Side Door Launches ‘Back To Live’ Programme

US residents who would like to host shows in their private spaces or online can apply for financial support to subsidise eligible show costs.

Side Door, the “any space is a venue” marketplace platform for the arts, is launching BACK TO LIVE with Side Door, a new support program designed to increase live performance spaces by supporting existing spaces and helping first-time hosts get started.

The programme is designed to help artists return to live entertainment quickly within a financially sustainable model despite a widespread loss of small-to-medium-sized clubs throughout the United States. Side Door aims to give all artists the opportunity to perform by empowering every-day people to get involved, hosting and curating shows in their own spaces for their communities. Hosts on Side Door represent a diverse range of spaces from backyards and living rooms, to commercial businesses and community halls.

While not every place is able to host in-person shows due to the pandemic, the programme includes options for artists to apply for a promotional subsidy for online shows as well. Side Door requires that in-person shows adhere to local public health guidelines and strongly encourages applications from under-represented groups.

Through this subsidy programme, hosts in any state can apply for financial support to subsidise eligible costs of a live performance event booked via the platform, including but not limited to music, dance, theatre, comedy, spoken word and lecture. To be eligible, the show must be public and ticketed with Side Door and take place prior to 31 December 2021. Both new and existing Side Door hosts are eligible for the programme.

“As a host myself, I know that there can be a feeling of uncertainty when you begin (or begin again) hosting shows in your space,” said Laura Simpson, CEO and Co-Founder of Side Door. “We want to de-risk this opportunity for people with great spaces, while opening more doors to artists who are starved for places to perform and enable a robust touring circuit. This program is meant to empower the community and give artists of all backgrounds places to showcase their talents.”

Co-Founder Dan Mangan added: “As an artist who built my career on these kinds of shows, I envision a world where shows can be booked in bespoke spaces anywhere in the world between perfect strangers in minutes. Playing impactful shows to intimate and attentive audiences in non-traditional spaces allowed me to build a loyal audience and make a living. Until you can sell hundreds of tickets in any city, it’s just the most artistically and financially viable way to tour.”

A wide array of hosts are eligible to apply for In-Person or Hybrid shows –live music venues, commercial spaces, private, outdoor spaces, businesses, community spaces, residential and more – for up to $500 of support depending on the size of the show.

Artists performing online-only shows can apply for a promotional digital ad campaign subsidy of $100. Subsidy is not guaranteed. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come-first-serve basis. Expenses must be eligible.

To apply for the subsidy, click here. For more information about hosting a Side Door show, visit