As a publication fostering creative and innovative community in the Silicon Valley, we couldn’t be prouder to partner with the music startup Massive Act at the Content Pick-up Party 11.2 on April 24th. In stride with this issue’s theme “Digital,” Massive Act is a software platform that streamlines the process of live performance by creating a marketplace for talent, and bringing talent and talent buyers together. Their tools make it easy for artists and agents to find and communicate with one another.
Massive Act’s networking feature called “Perform” connects artists with venues and festivals by location and genre. This enables them to contact talent buyers in the cities they are aiming to tour in. Meeting the artist’s need from the other end, an ongoing algorithm
Massive Act’s most lucrative tool, however, is a technical rider maker. The most necessary tool for live performance is also one of the most complex: every detail, from microphone placement to number of cables to rigging, lighting, video, and audio must be clearly communicated. A visual diagram, easily creatable by dragging and dropping pieces in Massive Act’s rider maker, ensures the smooth, timely setup and teardown that sustains the magic of touring.
The artist joins the marketplace by first creating their profile, which serves as their business brochure. Then they create their technical rider, which is easily shareable to talent buyers inside and outside of the platform. Artists then receive access to the database of venues, festivals and talent buyers launching opportunities they may be interested in.
Touring is a fixture of the critical process of development for artists craving growth and profitability. For emerging artists in the sweet spot where they are gaining attention, and the time to activate that attention through live performance is ripe, a massive challenge is having to act as their own booking agent, stage manager, and overseer for press, hospitality and travel. Unfortunately, lack of industry knowledge slows down musicians who are right in this sweet spot.
Carolina Castilla, the founder and CEO of Massive Act, has over sixteen years of experience in music business entrepreneurship. She has worked in management, public relations and events, including tour and hospitality management for Depeche Mode, Coldplay and David Guetta and general production at Audio Engineering Society conferences.
While touring, she experienced the collaboration of large teams that big artists take years to build. She wanted to boost gig opportunities for the artists who are hardworking and ready for exposure, but not yet big enough to have hired personnel or record labels promoting for them.
“Musicians study, go to work, and pay for rehearsals. People shouldn’t change their minds to another profession just because of the stereotype of musicians as a hobby,” she says. “It’s a beautiful thing being an artist.” Her motivation to ease entry to the industry for new performers, managers and agents solidified into the idea for Massive Act in 2012.
At the time, she was living in Bogota, Colombia. In September 2013, she moved to the Silicon Valley to make her idea a reality in the heart of startup culture. Separating her life from the music industry and leaning into the tech world, Castilla grew an international team that reflects the global demand for the tools offered by this platform. The company was incorporated in September 2015, with engineers, developers, marketers and designers onsite in San Jose and scattered out in Indonesia, Colombia, Vietnam and the Netherlands.
In January 2018, the software for “Perform” was launched, and just over a year later, it boasted over 1,200 users based in the US, Colombia, India, Mexico, and Argentina. In October 2018, Massive Act launched the California Dreaming Tour contest, where anybody in the world could apply and win the grand opportunity to tour California with airplane tickets, lodging and booking services provided by Massive Act.
One of their two winners, DJ Nastea Nate, is a San Jose local. After watching him perform at a party, Castilla is proud to bring him to another one that celebrates local artistry and entrepreneurship.
Written by Esther Young
Images provided by Massive Act