Andy Meyers (G ’11) had always felt something lacking in the New York City concert scene. Less than two years ago, while a student in NYU’s Music Business graduate program, Meyers took matters into his own hands. What was once, for a short time, a small, slow-starting blog is now MyFreeConcert.com, one of the leading online resources for free concerts in New York City.
“I started MFC because I felt that there was a void that needed to be filled for concerts.” Meyers recognized websites that cater to a similar audience, such as LivingFreeNYC and PulsdJFK, but felt that none fo them were dedicated solely to music in the way he wanted to with MFC. In the past, Meyers had been subscribing to concert promotion email lists or seeing events on Facebook and Twitter and would pass them along to his friends. In December 2009, Meyers decided it would be easier to compile all of his findings on a separate blog.
“Being about a year into the masters program at NYU had some benefits for this entire endeavor, particularly the fact that it put me around many people also passionate about the music industry who wanted to help out,” Meyers remembers. He names fellow NYU Music Business students Brian Kecskemety, Ryan McDonald, Jason Burger, Jason Rezvan, Ian Kroopnick and Jay Pillitteri as being integral parts of the development of MyFreeConcert.com. “In addition, I’ve had a lot of help outside of NYU in areas such as business development, web design and show reviews/tips.”
(The initial image used for MyFreeConcert.com)
As any small blog, MyFreeConcert.com’s initial growth was slow. Once word started to spread, however, “things got interesting quickly,” Meyers says, and it was simple word of mouth by which the site went viral. MFC promotes free and in-the-know concerts, striking the interest of both music fans and nightlife mavens who are able to generate enough buzz for anyone to get noticed. To this day, the fans continue to be largely responsible for the success of MFC. The dedicated fan base is full of music junkies and industry insiders without whom MFC would never have become nearly as big as it is. As a result of his growing audience, Meyers decided to employ new tactics and tools to find things in an easier way by incorporating aggregate ticket giveaways in New York City. “I feel that having one place to go for both free shows and ticket giveaways surely saves a lot of time for the consumer and also gives all the entities involved greater exposure.”
Meyers’ first big decisions were as simple as which events to post, where to cut off the content on the site, and if specific contests should be fun on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media outlet. But most of the important decisions that Meyers makes are now monetary, and Meyers is cautious not to be hasty in making the right decisions regarding the long-term growth of MFC.
Looking ahead, MFC will have a mobile application with geolocation aspects. In March, MFC will cover SXSW in a similar way they covered CMJ. “The plan to launch in other cities is certainly one that I’ve mulled over, and is a long-term goal of mine.” MFC also plans to add new features to the website to make it even more user-friendly and informative for its readers.
To students who are aspiring entrepreneurs, Meyers says this: “It is not easy at all, though it is not as hard as you might think. Try to think about what isn’t necessarily hot now, but what would be hot next. Do your classwork but also think about things you can do on the side to really develop yourself and your career.”