Drymount! | How to Find Concert Posters

First off I want to thank everyone for checking out the first Drymount! post last week and for all the support. Justin and I both thought this column would be a good fit on Live Music Blog and I’m glad you folks seem to agree. I did see a very important question continue to pop up in the comments — “Where can I find more?”

I’ll do my best to answer that most basic question with a rather long winded answer.

FINDING POSTERS

Gigposters.com

The first place I would tell anyone looking for gig posters to go is the namesake website, Gigposters.com. Run by Canadian Clay Hayes, Gigposters.com is a huge database of 83,170 posters (and counting). The database can be searched by band, artist, venue, and city, and it is probably the best place to find out if a poster was made for that show you went to last month. For example, a quick search for posters in Buffalo will bring up a ton of great Hero Design Studio prints, but also 25 pages worth of posters for concerts in Buffalo.

Despite that vast resource, Gigposters.com is perhaps more valuable for its very active forum and the tons of valuable information in it. For the dedicated searcher you can learn everything from how to set up your own screen printing studio to the best way to get your own poster gigs. You’ll also learn more than you ever wanted to know about bacon, get your fill of lolcats and quickly find out what Frank Kozik thinks about Hillary Rodham Clinton. Basically, the Gigposters.com forum is a bit of a minefield, full of great info from the artists themselves and twice as many snarky comments (those can be fun too).


Expresso Beans

If Gigposters.com is the place for artists, Expresso Beans is the collector’s home base. It features an amazing database of not only posters, but also art prints, paintings, vinyl toys and many other collectible items. The EB database can be searched by artist, band, year (which can be helpful for older posters) and keyword. EB allows you, as a collector, to keep track of your poster collection, set up trades, see when prints you want become available, and track current market values (the actually validity of those values are debated daily, but they can still be helpful).

Same as Gigposters, EB also has a very active message board. Instead of artists, the EB forums are mostly frequented by collectors and wholesalers, and can also be a place filled with good discussion about art and info on when new posters will be available. There are a lot of long time collectors on there with lots of helpful information for storing and framing your art. Of course, like most active message boards, you need to wade through a lot of junk to get to the good stuff. Threads are often riddled with complaints, arguments, hype, disses and just plain nonsense, but I’ll take the bad with the good. I’ve been introduced a many, many great artists through EB.

BUYING POSTERS

So now you’ve finally tracked down the poster for that Okkervil River concert you saw in Toronto back in September, but how do you buy it? If it is a recent print, your best bet is probably contacting the artists directly. Most posters on Gigposters have an artist’s website or email address included; drop them a line or surf their site to see what is available. This is usually going to be your cheapest way to buy the poster, plus all the money goes directly to the person who created it. You could also try out the band’s website. A number of bands like Wilco, the Decemberists and many others will have posters available after the shows.

If you can’t track the poster down through the artist or the band, fear not, there are many other places to look. Expresso Beans keeps track of who wants to trade what poster, and you can set up notifications when posters you want are now available for trade. EB Members are sometimes looking to trade for other prints, sometimes only looking for cash, but it is an excellent place to check. You can also look to retailer websites. There are tons of web stores selling old and new prints. A good list of them can be found at Expresso Beans, and I can recommend a few:

Finally, if you can’t track down your poster through any of those means, there is always “The ‘Bay.” At an given time there are tons and tons of posters on eBay, and a quick search will give you pages of great posters (and lots of crap too). As with many auctions, prices tend to inflate on eBay, but there are always some deals you can find. Expresso Beans is also handy with eBay, most auctions are tracked and you can quickly thumb through pages of available posters.

So there you have it — my short guide to finding and buying the posters of your dreams, or perhaps just the ones commemorating the concerts you went to. If you have any suggestions for other resources out there, help the newbies out and post them in the comments. There’s a lot of fantastic art out there so good luck and happy hunting.

This is the second Drymount! column from Sam Verrill and there’s plenty more to come from his department…look for his own set of Archives in the near future.

  • http://www.concertposterart.com Jacob Grossi

    the best poster is always the one you tear off the wall at the show…not the one you bought at the “merch table”.

    Jacob
    http://www.ConcertPosterArt.com
    “Over 4000 Original Concert Posters and Flyers”

  • http://www.concertposterart.com Jacob Grossi

    the best poster is always the one you tear off the wall at the show…not the one you bought at the “merch table”.

    Jacob
    http://www.ConcertPosterArt.com
    “Over 4000 Original Concert Posters and Flyers”

  • http://www.stickitonyourwall.com/ Online Posters

    Excellent,This is really a nice post on Concert Posters.

  • http://www.stickitonyourwall.com/ Online Posters

    Excellent,This is really a nice post on Concert Posters.

  • http://www.stickitonyourwall.com/ Online Posters

    Excellent,This is really a nice post on Concert Posters.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    No no, thank Mr. Sam, our new blogger on the team…

    I need to get him on his own login soon so that it says, “posted by Sam…” — I shouldn't get to take credit for such masterfully crafted Gig Posterology.

  • woodyland

    I am looking for information on Dave Schiller Sparta Graphics circa 1967 rock band posters, specifically Beatles.

    • Gsullivan4@tampabay.rr.com

      I have a1967 Dave Schiller poster depicting the city of San Francisco, that I purchased brand new back then in a head shop. I was in the Navy stationed there at the time and dragged this poster with me on the uss Hancock to a tour of duty in the Tonkin Gulf and back to my home in N.H. kept it in a closet until a few years ago, when I decided to have it framed. Frame was over $100. Probably paid $5 back then? Anyways, it’s in super shape and I have no idea of it’s true worth. Any ideas. It has a “hate” flag at top of establishment and “love” flag over Hippie camp in Sasulito. Shows Avalon and Fillmore etc., etc.

  • woodyland

    I am looking for information on Dave Schiller Sparta Graphics circa 1967 rock band posters, specifically Beatles.

  • cat

    i have some vintage sparta graphics posters. found them on an old abandoned storage lot a few years ago. i have 5 jefferson airplane posters, 1 poster of california map showing all the california band names of that time in the cities they came out of. shows the venues too – filmore. one of the names i recall is the doors and many others. also, i found a cloth poster (i think it is the original art of the poster) was glued to a board which i removed because it was peeling and was water damaged (board only) – so now it is just the cloth. it was also made by sparta graphics and is similar to the california one but instead shows london and the many bands coming out of the area – beatles is on there – and has the british flag in the background. the lot i found them on was in alviso which is just minutes away from san jose which was the home of sparta graphics. looking to sell.

  • cat

    i have some vintage sparta graphics posters. found them on an old abandoned storage lot a few years ago. i have 5 jefferson airplane posters, 1 poster of california map showing all the california band names of that time in the cities they came out of. shows the venues too – filmore. one of the names i recall is the doors and many others. also, i found a cloth poster (i think it is the original art of the poster) was glued to a board which i removed because it was peeling and was water damaged (board only) – so now it is just the cloth. it was also made by sparta graphics and is similar to the california one but instead shows london and the many bands coming out of the area – beatles is on there – and has the british flag in the background. the lot i found them on was in alviso which is just minutes away from san jose which was the home of sparta graphics. looking to sell.

  • Thomas

    Need a Foster the People one from the Oct 5th Chi Town show :P