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Friday //October 16, 2015

Not too long ago, the only people working gigs were in the music industry. Today, more and more people are picking up freelance work and joining the newly phrased “Gig Economy” movement - where people are hired for a particular task or a defined period of time.  Though this has been the norm in the live music industry for years, on-demand employment is shaking up the labor market and changing how freelancers are viewed across different industries.

Thanks to the Internet, the freelance economy is booming and companies have begun changing how they hire. An increasing number of freelancers are finding work online, with 73 percent of freelancers saying that technology has made it easier to find freelance work compared to traditional networking. According to a study by Freelancers Union, on average 49% of freelancers find work in less than 3 days when they look online. Online job boards, social media, and online freelance marketplaces are in the top 5 places that freelancers typically go to find work. In addition, services like Uber and TaskRabbit exist only to match freelancers with work.

These stats beg the question – why is the concert touring and event industry stuck in the past and still using spreadsheets to hire the freelancers they need?

Staffing for tours and events currently goes something like this -

“I call my go-to people from the spreadsheet that’s taken me years to perfect. They’re all booked for gigs…damn. I call the crew they recommend, but no one picks up so I have to leave voicemails and send emails. Finally someone gets back to me and I have to find out if they’re available, what gigs they’ve worked on, what their rates are, etc….until I find someone I’m happy with hiring.” Sound familiar?

How is this an efficient way to hire freelance crew? 

In the last year alone, 53.7 million people have done freelance work across different industries. That’s 34 percent of all workers in the US. By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 50% of the workforce. This growth in the freelance “Gig Economy” is thanks to the Internet and is changing the way that employers and policy makers treat freelancers.

It is time to step away from outdated spreadsheets and say hello to the 21st century. It is time for the live music industry to take a step forward and join the Gig Economy movement, so that freelance crew can connect, get hired, and find consistent work using the technology that surrounds us in our day-to-day life.