How Social Media Is Changing Live Music
Wade Lagrone

Social media and music are a natural mix.  If fans aren’t posting selfies at the show, they’re instagramming their favorite concert moments, or uploading a particularly sick riff to YouTube.  Live music is so powerful, it’s something you have to share.

But now social media can do more than just share a concert.  Now, fans can work together through social media to make a concert happen in the first place. And the implications go beyond just the world of music.

It’s a phenomenon that is being called social booking.  And RABBL, our company based in San Francisco is pushing the envelope as a social booking platform today.

Here’s how it works.  On, an artist first creates a listing for a potential show, called a rabbl.  Fans vote on whether that show should happen by reserving tickets with their credit cards. If enough tickets are reserved to meet the artist’s goal, then fans gets charged, and the artist can go ahead and book the show, either at our partner venues, a fan’s backyard, or wherever he thinks is best.

What’s powerful about social booking is that it benefits every player in the business.

  • Artists benefit because they can prove, in advance, how many fans will come to a show. That helps with getting booked, finding touring partners, or just making sure to play to packed houses.
  • Venues benefit because they have hard data for the first time that helps sort through the countless artists coming to them for stage time.
  • Fans benefit because they get to prove to an artist that yes, a show in that particular town will make sense. Fans can network with other fans via any social media tool or via our Facebook integration.

In effect, social booking promises to take the risk out of the live music business.  And where there’s less risk, more music will happen.

This past fall, the group Clap Your Hands Say Yeah weren’t sure if it made sense for their tour to stop in Baltimore. To make sure, they created a rabbl and set a goal for 75 tickets at $12 each. Ultimately, 92 fans reserved tickets, Baltimoreans got their show, and the band played a to a packed house full of appreciative fans. No wonder drummer Sean Greenhalgh said, “We’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time.”

At RABBL, we believe that social media gives people the ability to transform live events. Before social booking, if you wanted to put on an event, you had take a risk, a lot of risk, by guessing how many people would show up, and making expensive financial commitments in advance. In the age of social media and social booking though, there is no need to guess, and that risk may be ultimately unnecessary. So whether it’s live music, or any other kind of live event, the main risk now may well be to do business as usual.

Wade Lagrone is CEO and Co-Founder or RABBL, Inc. Founded in 2013, RABBL is already the leading US service for crowdfunding concerts, with hundreds of artists already using its proprietary “social booking” platform to get gigs, plan tours, engage fans, and lock down fill-in dates.  RABBL has also partnered with leading venues in Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. RABBL is based in San Francisco and serves artists, fans, and venues throughout the United States. For more information on RABBL, please visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.