ARDSLEY, N.Y. -- Sandy Lundy has YouTube to thank for her budding business.
The former Ardsley resident -- she now lives in Pawling -- began BandsNearMe.com a year ago and has seen the site, which directs viewers to local live music events, news and information throughout the tristate area, explode. This, despite not having a music background and knowing nothing about how to build a website (hence those YouTube videos).
The idea began after helping Daryl Hall of Daryl's House with some private events and learning that when music venues promoted a band's show, only the name of the band/musician was named – no information about the genre of music.
"For me, this was really important because while I love to go out and enjoy live music – I really wanted to know what type of music would be played," she said.
As she looked deeper, the mom of three realized there was no source to help musicians connect with their base. "Music venues rely on the musicians to bring in a fan base – but the irony is that these people have no way to promote themselves other than Facebook etc.," explained Lundy.
So, she started cataloging information on local musicians, bands and music venues. As she found a band, she learned of a new music venue, which led her to more musicians/bands and so on.
The site, which presently features about 3,000 bands/musicians, originated as a source of information for the community but has quickly morphed into a way for local musicians to promote what they are doing and a way for music venues to find talent they otherwise would not have known about.
It’s also becoming a way for local businesses to promote themselves to this target market.
In addition, she has two Facebook pages: Bands Near Me Events (where the local music venues and musicians can post their events) and Bands Near Me (where she post links to the editorial pieces on the website (CD releases, fundraisers, etc.).
Her recent acquisition of Hudson Valley Music Scene and the support of William Todd Levinson, that site's founder, has also helped in her business growth. She also credits Grant Simmons, her original angel investor, for helping get her website off the ground.
All told, she has about 4,500 followers.
She believes the site has struck a chord because prior to Bands Near Me there was nowhere for the community to go if the average person wanted to go out and see live music. In addition, there was no source of information that encompassed every music genre possible – in every area of the Hudson Valley.
"As word of mouth grows, the site has had requests from all over the country and as far as Europe asking how to get on it and promote themselves or their events which only tells me that there is a true need for this," she said.
"The musicians love it because they finally have a way to showcase their talent outside of their own efforts. The music venues appreciate it because they can now find new talent that fits in with their 'vibe' and they can promote their events to a market that may not have otherwise known about them."
Lundy, who admits she has no music background per say other than being a fan, said she had no idea there was so much talent in our area and that the outpouring of support from the music community has touched her and propelled her to do more and do better.
Thanks to her background in business development and marketing, she sees her new company filling a much-needed void and has plans to expand into small to mid-sized markets outside of major metropolitan areas. She's already working with someone in Charleston, SC.
As for her ideal music to listen to? "There really isn’t any music I don’t appreciate because music is something that can take you outside of yourself, and bring you back to places long forgotten, if that makes sense," she said.
"Watching a live band is the epitome of true teamwork…. They all work together in different ways to create art."
For more information, go to www.BandsNearMe.com .