Elisa Bray: Caught In The Net

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The Independent Culture

The environmentally minded site www.liftshare.com gleefully sent out an email to its members thanking them for saving an approximate 295,694 miles (equivalent to 70 tons of CO2) to and from Glastonbury Festival this year.

The founder of www.drummerhunter. com (the website for drummers to find band members) has come up with another community-minded site for bands and their fans. The aptly titled www.betterthanthevan.com is touting itself as a new community for bands on tour to get free places to stay. It puts touring musicians and their fans in touch with each other, so that fans put up the aspiring rock stars.

But really it sounds like a website for glorified groupies. Both fans offering places to stay and the weary touring musicians create profiles on the site. Some of those offering their couch, floor space or spare rooms are, unsurprisingly, keen-looking music fans, but, also among those offering a base for the night are band members who can simultaneously publicise their own music by posting their MySpace/website/ Facebook page and meet musicians with whom to collaborate in the process.

If you struggle to follow your favourite bands' tour dates, register with new site www.songkick.com, which will inform you about forthcoming tours near you, as soon as they have been announced. They're tackling the right market – it's all about the live show for bands these days – and they aim to become the most comprehensive online ticket search service. For a start, it's much slicker than www.ents24.com. Enter the names of your three favourite bands and your home town and the site will email you updates so you can be the first to know about shows. While the site is London-based, it covers cities and towns across the UK and is most useful to fans living where bands' tours are less frequent. The site also recommends other gigs that match the genres of your chosen three top acts.

If one of your top acts is The Raconteurs, you might want to contribute to the new live section on their website. Jack White's band are asking fans to send in their home-made video footage and photos from Raconteurs shows to livevideo@theracon-teurs.com and livephoto @theraconteurs.com to help bring the section at http://theraconteurs. com/live/ to life.

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