Guidelines

<< Updated: Aug 18, 2016 (changes are highlighted)

Introduction

Here are the guidelines you have to follow when adding or editing setlists. You don't have to know all guidelines by heart, but please consult them every time you're in doubt.

Adding and editing is pretty easy – but please have a look at the tutorial to avoid cheap mistakes.

General

Names

Setlist.fm only supports the Latin alphabet. There is currently no support of other alphabets (e.g. Cyrillic, Japanese or Chinese). Whenever using names, no matter if it's for songs, venues or artists, always use the transliterated version. So please use e.g. Olimpijski instead of Олимпийский

The Setlist

Rules of thumb

  1. One song per line
  2. One free line before each encore
  3. Check your spelling
  4. No comments such as "great song" or similar
  5. One song per line!
  6. No enumerations

Tag Overview

Tag Purpose Example Link
@Cover[artist name] Annotates a cover song Like a Rolling Stone @Cover[Bob Dylan] Details
@Song[artist name] Alias for/same as @Cover Eleanor Rigby @Song[The Beatles] Details
@With[artist name] Guest joined stage Brown Sugar @With[Sheryl Crow] Details
@Info[optional comment] Additional information to song or setlist Like a Rolling Stone @Info[Dylan on acoustic guitar] Details
@Tape[optional comment] Music from tape (e.g. intros) Also Sprach Zarathustra @Tape[Theme from 2001] Details
@Set[optional name] Mini-Set during performance @Set[Acoustic] Details

Songnames

Songs often differ in titles depending on the source where you read it. E.g. the song What's the Frequency, Kenneth? can be found in numerous places with or without question mark, with or without comma and so on. If you're unsure what the correct title of the song is, please do the following:

  1. Look at the cover of the disc
  2. If you don't own the disc, look for the title on the following websites, compare the results and then choose wisely.
  3. Look at the artist's song statistics by clicking on the Statistics-Tab and correct existing errors, thanks in advance mate ;-)

As far as capitalisation is concerned: Whenever in doubt, the capitalisation standards from musicbrainz.org apply.

If a song's name on the date of the concert differed from the name that was eventually used (might happen to new songs that hadn't appeared on an album yet), the album name should be preferred. Please have a look at this thread in our feedback forum for a full discussion about this topic.

If you really don't know the title, have a look at how to add unknown songs.

Covered songs

If one or more songs on the setlist were previously released by another artist, it's possible to mark them as covered by writing @Cover[artistname] after the song. E.g. @Cover[The Beatles] for a cover of a song by The Beatles.

Songs are credited to the group or performing artist who originally wrote the song. E.g. John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote "A Day in the Life", while members of The Beatles. So the song would be credited as A Day in the Life @Cover[The Beatles]. Songs performed by an orchestra should be credited to the composer who wrote the song and not to the orchestra. Songs written before the invention of commercial sound recording (1877) should always be attributed to the original artist. If the original artist is unknown the song should be listed as @Cover[traditional].

Exception 1

If a songwriter writes a song for another artist or group which they were not a part of, and never records their own version of the song, then the song should be credited to the artist who released it first. If the songwriter does finally release their own version of the song, regardless of how many years have gone by, then the song should be credited back to the songwriter. E.g. "Bright Eyes" was written by Mike Batt and first released by Art Garfunkel in 1979. Mike Batt released his own version in 2009, so the song is credited back to him.

Exception 2

In cases where more than one artist, who are not in the same group, are credited with writing the song, then the artist who released the song first is given credit. E.g. Because the Night was written by both Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen, but first released on the album Easter by Patti Smith Group. Therefore the song is credited as Because the Night @Cover[Patti Smith Group]

Exception 3

Songs written for musicals or musical films should be credited only to the songwriter(s) of the song. Various combinations of composers and lyricists should be avoided. E.g. use @Cover[Andrew Lloyd Webber] instead of @Cover[Andrew Lloyd Webber & David Zippel] or @Cover[Andrew Lloyd Webber & Don Black & Christopher Hampton]. If none of the original songwriter(s) are available then credit should be given to the artist with the first commercial release of the song, and please report it to the forum.

