Side Door Expands Successful ‘Back To Live’ Program Worldwide, Offering Subsidies For Live and Virtual Shows Hosted In Unique Spaces

November 05, 2021
HALIFAX, Canada —

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

Side Door understands that not every place is able to host in-person shows due to the pandemic, so the program 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 program, hosts from around the globe can apply for financial support to subsidize 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, applications must be submitted by December 31, 2021 with the show taking place prior to June 30, 2022. Both new and existing Side Door hosts are eligible for the program.  

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  

Co-founded by music industry professional Laura Simpson and JUNO award-winning recording artist and songwriter Dan Mangan, Side Door provides nearly 5,000 artists and 2,000 hosts the tools to produce and ticket intimate shows in non-traditional performance spaces like backyards, bookstores, warehouses and living rooms. Artists can bypass traditional entertainment industry gatekeepers, browse spaces, and connect directly with passionate hosts around the globe to book their performances. Likewise, hosts can reach out directly to artists and curate shows for their community. Audiences can seek out unique and intimate artistic experiences close to home and become hosts themselves.   

The platform pays out show stakeholders automatically based on their mutually agreed split of revenue and even brokers royalty remittance to Performing Rights Organizations for musical performances so users aren’t liable for licensing issues. Hosts and artists can also stream their concerts to a hybrid online audience via Side Door’s securely ticketed online show options (either “Interactive” via Zoom or a more traditional live-streaming “Broadcast” lane).


Side Door was established in 2017 to connect artists with alternative venue spaces and their audiences through high-value intimate shows. The company offers an efficient, friendly, and transparent platform where anybody can perform, host, or present shows for their communities. Through its leading technology and design, the company delivers in-person, virtual, interactive, and broadcast experiences for artists and audiences anywhere, anytime.