As broke college students, it seems there are never enough funds for the endless concerts we want to attend in Austin. But for those who live for shows and have a barren bank account to prove it, there may be hope for your wallet.
Two men, Bora Celik and Andrew Cornett, have joined together in their love of sharing music to create Jukely Unlimited. Celik, a concert promoter who has booked major DJs like Tiesto and Kascade, and Cornett, a musician and former Kickstarter employee, wanted to make discovering music easier for the public.
Jukely Unlimited is a web service that grants free access to an unlimited amount of shows for $25 a month. Celik and Cornett created the service to create a risk-free way to discover new artists. “Jukely origins are really about getting people to go out and see live music,” Celik says. “The way people think about buying concert tickets is they don’t buy concert tickets for artists they might like, they buy tickets for artists they know and love.”
Shows in Austin can range from $8 to more than $100, but Jukely subscribers can attend as many shows as they want each month. Once a subscriber attends enough events for the total value of general admission tickets to surpass the $25 subscription fee, Jukely practically pays for itself. This way, subscribers can attend multiple concerts a month without major financial strain, or choose to attend a show of a band they’re unfamiliar with without the risk of losing money that could otherwise go toward attending a different show.
Jukely has been available only in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the service launched in Austin on Feb. 19. “Austin has a lot of promoters who book a lot of shows, has a lot of venues, has a young student population that like going out a lot,” Celik says. “It wasn’t planned this early, but we decided to bump it up and choose it as our fourth launched city.”
Bora requested I have a free month of Jukely to write about my personal experience, and while I do enjoy the service, there are some aspects I feel can be improved. The website is simple, has a wonderful aesthetic and is easy to use. However, the site lists all upcoming shows in Austin, but not all of them are available for free through their service. Once you’ve logged in, paid and entered through the unlimited page, only a few bands on the homepage are still available to RSVP for free.
A slideshow on the Jukely Unlimited homepage presents free concerts with a profile of each band, their genre and a music video. Subscribers get free shows, and in turn, artists get publicity and are compensated by Jukely. “They view Jukely as a marketing platform that helps promote their artists and doing the tours,” Celik says. With each show, Jukely and the promoters, venues and artists have a profit sharing agreement that is unique to each show.
Once a subscriber RSVP’s to a show, their name is entered on the guest list, which is sent to the venue at 5 p.m. on the day of the event. Show availability is updated daily at 11 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. on the day of the show. If the user is unable to make it, they can press cancel before 5 p.m. Jukely’s customer service is quick to respond attentive. The company contacts subscribers via text or email when they RSVP to an event. If a subscriber responds and has a question, an actual human being from the company will get in touch with them shortly.
A side effect of using Jukely is feeling cool. It feels nice showing up to the venue saying, “I’m on the guest list,” and showing your ID to prove it while those behind you clutch their printed tickets.
One problem I have with the service is only knowing about available bands less than a week in advance. I usually buy concert tickets for bands I love five months early. My advice: if you know well in advance you want to see a band, buy a ticket immediately. If the show isn’t available on Jukely, keep your ticket. If it is, sell it and make some extra money.
Jukely is still a new concept, so there are improvements we can anticipate. “Right now, the two things we’re focused on is improving the experience for the subscribers, as well as making it available in more cities,” Celik says.