Posted in: What's App? News from the app and the office on September 24, 2018 by Shannon McFarland

It all started 10 years ago with two musicians who were traveling and playing at festivals, then sharing ideas about the music industry on the tour van.

Both musicians at heart with years of experience in the music industry, they also had business savvy and technical skills. And a dream to fix the music industry.

The ideas Darren Gallop and Morgan Currie shared while riding tour vans between gigs would ultimately become Marcato. What started with thoughts about better ways to use technology for managing artists and talent would become a robust event management software that changed how more than 300 festivals and live events operate around the globe.

Where we are today


Ten years later, Darren and Morgan’s vision made Marcato into the team we are today. We’re a team with strong local ties, feel like family, and work hard for the success of all our clients. Our powerful software helps manage hundreds of music, arts, film and food festivals. Including mega festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo.

“It’s been a really crazy journey,” Darren said. “I think going into it, I had some sort of naive notion that building a business would be something that happens really quickly and that perhaps I knew more than I did.”

In the early days, our technology was replacing sloppy manual processes. Paper, binders, and spreadsheets. Developing reliable and efficient web-based software, we built a centralized way for festivals to gather data easier, plan better and keep their team on the same page.

Natasha Hillier joined the Marcato team in 2011. She says many of Marcato’s loyal clients have grown their festivals organically while using Marcato, incorporating more and more of the tools Marcato built over the years to improve their festival operations each year.

“There are many early adopters,” Natasha says. “Some organizers won’t run a festival without Marcato now.”

Over the years, our team has become leading experts in the live event industry. We know every event is unique and love helping organizers implement the software to fit their needs.

What’s next for Marcato

The Marcato family

The Marcato family

Five years ago, we saw a paradigm shift in the festival management space. Many festivals were not asking whether to adopt software anymore, they were considering the best ways to implement these solutions. Our ideas that revolutionized festival planning have bled into other live events like the X Games, creating even more exciting fan experiences.  

For the future? We are pushing toward more robust integrations with other expert service providers for festivals. As a central data hub, Marcato can make even more seamless changes under the pressures of a typical production day with data from web, mobile, and access control partners.

Live events are constantly innovating to make every year a bigger, better experience and the technology powering live events needs to move at the same pace. Morgan says working with Coachella and other cutting-edge festivals helps us develop and grow the product for all our customers.

“We’re looking at the broader future of the app, to take it to the next level,” Morgan says.

From the tour trips that started everything, the last ten years were a crazy ride. It’s a journey we’re grateful and excited to be on with many great clients who inspire our work.

Through the years, beyond the tour van

Check out how Marcato went from a small, highly-caffeinated team serving one festival to the key for powering more than 300 huge live events every year:

  • 2008: The first idea that changed everything? Festivals needed all of their information in one place, updated in real time. No paper, no spreadsheets. With prize money from a technology pitch contest in hand, we move into our first office.
  • 2009: After a year of intense development, our first client was using Marcato: Celtic Colors International Festival. Our work turned their paper binders into a more efficient, digital system. It was a big step for the festival, which organizes 9 days of concerts and events across more than 50 venues on Cape Breton Island.
  • 2010-2011: Our event software launches to more festivals, with the Marcato team constantly testing, launching and refining new features. Early-adopting festivals are excited about the promise of centralized, updated event management system. The Marcato team outgrows a third office and moves to a fourth office.
  • 2012: We start working with the Goldenvoice team, the organizers of Coachella and Stagecoach and our biggest clients yet.
  • 2013: Marcato wins an Export Achievement Award from Nova Scotia Business Inc.
  • 2014: X Games, CMA, Osheaga, and Buma Culture are some new, big clients to start using our newly released Marcato Enterprise. 
  • 2015: We launch Form Builder, one of the biggest updates to our event management app. Custom forms allow festivals to easily gather artist applications and vendor information. For some festivals, this eliminated the need to store thousands of manila envelopes with CDs and headshots.  Marcato wins a Vital Excellence Award in the Employer Category, from NextGen Cape Breton.
  • 2016: We release a new user interface update for the navigation menu. The simplified look and organization make festival planning even easier. Marcato expands out of the music festival sector and is now working with festivals of all types from film, to science, literature, arts and sports
  • 2017: Marcato Light launches. Smaller events and festivals have affordable options for essential event management tools.
  • 2018: 10 year anniversary! Booyea! We’re planning out big, new ideas for making live event management easier.

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