Detroit’s OPNR, a website and app built and engineered to support the independent music community, has announced its launch. The app is designed to connect musicians to opening set opportunities.
The app provides a concert organizer and the data needed to make a decision on a local musician, as well as the technology to create and manage a performance opportunity.
Waref Hawasli, co-founder and president, saw the need for a way to bridge the gap between independent musicians and opening act prospects.
“OPNR’s mission is two-fold. The first is to assist independent musicians actively searching and interested in booking more local performances, and the second is to connect concert organizers looking for local musicians for a concert they’re producing,” says Hawasli. “Ultimately, our objective is to support the independent music community by providing a viable solution to an existing industry problem.”
OPNR is a by-product of Fanic Music, a web-based platform Hawasli created in 2017 to connect musicians with fans, as well as to assist in the booking process and promotions. A few months after the launch, Hawasli saw a shift in the site’s usage toward finding local openers for events with confirmed headliners.
“We made the decision to pivot and focus primarily on what the industry was lacking: a system built to connect local musicians with local concert organizers looking for local support for their local events,” says Hawasli.
OPNR offers an electronic press kit generator for musicians and band managers that allows musicians to present themselves professionally when submitting for an opportunity. Another function navigates musicians to current opening set opportunities based on location and genre.
The platform streamlines the search process for concert organizers by allowing them to create an opportunity within the platform, with filters available for criteria including genre and location. OPNR notifies musicians who fit the criteria and provides a submission deadline. Once the deadline is reached, the concert organizer can review and choose the right local musician for the event. When a musician is selected, the system will connect both parties to discuss the opportunity in more detail.
“Music discovery is a critical part of our business,” says Dan McGowan, managing partner of Pontiac-based Crofoot Presents. “We’re always looking for new acts. OPNR offers us an efficient new tool for finding great talent. We’re excited to integrate it into our booking process.”
OPNR will offer two memberships plans – Freemium, which is available now and free to use. A Premium version with enhanced features and benefits is slated for future launch.
Hawasli served as CEO and publisher of Rolling Stone Middle East, spearheading the acquisition of the Rolling Stone Magazine license in 2010 and developing the publication’s brand strategy and editorial team. He oversaw the magazine in Dubai for eight years before returning to metro Detroit to pursue business consulting and real estate development.