There is nothing worse than being the only one of your friends not going to a gig on a Friday night. Any music fans who were left behind while it seemed like half of the nation packed their bags for Stradbally this summer knows the feeling.
However, a new app has launched that is set to make sure no one ever misses out again. Firstage is the world's first ever app that promises to bring live performances straight to your smartphone.
The idea for Firstage, a self-funded venture created by Limerick native Keith Lawlor and Durham's Neil Harrison came when the pair were living in Dubai. Having both been playing in bands and making music themselves until they relocated to Dubai, they missed the live music scene in Ireland.
Talking to The Ticket Neil explained:
“It was an amazing experience, but Dubai never had a strong music scene, so it was very difficult to gig consistently because there were very few venues,” he says.
Keith adds: “Then we started thinking about it and thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great if an Irish band could play in Dubai? Or an American band could play in China, or wherever?’”
So Firstage was designed to do just that; allow emerging bands and musicians without the money for international tours to perform around the globe using a virtual stage.
They will travel to New York’s CMJ festival next month to spread the word about their app with music fans abroad. For now, they are concentrating on Irish bands:
“We want people to be aware of how much talent there is, because Ireland’s full of it.”
The Firstage app is available for download on Android now, and will be available for iOS users very shortly.