What a marriage proposal at a Vance Joy show taught Dan Mangan about scaling Side Door

Dan Mangan Side Door

Like most musicians, Juno Award-winning Dan Mangan left us waiting for the show to start. But he had a good reason: Dan Mangan the entrepreneur was hard at work on the latest product rollout for his company, Side Door.

“There has always been an entrepreneurial side of my brain. I’ve always been involved in the business.”

The service is a lot of things, and can be described as an “any space is a venue” marketplace, “Airbnb for gigs,” or “that thing that lets me watch Vance Joy over Zoom.”

Side Door has been on one hell of a ride since the pandemic, seeing a huge increase in remote/streaming performances, and then a swing back to in-person as the pandemic has subsided (in some parts of North America anyway).

There’s a couple of problems with that, however: most venues are gatekept and not really profitable for musicians early in their career, and the pandemic wiped most of those venues out anyway. So, where’s the gig at, Dan?

Mangan talks about all of this, how Side Door is actually subsiding gigs for musicians and venues with its new Back to Live program, how the service fits in a competitive landscape, and unpacking the ‘atomic unit of a show’.

Dan Mangan has been DIY hustling his way through the music industry for 20 years. Now he’s trying to help musicians around the world during one of the worst times ever to be a musician.

Let’s dig in.


The BetaKit Podcast is sponsored by Innovate BC.
The Innovator Skills Initiative provides up to $10,000 to help employers hire a new employee. The program helps under-represented people get their first job in B.C.’s tech sector and supports companies facing skills shortages to grow and expand.


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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Innovate BC.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.