GigPig signs up with Manchester app developer for growth charge

Michael Forster

Live music marketplace GigPig is working with Manchester-based app developer Apadmi to build an app version of its booking and artist management platform.

Chief executive Michael Forster founded GigPig in 2022 and is looking to grow the business with investment in technology and people, with plans to double the current headcount of 13 people this year following a successful funding round.

“We’re investing a lot of money in a first in class solution with Apadmi who are building us an app that can help artists and venues get notified quicker.

“Hospitality is the last of the wild west. Technology has been slowly adopted by venues, integrating point of sale data, WiFi and customer profiling but what’s missing is data about what music is supplied and when, and linking that to who was in the venue at the time.

“Live music is an integral part of a venue’s offering but there is a third party outlay that is unnecessary. With the adaptation of technology and industry experience I believe the future is giving the venues the power to access the artist market and book their own gigs,” he said. 

Manchester-based Apadmi describes itself as “creators of digital products which solve complex problems and deliver enriching experiences for people on the move across mobile, web and digital platforms”.

Based in Salford Quays, it employs over 200 working for clients of the calibre of Domino’s Pizza, Co-op, NHS, Chetwood, BBC,  SailGP, Wattbike and Chelsea Football Club.

Forster said he struck up an immediate rapport and understanding with Apadmi founder and partnerships director Howard Simms.

“They’re Manchester based, we can talk face to face, and Howard is a massive music fan and he gets what we want to achieve,” said Forster.

Following a pre-seed investment in June 2022, the platform co-founded by Forster with Andrew Garner, Kit Muir-Rogers and Ed Francis currently represents more than 3500 artists and 600 venues in 12 cities nationwide including those owned by multiple venue operator Mission Mars, owners of Alberts Schloss and Rudy’s.

Forster said: “The partnership with Mission Mars was a real game changer for us. We had to accommodate their needs, and now because of them, there’s no-one we can’t serve.”

GigPIg is designed to offer venues a way to search, book and manage entertainment in-house, while offering artists a free platform to find, play and get paid for gigs.

On the expansion drive, Forster hired Anna Gledson as chief marketing officer from online publisher The Manc Group and the company moved into new offices on Bridge Street last year.

Caspar Nixon, Uber’s communications director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East is also advising GigPig.

Forster has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, first as a stagehand and then progressing into artist management.

He set up AMV Live Music music agency with Garner in 2010 to search for and sign up-and-coming talent. He recognised the industry was changing as social media platforms grew and agencies were starting to lose their position, which encouraged them to start GigPig.