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What is Side Door?
What is Side Door?

Who we are, and what we believe in.

Laura Simpson avatar
Written by Laura Simpson
Updated over a week ago

Side Door offers an efficient, friendly and transparent marketplace where anybody can perform, host, or curate shows for their communities. Through its leading technology and design, the company facilitates a unique and intuitive way to connect with others, build shows and create opportunities for artists, hosts and audiences anywhere, anytime.


We are an artist-first endeavor, removing the barriers to access, in live entertainment, facilitating unique, high-value shows anytime, anywhere. We use tech to serve the underserved and give agency to the creators.

Company Story

Side Door Access Inc. (“Side Door”) was established in 2017 by co-founders Laura Simpson and Dan Mangan to connect artists with alternative performance spaces. They witnessed that far too many wonderfully capable and talented artists were burning out - unable to make it through the funnel of industry gatekeepers toward a sustainable career.

They knew from their respective careers in the music industry that intimate, small shows in unusual spaces with low overhead could often be just the perfect storm from which feasible touring budgets and faithful, dedicated fanbases could be born. There are many internal mottos at Side Door, but the one most quoted is: “If your footprint cannot be wide, let it be deep.”

After two years of low-tech concept proof, Side Door 1.0 was launched in early 2019. As the world adjusted to 2020’s turbulent gathering restrictions, Side Door enhanced its offering with tools and resources to facilitate live online shows - both through securely ticketed interactive fan engagement experiences, and through more traditional live-streaming tech.

Side Door foresees a new kind of arts marketplace; where live performances are decentralized from downtown urban cores; where anybody can use whatever space they have available to them to host live art; where shows are booked between perfect strangers in minutes and announced immediately; where audiences can spontaneously find meaningful & artful experiences right within their neighbourhoods and communities any day of the week; where greater municipal areas have hundreds, rather than dozens of viable performance spaces; and where artists can make a strong living doing what they love, and build their audiences along the way.

We believe artists deserve more control and fewer gatekeepers. We want to support and facilitate an interesting, diverse, and daring ecosystem of expression - one which serves artists at all stages of their careers, and where anyone can find, grow, and connect with their audience.

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with other team members spread out over North America, we are dedicated to supporting artists, hosts, venues, presenters, and audiences through every step of the process, from sign-up to show and beyond. The vision for the company is to promote a closer connection between people and live performance and their communities; our mission is to provide Artists with a meaningful revenue stream, facilitate Hosts’ access to talent, and give Audiences a memorable entertainment experience.

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