When a band isn’t playing/recording/rehearsing they’re often with left with a lot of time to do, well, nothing. One industry professional has taken note of this issue, and seeks to turn time that would usually be spent surfing da blogs and responding to haters on Twitter and turning it into good.
Downtime is a Facebook app that allows bands to pump their cause of choice via their band page. It was developed by Jay Harren, a former A&R manager at Columbia Records. Two years ago, Harren was on tour with one of his bands when he realized how bored the musicians got between sets and venues. He started thinking about what it would be like if that band turned boredom into do-gooding.
“The catch is that whatever it is they’re going to for a cause has to be practical,” Harren says. “A band can’t leave the venue and go build a house for Habitat for Humanity.” As a result, Downtime was born. The app easily lets bands promote a cause to their myriad Facebook followers, and they can continue to support said cause via other social networks (like Twitter) between shows.
Right now, the startup is still very new; Harren is approaching bands with a strong social good leaning and signing them up for the service. However, soon, any band that wants to get in on the action will be able to enlist themselves.
Currently, the following bands on are board: Manchester Orchestra, Anberlin, Mayday Parade, Grouplove, Hey Monday, Butch Walker, Sleeping at Last, The Starting Line, We The Kings, AWOLNATION, Charlotte Sometimes, Kevin Devine, Matthew Mayfield, Aaron Gillespie, Feather & Belle, Zach Williams and the Bellow.
Harren and Co. also plan to take the experience beyond social in the coming months. Anberlin, for example, aims to reinvent the traditional fan meet and greet, asking fans to come hang with them at soup kitchens, etc, in order to volunteer.
What do you think of Downtime? Would you get behind a cause your favorite band was rallying for?