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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# who's that band
Two Irish guys have invented a Shazam-style app for live music
Ever seen a band at a festival and forgotten their name? This will help.


‘The ideal scenario is you are walking down Grafton St, someone is busking and you don’t know who they are – but you can hit Muddy and find out who they are.’

SHAZAM HAS HELPED revolutionise how we interact with music – want to know what that ambient track playing in your local pub is? Shazam it – but there hasn’t been an equivalent for live music.

Step forward Ian Henderson and Rob Beresford, two Dublin-based music lovers who have created an app that takes the guesswork out of live gigs.

They’re set to launch their first app, called Muddy, at the Body & Soul festival on 19 June.

Born out of their love for music and a desire to see bands connect with new fans, they have created Muddy to be used as a free app. It’s on iOS right now, and an Android version is in the pipeline.

muddy 3

Henderson, who came up with the idea for Muddy, explained to

We’ve all had that experience where you’re at a festival or a gig and you see a DJ or band playing and you don’t know who they are but you want to find out more.

After experiences of heading home from a festival with memories but no name to satisfy his curiosity, he decided there was a gap in the market for a live music app like Shazam.

“But the other side we have is for artists and promoters to be discovered,” he added. Artists can set up their own profile, and add their gigs so they can be discovered by Muddy users.

Henderson left a long-term job with Vodafone to set up Muddy. At 30, he wanted to try something new.

I’d been a promoter before and understood the difficulties. I knew there was a gap in the marketplace to discover new and exciting talent.

He went on a journey to find an app developer to put a shape to his ideas, and was introduced to Beresford, who is a friend of his girlfriend’s family.

“He saw the potential idea and brought us to where it is,” said Henderson. Rob has a number of other tech companies under his belt, which mainly deal with the horse racing industries. But as someone who grew up playing music, he understood the draw of Muddy.

It’s early days for the app, but the duo have chosen next weekend’s Body & Soul festival for its first launch.

“We want to let artists and promoters know this is available for them to use for free,” said Henderson.

How it works

muddy 2

The app is based on geo location and an algorithm that enables bands to input where they are playing and when, and users to tap the Muddy button on their phone and see what band is playing near them in real time.

Bands have a profile, which links to their Spotify and Facebook pages, and fans can send messages to the bands. Bands, meanwhile, can send notifications about upcoming gigs to their fans.

If bands want to sell remaining tickets to an almost-sold-out gig, they can also offer discounts via the app, explained Beresford.

Like Tinder, you can go within 10km and check out events – rather than singles – that are near you.

The duo see Muddy as giving bands a launchpad to get their name, and music, out there.

For Body & Soul, they’ve been tasked with creating artist profiles for every band taking part, so that punters can see who’s playing at any time anywhere on the site.

“We want to show people the potential of the app,” said Henderson.

When you’re walking stage to stage, you press a button on your phone and it tells you who’s playing.

The app was funded from their own pockets, said Beresford. Henderson adds that he’s currently working in two other jobs.

“It was about doing something I am passionate about”

Currently, the app is free for users and bands. The more bands that are involved, the better a service it offers users, given that it will up the number of live gigs on Muddy.

“For me it was about doing something I am very passionate about when I left a long-term job,” said Henderson. “There are so many avenues we can explore [with Muddy].”

“We definitely want emerging artists to get on board,” added Rob.

The ideal scenario is you are walking down Grafton St, someone is busking and you don’t know who they are - but you can hit Muddy and find out who they are.

They pair are hoping to meet promoters and other festivals who would like to speak to them about the benefits of Muddy.

Muddy is available for free on iTunes, with more information available at

Read: Bit of an animal? 25 places to go partying before you die>

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