By Vanessa B
Claire Barrett, a gigging musician from Ealing is the founder and director of UGigs Stream, a powerful tool for musicians, live performers & audience members. She explains: “As a gigging musician, I have been hit hard by COVID along with millions of other artists and I wanted to create a ‘one stop’ streaming App that can help keep the music industry alive.”
This App allows all kinds of artists to make money in lots of different ways i.e selling a live stream directly to their followers, to multiple venues (once they are opened), tips from audience members plus people can download the stream after the gig is finished (for a fee), all on ONE app. It will also give venues a chance to create revenue regardless of social distancing by streaming their live act directly to peoples homes.
Tell us a bit about you and your background in the music industry.
I’ve been a full-time singer for over 20 years, working as a solo, duo and in various bands. Over the years, I’ve sung in just about every type of venue, from a back street pub in East London to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
What sparked the development of UGigs Stream and why is it relevant now?
When covid hit and Lockdown was announced, my phone went crazy with cancellation after cancellation. It didn’t hit me straight away because I honestly thought we’d be back to normal after a month or so but as more time passed, the realisation hit and all my music friends and colleagues including myself had to start new careers and find new jobs.
The worst part of this wasn’t even the massive financial hit, it was suddenly we were not able to do what we loved.
That’s when I thought of Ugigs Stream. A way to make some money but more importantly, book live stream gigs without the embarrassment of asking for donations via social media streaming.
How does UGigs Stream allow performers to reach their audience?
When you download the app, you’ll be able to create a profile with type of music etc. They can generate audience members via their own social media plus, audience members on the app can search for genres of music and be directed to the relevant artists.
How can music fans find, pay for and watch the live streamed performances?
Once you download the Ugigs stream app, you can fill in your preferences, types of music, comedy, kids entertainers, fitness etc and be directed to the relevant profiles, or you can just browse. You simply click on the stream you’d like to watch or book and pay via the app. You’ll get an alert once the stream is about to begin.
If you happen to miss a live stream, you can buy a playback for a reduced fee.
Could the app be a good way for artists to advertise their merch or other platforms that help provide revenue?
Yes 100%. They can pretty much add on what they like to their profile.
What are some top tips you would give to artists and venues trying out UGigs Stream for the first time?
Firstly, they’ll need to make sure their WIFI is good, like any streaming, this is essential and secondly, advertise it as much as you can on your social media platforms etc. We will be helping with promotion also. Lastly, be realistic with how much you charge. Think about your fan base/followers and work it out based on that.
After the pandemic subsides, how do you see the future of UGigs Stream and concerts and gigs, both virtual and in-person, playing out?
I honestly think that live streaming will be here to stay. Even once the venues open, social distancing will be around for at least another year. That’s where the other function on Ugigs stream will help, where venues can book a band in house etc and stream the performance to viewers at home to help make up for lost revenue due to reduced capacity.
We’ve tried to think of numerous ways to help Artists & Venues get through these crazy times.