New website for music fans

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 09:02 08/05/2012

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Fantale is all about finding tales from the front row.

It's a New Zealand website, launched less than a week ago, for fans to share photographs, videos and memories of their favourite gigs.

Fantale is a place for fans to chart their gig history and share experiences.

Creator Julie Warmington says the site was born out of a desire to map out her own gig history online. She quickly realised it could help fans connect and share with each other around live events.

"I realised there was nowhere else to do this so I was going to have to make it myself," she said.

"With hundreds of ticket stubs, photographs and memories, I started to create a place to share these things with other fans."

Of course, every fan has a story to tell and now they have somewhere to tell it.

When a fan signs up to Fantale they are able to load images, write reviews and share their stories with other fans. Fans can search for upcoming gigs on the site, go to them and rate the shows.

The best content and top-rated gigs are curated on the homepage.

"We will be rolling out a range of features in the next few months, including smartphone apps," says Warmington, who has previously worked as a marketing manager for MySpace.

Music lovers have already embraced the site, with user "Catherine" reporting her live thoughts on Dictaphone Blues and Tono and The Finance Company double album release as it happens. "Stomping 70-inflected rock from Dictaphone Blues (two drummers!) plus Tono and the Finance Company's literate 80s pop. Anthonie Tonnon, New Zealand's own Jarvis?" she writes.

The website is also a platform for venues and bands who want to showcase live content from shows, Warmington says.

Fantale is an interesting addition to the New Zealand music scene, a brave new world that shakes up long-standing balances of power between fans and the music makers.

It's part of a continuing evolving relationship between artist and fan, now this relationship values social exchanges as well as financial ones.

Artists have always relied on support from their fans, but right now a growing wave of artists are relying directly on fans to get their music heard and are increasingly looking for different ways to fund their careers and connect directly with fans.

Such funding initiatives include direct-to-fan funding sites such as PledgeMe, Kickstarter and Sellaband - used by Public Enemy, although Christchurch hip-hop musician Maitreya was the first person in the world to get $50,000 on the site.

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In January, MusicHype launched a blog focused on discovering top fans for bands around the world.

Using what they call their "custom-built appreciation engine" MusicHype gathers up information in real-time across all major social networks and is pulled together so bands and artists can easily see who their biggest fans are.

"Our goal is to showcase how easily our appreciation engine tracks what music fans are doing on Twitter, Instagram, Rdio & all those other online services they use," says MusicHype chief executive Kevin King.

"We're pulling it all together so fans and bands can quickly see who makes the top cut. We like to think of it as a big music net that stretches over the whole internet, gathers up music behaviour and instantly reflects which fans are really the top fans."

Music fandom is a social activity, it always has been. Music is about connecting, be it with other like-minded people or simply the sounds that resonate.

Fandom is about the shared roadtrips, the personal mixtape exchanges, the bootleg finds, and it is from such fertile grounds that social networks are now thriving.

Largely it's about being part of a community and it is this that excites Warmington about Fantale.

"It may be about sharing an amazing three-encore set by their favourite band, or it may be a chance encounter with the bassist at the merch table. They probably have a photo to prove it, or a signed set list. Fantale is a place for fans to share these things."

See the following websites for more information: fantale.fm; facebook.com/fantale.fm and twitter.com/fantalefm

- The Press

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