Everywhere Roadie is the brainchild of Melbourne musicians, Kate Bradley (Dark Fair)and Liz Thomas (Ouch My Face, The Loveless), who were tired of forking out big bucks to hire gear when they were on the road.
Everywhere Roadie helps cut the costs of touring and recording, and helps connect people when they’re playing out of town.
“The nature of the music industry these days means that mostly, the majority of a musician’s income comes from touring and playing live. Touring, however, can be extremely costly, and out of reach for many independent artists – so how exactly do you get ahead?” Liz said.
“Kate and I are independent artists that have both been in situations where we have broken the bank on countless occasions just to play an interstate show. You’ve either got to take a chunk of time off work (your day job) to hire a van and drive with all your gear. Or, if you fly, there’s the expense of that alone, plus you’re often then having to hire amps and gear from backline companies which is not cheap or within the budget of a band that’s probably only getting a door-deal or very small payment for the gig anyway.”
“We both just thought – we know there are other musicians out there with gear, who would be happy to help us out in these situations…now how do we create a channel that makes it financially rewarding for both parties?”
Kate has a background in IT, and she’s been playing in bands since the age of fourteen. Liz has worked in the music industry for many years before joining bands from the age of 17. She also recently went back to study web development. Liz said she and Kate work well as a team as both of their skill-sets complement each other, allowing them to make their vision and idea a reality.
Of course, there were some obstacles in the beginning.
“As with any startup, it’s the financial and physical expenses involved. We’ve been self-funded the whole way, as we both have day jobs. That feeds into finding balance and the time and energy we need outside of our day jobs to put into the business. We still have so much we want to achieve and implement into the platform,” Liz said.
Did you have any mentors to help you?
“Not directly – but we are so fortunate to live in Melbourne and be a part of the incredible and unique music community here. We have friends who are just so driven, inspiring and tough and successful. They’ve all been incredibly supportive and you just know at any time if you need help, or just need a sounding board, there’s someone you can call.”
When it comes to advice for women in the startup world, Liz believes you need to ‘find your people.’
“By ‘find your people’ I mean your crew that will support you, before you dive in. Because there are always going to be people that want to see you fail. Make sure you’re solving a problem. It really does help if you have direct experience with it, but at the very least make sure it’s something you really give a shit about. Because it’s tough, and you really do need those people around you that believe in you when you don’t,” Liz said.
“Test your idea too. Start out small and see if it’s actually something that resonates with people and is going to be useful, before spending a truck load of money and getting too excited.”
Liz and Kate are hoping to extend the reach and scope of Everywhere Roadie.
“I’d love it if my band could tour Europe and use Everywhere Roadie to source all of our transport, gear, accommodation and crew! We also have functionality that we’d like to build into the site – we’re especially looking to team up with female developers who might like to get involved in the business to help with this.”