Welcome to Side Door (beta)

We help artists, hosts and audiences make magical venues out of any space— even your very own home.

IF you are an emerging artist who finds it hard to get in front of attentive audiences…
If you want to build connective tissue in your community, foster local culture and bring the magic of intimate performance into your home/space…
If you are tired of the ticketing industry’s lack of fairness, transparency and accountability…
if you are open to one-of-a-kind tactile experiences in your hometown that you’ll never forget…

This is for you.


The platform takes the side door into the world of live entertainment, fostering magic everywhere from small towns to major cities. We spark connections between hosts and touring artists and provide booking and ticketing support.

In short, we make it easier for artists to tour, for fans to host and for audiences to connect deeply with amazing live performances in their community.

Sign up as a host, artist or guest.

Want to get hired to help at shows or volunteer your time? We’re looking for support! Submit here.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Upcoming Side Door Events

Vissia House Show at Cora & Geoffs Place

Vissia House Show at Cora & Geoff's Place

November 25, 2017, 7:00pm - November 25, 2017, 8:00pm

Megan Nash at Liberty Memorial Hall, Liberty SK

Megan Nash at Liberty Memorial Hall, Liberty SK

December 2, 2017, 7:30pm - December 2, 2017, 11:30pm

Joshua Hyslop House Show at Jillard Guitars

Joshua Hyslop House Show at Jillard Guitars

December 4, 2017, 7:00pm - December 4, 2017, 9:00pm

Joshua Hyslop House Show at Elcombe Crescent

Joshua Hyslop House Show at Elcombe Crescent

December 5, 2017, 7:30pm - December 5, 2017, 9:30pm


What is Side Door?

Side Door is a Canadian tech startup that serves as an online booking and ticketing platform, giving audiences instant access to intimate and unique events happening right in their neighborhood.

Internally, our matchmaking system incentivizes people to turn their private homes, businesses or alternative venues into stages and then matches them with touring artists and performers. We then manage the ticketing in a fair and transparent way.

The premise is simple…

1. Just about any kind of space can be a venue (home, loft, barn, art gallery, laundromat, park, cafe, etc)

2. Emerging entertainers need access to:
• Gigs in intimate venues that cater to a more memorable and connective experience for artist/audience alike
• A more efficient business model that eliminates overhead and allows performers to earn a living

3. Audiences deserve a more transparent experience when it comes to concerts and ticketing, and audiences in remote communities should be able to entice all kinds of culture to perform for them locally.

How quickly can I book a show?

Artists: Eventually, you’ll be able to go hunting for gigs and matching with hosts as soon as you sign up. Currently, we’re in beta phase, building the tech platform and creating real relationships with every artist and host that joins up. We will do our best to get you performing as soon as you are available, and as soon as we’ve got available hosts to have you in your area. You will hear from us and we can start making a plan. If you’re going on the road and need us to fill in a couple of dates, please email us at hosts@sidedooraccess.com (once you’re in the system!) and we’ll try and find matches asap.

Hosts: Right now we’re trying to give everyone a show as soon as we have a matching artist! If you have signed up and haven’t heard from us, please check with us at hosts@sidedooraccess.com. We’ve been reaching out to every host by phone and email to get things started and we’d love to talk with you.

What does the Host get for hosting the show?

Beyond the joy and pride of being a community arts curator and having great music in your home or venue, we’re currently giving 10% of the net ticket revenue to hosts to cover basic costs and time to set up (and, if necessary, clean up) the show. This is our beta phase percentage and we may offer more flexibility on this in the future, depending on what hosts need. If you should decide to donate that 10% to the artist when we set up an event, just let us know.

Who is responsible for selling tickets?

Side Door will set up the ticketing link, Facebook event page and initial promo for the show. But ultimately, the host is the promoter and is expected to share the event with friends, family and their community to fill the room. These events can serve as incredible community “touch-ins”. Neighbours meet neighbours and share an artistic experience, and everybody wins.

Artists must support the host by also promoting to their fans. Side Door will add a $30 geo-targeted Facebook boost per show, if requested and if necessary.

How does Side Door make money?

Transparency is key to us. We want audiences to know exactly where their money is going. In time, we hope to be able to show people exactly how much money they’ve put directly in artists pockets. We take 10% of each ticket purchased. Through some field research, we’ve found this to be a standard booking fee, and it allows us to put money back into expanding the platform to be as dynamic and exciting as possible.

Where are shows being booked?

Everywhere! As we are based in Canada, the majority of our hosts are Canadian. That said, our host-base is growing all over the place – in the US and throughout Europe and the UK. Hosts are offering their homes, their businesses, their churches, their community centres – as long as you have the right to use a space with the understanding that you will be responsible for liability of the event, you can host.

