Stacey Bedford, the Ottawa-based CEO of Bandzoogle, joined the music website platform in 2007 as their very first support technician. With a goal of empowering artists through effective websites and direct-to-fan features, Bedford took the reins as CEO in 2018 and was named a Billboard Digital Power Player in 2019.
In the past year alone, Bedford led the Bandzoogle team through the launch of several new features, such as commission-free live stream ticket sales, a Tip Jar for commission-free donations during live streams, expanded website integrations for live streams including Twitch and Crowdcast, a pay-what-you-want fan subscriptions pricing option, and an integration with print-on-demand merch service Printful.
“We’ve constantly been on top of the needs of artists and building out the tools to help them successfully market their business online,” says Bedford. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, artists have earned over $13 million through their Bandzoogle-powered websites.
Here are five fun facts about Stacey Bedford:
- First live concert? Blink-182 in 1996 on their Cheshire Cat tour in Montreal at The Underworld. Also my first body surfing experience! I might have used my sister’s fake ID.
- First album purchase? I was pretty lucky to have access to my dad’s classic rock vinyl collection when I was younger. My really early influences were Dark Horse by George Harrison, Tapestry by Carole King, and Face Value by Phil Collins. My first purchase was Mellow Gold by Beck, and a couple of years later, I saw him live at The Spectrum on his Odelay tour and got my cassette signed. Not only is he a brilliant songwriter, but he was such a kind, humble person. What a treasure.
- Guitar playing: The first ever song I learned how to play was “My Sweet Lord” on my uncle’s 12-string when I was 11. I’m not a spiritual person, but George Harrison is pretty compelling. Now, I have a 1996 Gibson Nighthawk ST3 Standard. It’s a small metal guitar I spent my life savings on when I was 14, and it was discontinued. It’s a beautiful fireburst pattern with three pickups and it’s the same guitar Nancy Wilson from Heart plays. Recently, my 10-year-old has started virtual drum lessons, so I’ve been learning a lot of Imagine Dragons, White Stripes, and Queen. It’s all a bit random, but whatever encourages him to keep it up (so I can selfishly build my own family band).
- Go-to karaoke songs: I love anything by KISS, The Doobie Brothers, or Madonna that’ll encourage a sing-along. What I lack in vocal talent, I make up for in sheer unapologetic passion. I’m really lucky to be surrounded by trained singers! Bandzoogle has three opera singers on staff.
- Interests outside of music: I started beekeeping a few years ago and it’s been a great way to connect with nature, de-stress, and just learn something completely new and different from anything else I have going on. Also, did you know that almost all honeybees are female? It’s such an interesting example of a huge group of females systematically working together under a gentle monarchy they select and raise to create gold. I am also an avid reader—I consume about three books a week. Lastly, I started kickboxing after I had a terrible near-abduction experience a couple of years ago. I love to try new things, often.