Who’s playing where?

We’ve been collecting data on the international tours by music acts from Flanders and Brussels for a while now. As patterns are starting to arise from the figures, we’ll do our best to keep you up to date on our findings and interesting insights.

As I told you before, we — and by we, I mean of course our data team at Flanders Arts Institute — have been scraping all international tour data for Belgian acts from Songkick and BandsInTown for a while now. We’ve been conducting some preliminary analyses, comparing the trajectory of mainstream acts to that of underground bands, alongside our study of some first general results.

But now, I think, we’re really getting somewhere…

Our data & documentation team is preparing an immensely useful practical tool, that you can use to check which Belgian act played (or will play) where and when!

‘You’? That’s right. Since there’s no need to register — let alone pay — basically anyone with access to internet can check past, present and future shows of all Belgian music acts in this prototype of our online database (and there are a lot!).

The database is based upon Songkick, BandsInTown, Setlist.fm and all public Facebook events, and supplemented by all concert dates managers and booking agents brought to our attention. There are 3 obvious purposes this magnificent tool can definitely serve:

  1. The public: since the instrument is publicly accessible, anyone in the world that might have an interest in checking the dates of — let’s say — Alkerdeel, DJ Coone or Oaktree, can do so. Of course, you can follow your favourite acts on the platform of your choice, if you register and keep your profile up to date. But with our tool, you get the complete overview, wherein you can select, deselect and compare the acts you’re interested in.
  2. Belgian acts and their (local) agents: it’s now easier than ever to find out at which venues a similar act to yours has performed over the past couple of months. Which makes ‘finding the right place for your music abroad’ astonishingly more easy to do. If you’re in a metal band looking to tour Germany and you can list Bathsheba’s, Evil Invaders’ and Ostrogoth’s shows of the past 2 years with one click, I’d argue that’s quite convenient and time-saving to say the least.
  3. International agents scouting for new bands: true, chances are if you’re an agent in — let’s say — Paris, there’s far from enough time to check out all the shows you’re invited too already. So you’re probably not going to spend your time looking for new discoveries in an online tool by Flanders Arts Institute. Nevertheless, it’s far from senseless to compare the tour schedule of a band you’re planning on signing to some of their more famous Belgian counterparts.

And there must be tons of other useful applications for this tool I didn’t really think off while writing this. If you happen to conceptualise one, feel free to get in touch via nico[at]kunsten.be.

Now look, we know there are still loads of improvements to be made. There are still some concerts that ended up in our dataset twice: because they were announced both on Songkick and on Facebook under a different name, for example. Also, chances are fairly slim we’ll ever succeed in covering every single international concert by a Belgian band ever. But let’s just say, the more we’re refining our data, the harder it will become to slip through the mazes of our (inter)net. Feel free to send us over your (bands) concerts via concerten@kunsten.be, by the way!

Happy digging, folks!