I missed meeting Ron Swanson! I'll never be able to eat bacon and eggs again...
April 26, 2012 9:43 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to monitor the schedules of speakers, bands, shows, or other things* of that sort so that you don't miss them when they come to your neck of the woods?

So, this recent FP post got me thinking about how sad I'd have been if this lecture had been in my area and I had missed the opportunity to see WB speak in person.

Actually, this is all the more relevant because Nick Offerman actually did come and speak at the university my fiance attends and we didn't hear about it until after the fact. She's just not in the loop as much because grad school keeps her head down on work instead of paying attention to incoming speakers and such.

Back on topic, is there a way to monitor the tour schedules/calendars and have a centralized monitoring and/or notification system setup such that I would know about and be able to obtain tickets to said event?

Clicking around websites whenever I think about it stinks and isn't all that reliable due to the human (me) factor.

*Examples of what I'm thinking of when it comes to things I'd like monitored: A Prairie Home Companion, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Wendell Berry, Andy McKee, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, Christopher Moore, a local beer festival, and so on and so forth.
posted by RolandOfEld to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Last.fm has a good resource for this when it comes to seeing bands you like. If you've been using the service for a while, or you add the bands you like to your profile, the "Recommended Events" section can provide a feed of events that fit your listening profile that are happening in your area.
posted by helicomatic at 10:01 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

For my favorite bands, they sometimes have a subscription on the site (not an RSS feed; not a mailing list) that will only send me notifications if my geographical region is mentioned. Not every band has this, and they are not that easy to find, but they are often there.

Otherwise, I usually just subscribe to an RSS feed on the tours and events pages.

Another thing I do is subscribe (er, "like") to fan pages via Facebook, and since I don't use Facebook for any actual friends, my news feed is all about my bands' tours and news resources.
posted by TinWhistle at 10:03 AM on April 26, 2012

Sonic Living does this quite well for bands. They might do other events as well (like speakers)
posted by iamscott at 10:05 AM on April 26, 2012

Pollstar does this for bands and various venues (Click the MyPollstar link to register). That won't help with authors/speaker tours though.
posted by FreezBoy at 10:14 AM on April 26, 2012

Looks like Songkick does this for comedians, including Nick Offerman
posted by iamscott at 10:19 AM on April 26, 2012

I've thought about this a lot. So don't think my reply is flip. But here it is: a large and savvy circle of like-minded friends, with whom you stay in close contact (I don't mean Facebook).

This seems like a question with an Internet solution, since it involves tracking stuff andnpreferences, which sound real online-ish. But there truly is no great internet solution, nor can I think of one. Because no online resource scrapes as deeply as a real world aficionado.
posted by Quisp Lover at 10:48 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

This is what your local alt-weekly or even (dare I say it) newspaper is for.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:53 AM on April 26, 2012

I get on mailing lists for big favorites and likely local venues. The mailing list of the band / author / event is often the earliest announcement of the events and may have special codes for logging onto ticket sites early before general sale. FB pages are a good idea too. I like to be able to buy tickets the day they go on sale. Things like Wait,Wait sell out quickly where i live.
posted by oneear at 11:02 AM on April 26, 2012

Response by poster: I completely understand the circle of friends and newspaper recommendations. I'll also go ahead and mention a local radio station (for me that's NPR) as a resource but all of those are still hit-or-miss with regards to A) hearing about the things I want to attend, B) hearing about them in time instead of after the fact, and C) hearing about them at all.

It's like I want the best of all the things presented here. Friends are great for mentioning cool/likable events but they're often mentioned after they occur (a la Offerman lecture) and they may not be my exactly, oddball, niche thing (not everyone likes Prairie Home Companion? *gasp*). The newspaper may have a comprehensive list but I may miss seeing it unless I parse the listings religiously. Both of those things may also get the idea to me before the event occurs but not in time to grab tickets.

I appreciate the answers and I kinda figured there might not be a tailor-made-for-RolandOfEld solution to this coming into things since I had already searched around a bit. It looks like I've just found a new set of websites, feeds, RSS, email lists and so forth when I really wanted something to parse through those things for me in a (perhaps unrealistically) intelligent fashion.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:08 AM on April 26, 2012

"Friends are great for mentioning cool/likable events but they're often mentioned after they occur (a la Offerman lecture) and they may not be my exactly, oddball, niche thing"

If there was an Internet solution (and there isn't), you'd need to spend time finding it, configuring it, maintaining it, and checking back.

Friends, similarly, require some attention and configuration. You need to put effort into making sure they think to tell you about stuff you'd like before it happens.
posted by Quisp Lover at 11:47 AM on April 26, 2012

I've found a combination of Twitter, Facebook and "official" mailing lists do a good job of keeping me apprised of these sorts of appearances. My flesh-and-blood circle of friends doesn't align neatly enough with my varied interests for me to use Quisp Lover's solution, and I don't have the time to invest in making a bunch of new friends to cover all the gaps.
posted by BurntHombre at 12:07 PM on April 26, 2012

Pollstar.com for bands (as mentioned above), and for the venues I frequent or would like to frequent, the venue e-mail list, twitter and/or facebook page. Many artists link to new tour dates via twitter or some other social media; I'm "following" a number of bands and such on twitter. (watching Neko Case's friendship with Shonna Tucker blossom via twitter has been a hoot.)
posted by Occula at 12:25 PM on April 26, 2012

In case any Web entrepreneurs are listening, it would be great to have a site that shows book signings, academic talks, interviews, panel discussions, public radio sessions, etc. for your town. Any medium-sized city has dozens of these events every day but there's no way to find out unless you're really on the ball. I suppose since most of these kinds of things are free, no one has a financial interest in promoting them.
posted by miyabo at 1:57 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

iconcertcal has worked well for me; it digs through your itunes library and tells you when those bands are coming to town.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:04 AM on April 27, 2012

It may not have quite the depth you want, but I like TourFilter quite a bit.

Sadly I think the best source of this was Upcoming, until Yahoo bought it and screwed it up.
posted by quartzcity at 4:41 PM on June 15, 2012

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