Finding quality events when traveling.
January 2, 2013 9:28 AM   Subscribe

This is kind of a search question. If you were going somewhere and wanted to know what interesting/fun events might be going on there how would you search for it? What sites would you use? What strategy would you take to figure out what was something significant vs something small and local? How would you assess the quality and what event categories do you think would be useful? If you could use some sort of data mining and could have the computer do some of the work what would you do in addition/ instead? For example, would you mine twitter feeds or facebook pages?
posted by blueyellow to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Well, I like dance music, so I'd look at Resident Advisor first. Then I'd look to see if they had local music blogs (DC for example, has Brightest Young Things), then I'd start looking at web pages for local clubs.
posted by empath at 9:33 AM on January 2, 2013

It would be helpful to know if you are traveling within a country and what that country is, or internationally. My answers would differ.

If within the USA and for some international travel:
* Ask friends / families who have been there to give their suggestions.
* Check Yelp / Chowhound for event / food / restaurant suggestions.
* Google the region (specific towns) and check out the local tourism boards for scheduled events.
* Google the region's local newspapers magazines for advertised scheduled events.
posted by HeyAllie at 9:35 AM on January 2, 2013

My first port of call is generally Time Out.
posted by catch as catch can at 9:38 AM on January 2, 2013

In the US, the local city alt-weeklies, are great sources of local music/comedy events, festivals and the like. (Examples: Seattle, Atlanta). Even my little town in Middle TN has one.
posted by jquinby at 9:43 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

What strategy would you take to figure out what was something significant vs something small and local?

The bigger the venue, the more it costs to book it for an event, the more people you need to attend to make it work. In NYC, there's a pretty strict hierarchy of venues, and you know that a band is doing well when they're headlining Large Venue X instead of Smaller Venue Y, where they usually play.
posted by griphus at 9:44 AM on January 2, 2013

For the past few years, finding the local forum for a given city on has been very helpful, but the site has changed a bit too rapidly recently and wasn't much help for me on my current trip (Montreal). Although finding the subreddit for this city gave me some great ideas.
posted by mannequito at 10:22 AM on January 2, 2013

Reddit often has meetup pages for cities where locals post about local things. For instance here is one for Minneapolis.
posted by sanka at 10:30 AM on January 2, 2013

Response by poster: How would you know about big things in advance though? For example, San Francisco has a big Halloween parade, which unless I was local I wouldn't know about.. and probably wouldnt schedule my trip around that time to see it.
posted by blueyellow at 10:41 AM on January 2, 2013

I think my search tactic would very much depend upon what kind of database I'm building - that seems to be what you're trying to do, but could you confirm?

Are you trying to report all events or just of a certain size? Many markets or just one?

I've done this for a living - locating, qualifying, aggregating, re-formatting, and classifying events data - and my approach was considered rich in best practices, so I'd be glad to share information that fits within your specific interest area.
posted by batmonkey at 11:49 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

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