March 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm

SXSW: Foursquare, Bands Will Reward Fans for Checking In to Concerts (Updated)

foursquare for bandsAt SXSW 2012, three years after it was the toast of SXSW 2009, Foursquare plans to launch a new feature that will reward fans for checking in to supported shows with free merchandise, instant seat upgrades, the chance to meet the band, “special encores” (which the band plays if over 100 people check in, for example) and other niceties, as first reported by Billboard and blogged about by Foursquare.

Together with Foursquare’s Songkick-powered live concert feature, launched last August, which let you check in to a specific band’s show rather than just the venue where they’re playing, Foursquare is now something of a music app.

When we interviewed Foursquare’s product head Alex Rainert at SXSW 2011 last March, we asked him, “Can I be mayor of a band someday?” He responded, “It’s not currently on the roadmap. What do you mean by that?”

Well, we meant pretty much the two features mentioned above. It’s usually a mistake for journalists to assume that they swayed a company’s plans by asking a question, but hey, it’s possible. (Stay tuned for more news from SXSW 2012).

Participating bands at SXSW 2012 include Gary Clark, Jr., Fun, Counting Crows, Gold Fields, Morning Parade, Walk The Moon, Dry The River, Oberhofer, Daughter, Asher Roth, Chris Cab, and Neon Trees.

If you’re in a band and want to give this a try, you’ll need to make a Foursquare page, link it to your Twitter (Twitter account verification provided by The Echo Nest, publisher of, enter your contact information, and claim your concerts (instructions). At that point, it’s just a matter of setting up the specifics of your offer — ideally so that your fans see it as a good thing and not some weird marketing ploy (such things are possible). However, Foursquare advises you not to offer drink specials unless you are “controlling the bar.”

Update: Here’s the full list of Foursquare-enabled concerts at SXSW, courtesy of the company’s blog:

  • If enough people check in to his show, Gary Clark Jr. will play a special encore for fans. Make it happen!
  • Asher RothCurren$yChris Cab, and Neon Trees are holding meet and greets for fans who check in.
  • Check in to WALK THE MOON’s shows and get a free download of their live performance of “Anna Sun.”
  • Want some QT with fun.? Check in to their show for a chance to snag a kodak moment with them in the photo booth.
  • The Counting Crows are giving away limited edition signed posters. Get there early to grab yours.
  • Dry The River is giving fans an exclusive download from their upcoming album “Shallow Bed” for checking in at any of their shows.
  • Fans who check in to see Gold Fields and Morning Parade will have a chance to get signed copies of their EP.
  • The first fans to check in to see Oberhofer or Daughter will get a free poster.
  • Check in to any of the five showcases put on by The Warner Sound to get things like free drinks, Skull Candy headphones, and more.
  • Fans who check in to see Javelin will get a free t-shirt, plus a chance to get up on stage and on the mic at the show.
  • Plus, more Specials coming from Graffiti6!
  • Guest

    When we interviewed FourSquare’s product head Alex Rainert at SXSW 2011 last March, we asked him, “Can I be mayor of a band someday?” He responded, “It’s not currently on the roadmap. What do you mean by that?”
    This is very concerning to me that Alex Rainert lacks the imagination to understand becoming a mayor of a band. Forget that analysis of whether it is a good or bad idea, but focus on the mire fact that he didn’t understand that concept.