. Small steps like this are slowly helping the fight against ticket touting and re-selling tickets at ridiculous cost.

there’s always more

I think that live music is thriving right now, which is why so many of these great tools are being created to make the whole process easier. And believe me there’s many more I could talk about, but these three really are the ones that have helped me out the most. Do you have any gig going advice? Leave it in the comments below!

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