About a month or so ago, I saw news begin to appear that a “Netflix for concerts” was about to kick off in Los Angeles. As someone who went to 100 concerts last year, my interest was obviously piqued immediately.
Enter Jukely Unlimited. After trying the idea out in New York City, it officially launched in Los Angeles in mid-January. Since, the service has launched in San Francisco and next on deck is Austin. For $25 a month, you can get a ticket to a show every night of the week. For $45 a month, you can get a +1 to all the shows you decide to attend.
Each day at 11 a.m., shows two days in the future become available for you to get tickets to. We’re not talking marquee headliners but I was actually pleasantly surprised at what range of shows were available. For signing up, you got two tickets to see Warpaint at the intimate Roxy Theater at the beginning of February. That alone was worth $45 to me, and so I decided to test out the service.
The first concert I locked up passes to was ’90s alt-rockers Bush at The Wiltern. That was a show a level above what I thought would be available through Jukely. When I arrived, I was also pleasantly surprised that the tickets were general admission and not balcony seating. That isn’t to be the expectation though, according to Jukely founder Bora Celik.
“We don’t know in advance what area of the show passes will be available for,” Celik told me via e-mail. “Our promoter partners decide how to allocate these spots. In this case it was a lucky pleasant surprise, but should not be the expectation.”
That makes it a little more difficult to plan shows with friends who buy their tickets via the traditional means, but with the $45 service, your tickets should be together. A majority of the shows are for general admission only venues from what I’ve observed (like the Hundred Waters show at El Rey I used Jukely for), so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
When you arrive at a show you got tickets through Jukely for, you must check-in through their site. This lets Jukely know you didn’t put your name on a list and decide not to go. If you don’t check in, your account is unable to check into a show for 24 hours. Personally, I love that idea.
As the service grows, which it has steadily since launching, one wonders how difficult it will be for people to get passes to the shows being offered. Will more shows start getting added as subscribers grow? Will more tickets be allocated per show to deal with the demand?
“We work with our partners to get more allocations from them as they become available,” Celik said. “In the long term, our plan is to manage the ratio between supply and demand so that subscribers feel like they are getting enough out of the service even if they can’t always go to the shows they wanted. Similar to treadmills at the gym being taken, you just have to come at a different time.”
The range of acts available through the service is pretty wide. The service in other cities is also available to you if you happen to be in those towns and a subscriber. I’ve checked in on the San Francisco service from time to time and feel pretty good that when I visit my old stomping grounds, I might be able to check out a show while there. Genre-wise, you can’t really miss. There’s lots of indie rock, folk, dance, EDM, hip-hop, pretty much everything you could be interested in. I believe there was even a mariachi metal show available if that’s your thing.
“The initial $25 plan is designed for music discovery for emerging artists with a few established artists sprinkled here and there,” Celik said. “In the future we might introduce higher priced plans that get our subscribers access to more shows with established artists.”
Jukely has an alternate use for people who don’t use the concert-subscription service where they run contests to win tickets to shows. When asked if they plan to merge the two ideas and maybe give subscribers more entries into contests, Celik concluded it was a “pretty cool idea” and “don’t mind if we use it.”
Overall, Celik has said the experience has been positive for all involved.
“Our allocations have been increasing over time, which is an indication that our partners are seeing increased business via the subscription, hence giving us higher allocations.”
I myself can add that when I’ve searched Jukely on social media, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. The idea works so well that one wonders why nobody thought of it sooner.
If you’re looking to discover that next breakthrough band on the way up when they’re playing to hundreds instead of thousands, Jukely will make it much lighter on your wallet. That alone is worth $25 a month.
Words: Mark E. Ortega