Side Door was created to match artists and hosts for house concerts and alternative venues. They’ve been called the Airbnb of concerts. I’m a huge fan of house concerts but we cannot do that in this era. What Side Door discovered is they can shift this to online concerts and allowed them to shift to an area they never really thought they could have. Laura Simpson of Side Door will share how musicians are earning income this way.

I also share about live streaming on 15 Streams of Income to Tap Right Now. If you haven’t yet, you can grab this free resource at right on the front page. If you’re interested in getting group support within the Academy, you can check out my workshop at to see how I set up the Academy and how I run that framework.

Starting up as a fan of music, Laura hung around musicians at all-ages clubs. She started by defending musicians to make sure they are getting paid correctly. She eventually did live music photography. She became a journalist for 7 years and after that, she pivoted back to music and worked as a funding officer for a non-profit that helped artists in developing their careers. She also worked in the biggest music market in California where she learned a lot. She was really passionate about doing live music at her own house. She felt that the shows she was able to host at her own house where she helps other musicians earn money was such a beautiful experience. After all that, she put up her first company, The Syrup Factory, which is mainly project management for hire that supports artists in doing their release or putting out a video, etc.

Side Door was born out of the idea that Laura wanted to make doing live music a better experience for artists. She saw that her beloved musicians didn’t really make that much money on tours so she saw a solution in doing house concerts instead. She had an idea of how to simplify the booking process for house concerts. She met Dan Mangan who was doing a similar thing as she was. They made the business what it is to create a fair and transparent platform for artists. With this platform, the idea was to find the best artists and help them find the best venues like houses, churches, breweries, etc. and Side Door matchmakes both sides. The third part was giving access to the audience.

When this pandemic happened, they had a lot of bookings scheduled for the artists and venues so they had to speak with each of them when the bookings were canceled. A week after what happened, Laura and Dan talked about booking shows online. Since then, they’ve done more than 100 shows and artists’ incomes have become triple what they usually had.

About Side Door Online Gigs:

  • They have been enjoying Zoom shows for artists since it creates connections with the artists and audiences both being at their own homes, with their kids, and with their dogs.
  • The cap on a Zoom call’s capacity creates scarcity for the shows and that makes the shows really special.
  • They put hard tickets on the shows. The average ticket price is between $7 and $8.
  • They have a donate link as well for tipping. Merch can also be sold if the artists prefer. (These items are not currently live. They will be in the coming weeks.) Most people buy more tickets than they need to support their favorite artists. The kinds of fans coming to the shows actually pay for tickets and gift them to others.
  • The average income that an artist takes home for a show is $1600-$1700 a show.
  • They are also currently working on matching with hosts or other people who could contribute to making the show great.
  • Some artists would collaborate with emerging artists. Audiences tend to support emerging artists when they soon have their own virtual show.
  • Side Door responds to support requests if they need to have a conversation with the artist and whoever else is involved pre-show to talk about details such as the date of the show, time of the show, etc.
  • They are also transparent about how much an artist would take home after fees and taxes.
  • Anyone can be a promoter for an artist and that person can earn from this.
  •  They are also working on suggestions for similar artists or concerts just like what Spotify does. (This feature is not yet live but in design/development.)

Online shows do not replace live shows since it’s a different kind of experience. It looks like online shows will stay even after live shows are allowed again.

Go to and check out their platform.

Links mentioned in this episode:,, and