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Concert listings on the net

The publication of information which goes out of date very quickly is, or should be, a danger area for the web designer. Too many abandoned web pages list information from 1997 and earlier. Concert listings provide such a danger area, it being so easy to publish and then abandon or forget.

Those who manage to keep up-to-date information on their own website still have a problem - how does the general concert-goer find that information? The search engines are not a practical solution - most of them are too slow to pick up the constantly changing information, and many people don't know how to submit the complex queries necessary to find, for example, an orchestral concert in Cape Town on a Friday in March! (In fact the query would need to change depending on the website, the presentation of the information, and the search engine).

Concert listings on the net

  • Canada and USA
    CultureFinder has a good, well-established searchable system which covers cities in the US and Canada only.
  • Contemporary
    Termine is a mailing list operated by Dirk Lotze Musikmanagement in Germany, providing an international forum for advance announcements of contemporary concerts.
  • Czech Republic
    The Concert Agency AVEK lists its own concerts of classical music in Prague, aimed at visitors from other countries.
  • International
    Cadenza specialize in automatically generated listings pages for organizations and individuals sharing a common searchable worldwide database.
    The Concert Web has lists of links to other websites containing listings of all types of music.
    Musi-Cal has worldwide concert listings which look quite comprehensive, and an intriguing device called the Gig Gopher which travels around the web collecting concert information!
  • Ireland
    Entertainment Ireland has clear, nicely designed database-driven listings for Dublin and elsewhere, organized into various types of music, including classical and opera.
  • Japan
    The Database of Classical Concerts is run by the Yawata Music Society and appears to be quite comprehensive, but only in Japanese.
  • Netherlands
    Live NL is currently showing the dreaded "under construction" sign, but may be a service to watch out for in the future.
  • United Kingdom
    ConcertFinder is a new service from Andrew Ward containing many hundreds of concert listings all over the UK. Also includes amateur choirs and orchestras.
    Whats on Stage? is run by EMAP on-line and allows tickets to be bought on-line. They're expanding into classical (and other) listings, but are most comprehensive for theatre.

On-line concert listings are now getting better - many services use a database for concert searches, some allow you to buy tickets on-line, and some allow concert promoters to add concerts details on-line. An entry in most of the schemes is free. It's still a jungle out there, though, and few of the listings services collaborate with one another. The best collaborative effort I found was the system employed by Termine. The internet being what it is, there are probably other systems out there that I've yet to come across. Some of these listing services may develop into what we'll all be using in the years to come, so watch this space!

Keith Bramich, 12 January 1999.

P.S. Several people have asked us to review their own music websites in the Site Seeing column. We hope that people will submit articles for publication here, and that they will try to write impartially about wider subject areas than just their own site, in keeping with the spirit of Music & Vision. Please contact us if you are interested in this larger challenge!

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