project: Martijn van Exel

Copy: Gonzo (circus) community empowering

A proposal for the creation of a community enhanced events finder

Creating the first platform where professionals and enthousiast can find information about everything that's going on in new music and culture using web2.0 concepts.


Gonzo (circus) - Edition #100 of our print magazine: an overview of the avant-garde musicians and artists we like Gonzo (circus)

Gonzo (circus) was established in 1991 as a print magazine about subcultures, mainly in guitar music, but paying attention to other genres, other artforms and trends in society as well. Over the years its focus has widened, and since 2003, Gonzo (circus) has changed its tagline to "magazine on new music and culture", offering very specific editorial content, unique in the dutch linguistic region to professionals and cultural enthousiasts, our main target groups. In 2010 Gonzo (circus) is no longer just a successful print magazine, but also a website that offers new content every day by means of a blog, and is connected to related 2.0 applications (MySpace, Facebook and Twitter).
Our primary aim is to make the first platform members of the target groups visit to find information about everything culturally that's going on (events, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, etc.) in new music and culture in The Netherlands and Flanders. Statistics clearly indicate that the site's current agenda (which sometimes includes personal previews by the site's editors) provides for the site's highest valued content. Expanding from the current agenda, we want the next version to cover much more events and be easier accesible to the visitor. Ideally, the agenda would become the source for finding cultural events for the members of our target groups.
To achieve this, we aim to aggregate the relevant data from different websources provided by our partners (professionals, venues, galleries, organizations) and present the the agenda as a central meeting point on our website, and do it in a way that optimizes for content value and relevance.
In addition, we want to maintain or restore, and further expand the function of the independent reviewer/journalist. It is our strong conviction that in spite of – or more likely, because of – the overwhelming amount of unaggregated and unfiltered information available on the internet, a large group of enthousiasts still appreciate high-quality information and recommendations from a trusted source. We will not only present all relevant data, but also add editorial content to events we think are the most relevant. This can be done in the form of a personal recommendation by a Gonzo (circus)-editor, by evaluating the event on different levels, and by adding background information from our database of music reviews (with nearly 6000 reviews published online).
And finally we want to strengthen and expand the existing community of professionals and enthousiasts. In a society where media and entertainment are dominated by the mainstream, new music and culture are marginalized, in spite of them being fertilizers for mainstream culture and driving forces behind innovation on all levels in society. Therefore accessibility and visibility will be a priority. For a one-time event or small venue with a limited group of interested people a dedicated website might not necessarily be the best platform to achieve this visibility, while a central platform like would reach a much bigger audience. Moreover, by giving our target audiences the possibility to share, select, comment and evaluate both the information provided and the events presented, the community itself will expand and be much more closely knit together.