People sometimes ask about the history of FestivalNet, so here is a little background. Connie and I had been doing shows for many years and we always felt frustrated with the available sources for show info, and how bad they all were. I was also in the entertainment business at that time, so we needed detailed information for exhibitors as well as for musicians/bands. Out of necessity, we started developing our own database of events with all of the details important to us, as we went about booking our calendars each year.
When we realized we had a database of 2,000+ events, we decided to offer it to others! We initially tried a printed quarterly directory, but when computer connectivity started emerging (this was back in the pre AOL days & pre Internet/Netscape!), we knew that could be a fantastic way to go. Festival details change frequently so printed info was always dated the day you got it, and becomes more so with every passing day. Initially I tried a BBS in the early 90s, which did not go very well, but I learned a lot!
I have always been a "seat of the pants" (do it myself) kind of entrepreneur so in 1996, I figured out how to build a web site. The first version was pretty basic, offering our detailed festival info as a PDF download. I continued to learn web development and Connie continued to build the database, taking it from 2,000 to 10,000 shows all on her own! I also realized I needed to hire some skilled programmers in order to capture the real opportunity the emerging Internet offered.
With a little help and a lot of late nights in front of the computer, in 2001 we became the first online source to offer real-time online access for both the festivals (who could add/update and publicize their events) and the exhibitors, vendors, artists, crafters and musicians, who wanted access to this kind of detailed event info. And they could now get it instantly! In the past, we were always dealing with printed info you got in the mail. For those of us working in the festival market at that time, to have detailed show information available in real-time, as soon as the promoters did their updates, that was a pretty cool thing! As a result we grew very quickly over the next few years.
We finally were able to start hiring some help which is when things really took off. Over the years we have had many wonderful individuals contribute to FestivalNet, but the current FNO crew is our best ever! They are the real reason we are such a great company today! I'm proud of what we have accomplished, becoming the top North American festival and event resource for Pros in this industry, as well as a fantastic guide for Festival Goers seeking events right down the road or half way across the country.
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