THE NEW ARTIST CONNECTING PLATFORM: AFORTAY.CO.UK
July 15th 2021
Curated by DJ and co-runner of Omnibass Events, Jim Fortune, afortay.co.uk is an online platform aiming to provide a space to connect all the dots in the music events industry. We caught up with him to discuss the website, how the idea came about and where he hopes to go with it
The UK is known for its immersive and diverse underground music scene, with events popping up left, right and centre and more people getting involved in the events industry than ever before. So it only seems fit for the basis of a platform to seamlessly connect people together for the ease of the night to come into place, and that’s what Jim has decided to bring into fruition.
afortay.co.uk came about as an idea after spanning back to his days DJing and throwing parties at university: “During my time at uni I started DJing, mostly just messing around with mates in my room. I put a few mixes out to local promoters, quickly began playing out at local venues, most weekends. From this I got to know loads of other people involved in the music events industry and I became sucked into it all. I upgraded my kit to a full pioneer CDJ set up, so that I was comfortable playing on the venue's decks, from this I started renting out my kit to venues and promoters when they had large events on and needed extra CDJs.
“After a few years, me and my friends decided to throw our own events. We got a few big headliners down and had our mates supporting, and they were always fat nights. Although, behind the scenes it was very stressful getting stuff organised and finding all the necessary people.
“From my experiences in the music event industry, the concept for Afortay came about.”
IT'S A WIN WIN FOR EVERYONE THAT LIKES
In a world so allured and connected through the means social media, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of connecting through Facebook, Instagram and what not. Having the website hosting the platform, maybe it’ll become more streamline efficient, but most importantly, the platform is a free to use service: “Most of the people that offer services in the music scene are just your everyday people that do it because they love music! I am a DJ, promoter and provide kit hire services. Everyday people do it for the fun of it so they rarely have a website or spend money on adverts, meaning they can be hard to find.
“The concept for Afortay was to provide your everyday music event service providers with a platform to advertise their services to promoters for free. I wanted to create a more connected scene, where someone hosting a music event can easily find everything they need for their event. The easier it is for the promoter, the better the event is for the ravers!
“So if a promoter was looking for a DJ in their area, they could go into the performers sections, select DJ, select the genre and then choose the location they are looking in.”
With the last year and a half being drowned in event cancellations and uncertainty surrounding all events in the music industry, the drive for insurance and cover is at an all time high. Afortay aims to provide an easy space for insurance specialists to communicate: “It’s more so just finding insurance specialist, so kit hire insurers, self employed musician insurers etc and providing them with a space to offer their services to people within the music industry. Similarly it could be done for accountants and solicitors that specialise in providing services to people who work in the music industry.”
The foundations of the site - despite being in its beginning stages - shows a promising adventure ahead. Whilst coinciding with Jim’s involvement in and knowledge of the events industry, Afortay is a diverse space which should leave no crew member left out, from DJs, equipment hire to sound engineers. Jim spoke about making a space dedicated to making running events easier: “Initially I want to grow the website across the whole of the UK. Any grant funding I receive and other income revenues, will all be spent on adding more features to the website to improve the user's experience, as well as marketing to fill the website with users. Once the website covers the whole of the UK, I will begin looking to grow in Europe. Many UK brands already operate in the EU so it would be great to make it easy for everyone to throw an event no matter where they are.
“The way I see it, the more events that take place, the more bookings service providers will receive and the more events ravers can enjoy. It's a win win for everyone that likes music events.”
The site is now live and read for use on a free basis via the link below:
Afortay is at it’s starting stages thus far, and users can access a vast majority of the features that are intended to be supplied, but there’s still more to come from the music connecting platform: “The first version of the website is up and running now. However, this is just the most basic version. I funded this website on my own, so I had to strip it down to it's most basic form. Right now the users can create an account, edit their profile, instantly chat within the website, take bookings and make bookings. I have a huge list of extra features that will enhance the user's experience and improve the functionality of the website, however I am waiting to hear back from the Arts Council Grant funding team to see whether I can take it to the next level.
“My aim is to create a strong website that is the industry standard place to go for music event service providers. After this, I will look to expand into Europe. I want the website to become a community of music event service providers and ravers. One feature that I am looking to add is a forum where people can ask questions and discuss topics.”