Kate Bradley and Liz Thomas were sick of hiring gear, so created a brand new musical equipment crowdsource space called Everywhere Roadie.
Being an independent musician is expensive. Often the cost of performing is equal to, or in some cases, greater than, the money you get at the end of the night. The overheads mount up. Line items like gear hire, photographers, petrol, van hire, accommodation if you are out of town, and so on and so forth. One day two musicians from Melbourne got sick and tired of breaking the bank to perform. So they came up with an idea called Everywhere Roadie, a website where you can locally and cost effectively crowdsource everything from an amp to a camera. It's so wonderfully simple, it's nothing short of genius, and it's hard to believe no one else has thought of it. Launched in June 2016, Everywhere Roadie is now being delightfully hit up by happy musicians in Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, UK, and Ireland. Kate and Liz are headed to music festival South by Southwest as one of twenty music start ups chosen to showcase their ideas, and the two took some time before they leave for Austin, Texas to tell Music Love all about Everywhere Roadie.
What does music mean to you?
Liz: For me it’s a way of finding your tribe - people that have the same interests and values and that you generally just want to be around. I gave up playing for a period of about seven years and I just really really missed being part of the community and family that comes with being involved in the music scene
Kate: Music is a very important part of my life and who I am. Writing music allows me to interpret and process the world and my experiences with it. Performing it allows me to share and connect with others.
Tell us about Everywhere Roadie?
Liz: Everywhere Roadie is an online peer-to-peer marketplace for musicians, that aims to make the end-to-end process of touring more affordable and accessible for independent artists. The site enables musicians to hire gear directly from other musicians, at a fraction of the cost. This also enables members who might not be using their gear for a period, rent it out and make some income. We launched in June 2016 and quickly realised we should make the service about so much more - people started listing themselves as photographers for hire, roadies, tour managers etc. That’s when we started thinking about the whole process of touring, and teamed up with hostels and van hire companies to offer discounts to members and really try and make it all more affordable.
Why did you start Everywhere Roadie?
Kate: We are self-funded musicians ourselves, and the idea was born out of the frustrations we had over how many times we had broken the bank when we had been on the road and had to hire gear from traditional backline companies, pay for accommodation, car hire and the endless list of other expenses. We just thought, there has got to be an easier way of doing this!
We wanted to create a solution for ourselves and other independent musicians.
How can people get involved?
Kate: Becoming a member and listing your gear is completely free - you just head to the website (everywhereroadie.com) and create an account using your email or Facebook profile. We also love hearing from members through our Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as email! As women ourselves, we’d love to see more women getting involved in the community and getting in touch with us
Are you looking forward to exhibiting Everywhere Roadie at SXSW?
Kate: Very much so. I have been to SXSW before as an artist, so to be on the other side of it and present our business is going to be a whole new experience. We’ve been told it’s ‘awesomely-chaotic’ so we’re looking forward to embracing that and seeing and experiencing as much as we can
Will you get some fun time while you’re there? Who will you go see?
Liz: We’ll have some free time between the Startup Spotlight [exhibition] and meetings, but we’ve got a long list of bands we want to see and keynotes and conversations we want to be at - but that’s our fun time! There’s so much on the schedule and we’ve only just really begun to make a plan, but we definitely can’t miss Nile Rodgers, Chastity Belt, Cindy Wilson (The B52s), Jill Soloway and the Aussie BBQ
Who are your favourite Australian women in music?,
Liz: I’m really fortunate to be in a band that is on [record label] Milk Records roster. Jen Cloher and Courtney Barnett have to be two of the most humble, smart, generous and talented women you could wish to know. Millie Millgate from Sounds Australia is a bit of a wonder-woman who has done SO much for Australian artists in every role she’s held, and I have an undying love for Chrissy Amphlett
Kate: I really admire Myf Warhurst, Helen Razor and Zan Rowe who have helped give voice to women's passion for music in radio. Chrissie Amphlett is without doubt my all-time hero. Her resilience and pride of self has been my greatest inspiration to do what I do in music.
What have your individual musical pathways been like to date?
Liz: I studied music after leaving school and my performance teacher dragged me kicking and screaming off the guitar and onto the bass. I hated her for it! But I quickly realised I’d found my instrument. She’s still one of my best friends to this date and a constant inspiration when I have moments of self-doubt. Currently I play in two bands, one of which (Ouch My Face) who was fortunate enough in the last twelve months to support some of my musical heroes (Sleater-Kinney, L7) and go on tour with Milk Records
Kate: I am about to commence recording a debut album with my musical partner Ellie Dunn. We have a two-piece band called Dark Fair. We got to play with Sleater-Kinney and Veruca Salt, which was amazing, and will be doing a show supporting Spiderbait in April this year
Favourite place in Australia?
Kate: I love surfing, so Wilsons Promontory & Pt. Addis. They’re both incredible parts of the world
Favourite non-musical Australian artist?
Kate: I have a real connection with the Heide Museum here in Melbourne. It’s a magical place for me. I love artists like Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Antonia Sellbach (from the band Love of Diagrams who recently had an exhibition) and Joy Hester. I have a bit of an obsession with most of the artists who resided there or who have exhibited.
Favourite place to eat and or drink in Australia?
Liz: OMG - You know we live in Melbourne right?! Ok so off the top of my head:
For eating: Melbourne - Alimentari Deli, Savannah Ethiopian Kitchen and Sonida (they do THE best Arepas I’ve ever tasted); Sydney - Bloodwood. I try and visit every time I’m up. Never a bad thing on the menu and I am in love with the interior.
And for drinking: The Old Bar. A venue in Fitzroy that is pretty much just like Cheers; Little Andorra. A super cool wine bar. Luke the owner has a vinyl addiction so you get a lesson on music each time you step through the door
To become a member of Everywhere Roadie or to learn more, go to www.everywhereroadie.com
[THIS POST IS PART OF OUR AUSTRALIAN WOMEN AT SXSW SERIES]
From March 10-19, some 2,000 acts will descend upon Austin, Texas to showcase their music. This year, 24 Australian women will have their chance to woo and wow industry heavyweights at South by Southwest, a place where the likes of John Mayer, Bon Iver, Feist, Norah Jones, Katy Perry and Hanson made a solid name for themselves, and where last year, a keynote address was given by none other than the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, and the First Lady, Michelle Obama. The festival is getting bigger every year with performances historically given by Lady Gaga and Willow Smith. Who knows what will happen? For now celebrate 24 Australian women headed to the deep south. Vera Blue, Alex Lahey, Julia Jacklin, Middle Kids, Tkay Maizda, Wilsn (interview coming up!), Gabriella Cohen (interview coming up!), Woodes, Elsz, Beth Brown, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Starley, Phantastic Ferniture, Sui Zhen, Coconut Kids, Totally Mild, The Heart Collectors and Everywhere Roadie founded by Kate Bradley and Liz Thomas.