Is there an app?

Not yet. In our beta phase (until 2018), we are doing much of our work developing the back end technology by working with hosts, artists and fans to understand needs and behaviours. But our current designs and plans for the app makes us very, very excited. Imagine opening your phone and having an alert that your favourite artist is playing just a few doors down? Or imagine being on tour and having your next tour date details pop up on your phone? Or imagine hosting a show and not having to worry about any of the administration, ticketing or cash management?

I can’t host a show, how else can I help?

We are asking people to spread the word! You can find us on these socials:

Facebook: @sidedooraccess
Instagram: @sidedoor.access
Twitter: @sidedooraccess

Feel free to share our posts with friends who would love this.

You can also sign up to be a service provider – either volunteer or paid – HERE

Can I book a whole tour using Side Door?

Yes! We’ve tried that a few times already had great success. We’re working on perfecting the algorithms to make this a much simpler process. Imagine booking a show in any town or city and immediately being shown all the similar types of hosts within a 3 hour drive from there? We’d love a world where artists can casually flip through the app in their spare time and tour as much or as long as they like, wherever they like.

How do I find hosts?

Currently we’re doing the searching for you in the back end. Eventually, you will have full access to see what hosts are matched with you, based on preferences you shared with us on your profile. If that host is available, you will eventually be able to solicit those hosts through the app directly and request a show.

How do I find Artists?

Currently we’re vetting and maintaining our artist profiles in the back end. Eventually, you will be able to see the full list of artists within our network and be able to find out where they’re playing and request them to play your home or venue.

What about liability?

We have had major concerns since the beginning about liability for ourselves, our hosts and our artists. We have consulted with about a dozen lawyers about this issue and it has resulted in us positioning the company as the virtual booking agent, rather than the promoter. This means the host acts as the promoter, must have full responsibility and insurance to use their venue and must abide by whatever bylaws apply to hosting an event in your home or venue (most are complaint-driven, based on noise). We also put onus on hosts to understand the rules and regulations in their municipality when it comes to social gatherings. We make this very clear to our host when they sign up on our platform.

Once our platform is more developed, we will use the social contract of testimonials and ratings (which we’re all now very familiar with thanks to Google, Amazon, Uber, AirBnB, etc) to ensure people are behaving themselves. Abusers of the system won’t last in the system.

We are also concerned about the safety and well-being of our artists and guests, which is why we personally vet every host on our system and ensure the host has signed off on our terms and conditions and is introduced to our best practices.

We also provide terms and conditions to our guests and artists, so it’s clear the role they are taking and Side Door is taking in this booking/ticketing process. We are clear about how ticketing is handled, payouts are handled and how we safely handle private information.

We actively promote inclusivity, compassion and kindness at our shows and will be vigilant to eliminate any abusers of this system.

Why is your logo so bad?

We’re investing all of our time and energy into building something cool behind the scenes. We’ll make it pretty when we’re more ready to show it to the world.

What if I still have more questions?

If there is anything more we can help you with, you can reach us via this email form below


Co-founders Dan Mangan and Laura Simpson made the connection from west coast to east coast over a dream to make things better for touring artists and live music fans.

Dan Mangan

Dan Mangan is a two-time JUNO award winning & two-time Polaris Music Prize listed musician and songwriter. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife and two sons. With Jesse Zubot, he scored Hector And The Search For Happiness , a feature film starring Simon Pegg. Dan has also infrequently been a contributing writer for some publications such as Huffington Post Canada, Montecristo Magazine and The Guardian (Arts section).

Mangan has performed three concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Prince William and Duchess Kate, and has spent more than a decade playing dozens of marquee festivals and extensively touring in North America, Europe, the UK and Australia.

Dan got his start playing house concerts and small, intimate shows and he knows the value that brings. He began a house concert network for artists on his label in 2015. This caught the imaginations of so many that it has now expanded into Side Door.

Laura Simpson

Laura is a music industry professional, living with her family in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She founded The Syrup Factory, which began hosting house concerts 2011 and offering strategy and services to artists in 2015.

She has been a groupie in the arts scene since she was 14, going to all-ages shows and then eventually taking live music photography and freelance writing about shows and artists. That lead her to be a journalist for seven years, working for CBC and Rogers Radio.

Eventually she found her way back into the music world and worked as Export Development Officer and Communications Manager for Music Nova Scotia. She has also managed and produced for the Halifax Jazz Festival, CAPACOA, the East Coast Music Association. In 2015, Laura mentored with the top-tier music marketing team at Black Box in Los Angeles. She has juried for Music Nova Scotia, Halifax Pop Explosion, CBC Music Searchlight competition and the Junos.