There could be other exceptions to the rule! If common sense tells you a @Cover assignment feels wrong please post the song to the forum.

@Song tag

The @Song tag is used when an artist performs a song by a group of which they were once a member. E.g. whenever Paul McCartney plays a song by The Beatles it should be annotated as @Song[The Beatles] as it just doesn't feel right to list "Eleanor Rigby" as a "Cover". An @Song tag can be created by adding a member of relationship on musicbrainz, and can also work in the opposite direction, when a group plays a song originally released by one of its members. Note that @Cover and @Song have exactly the same output, so it doesn't matter which one you use.

Songs performed with other known musicians (e.g. special guests)

If other well known musicians joined the main act on stage to perform one or more songs, it's also possible to mark those songs. Just write @With[artistname] after the song. E.g. @With[Johnny Cash] if Johnny Cash happened to join the main act on stage.

Additional information for songs

Some songs of a setlist are really special and deserve additional information attached. You can do that by writing @Info[info] after the song. Currently, the following additional information is allowed:

  • Different leadsinger e.g. @Info[Keith Richards on vocals]
  • A very special change of the instrument. If e.g. Mick Jagger plays one or two songs on a harp, write @Info[Mick Jagger on harp]
  • Songs played in a different manner (e.g. acoustic) e.g. @Info[Acoustic]
  • Premieres of a song played live
    1. First time ever played live e.g. @Info[Premiere: First time ever]
    2. First time on tour, but not at the first concert e.g. @Info[Premiere: Tour debut]
    3. First time on a continent e.g. @Info[Premiere: First time in Europe]
    4. First time after a looooong time e.g. @Info[Premiere: first time since 1977]
  • Something very special happened. E.g. @Info[Tim DeLaughter fell from stage]

Tape (Intro/Outro)

A lot of artists choose to play an intro music before they hit the stage. This sound usually comes from a pre-recorded tape and isn't part of the setlist. Nevertheless it's interesting to know what you heard as intro (or outro or intermission).

Please use the @Tape tag for the following purposes ...

  • Pre-recorded intros
  • Intros that don't appear on the setlist
  • Pre-recorded intermissions (e.g. a video between two songs)
  • Pre-recorded outros

... and the following ways

  • Known Song e.g. Rock and Roll @Tape
  • Known Song with info e.g. Rock and Roll @Tape[First verse only]
  • Known Song from different artist e.g. Also Sprach Zarathustra @Tape @Cover[Richard Strauss]
  • Unknown song e.g. @Tape

Snippets

Sometimes artists just play a few lines of a song (often covers) - so-called snippets. Then the following rules apply:

  • If the snippet is sung for itself (i.e. not as intro or to finish another song) it should be added as a song itself with an @Info saying that it is a snippet.
  • If the snippet is an intro for another song, appears in the middle or is used to finish the song, then the snippet should not be added as a song itself. An @Info should be added to the main song (e.g. The Remedy (I Won't Worry) @Info[With "Wonderwall" snippet by Oasis).
  • If a song consists of snippets of two or more songs which all have about the same length, they should be added as medley (see below).

Additional information for gigs/concerts

If it's a really special event or something really special happened that affected the entire concert (or at least had big impact on some songs) it's possible to write a sole @Info[text] in the very last line of the setlist. Here are some examples of very special things that are noteworthy:

  • A concert with a very special occurrence. E.g. Bob Dylan playing for peace in front of 100,000 people in the Basque Country or Elton John's 60th show in Madison Square Garden on his 60th birthday
  • An unusual happening. E.g. the concert started with a (considerable) delay due to a bomb warning
  • A surprise concert
  • A concert had to be canceled midway through the gig (please don't add canceled shows)
  • There was more than one concert of this artist on the same day. [See "Multiple Shows"]

The general rule of thumb: the additional information should be both factual and relevant. Please don't add awesome show!, went with mum or similar information that is only relevant to you.

Unknown songs

If you're sure there was a song between other songs, but you don't know the title, then write @Unknown in the line where the song should be. Note that ...

  • ... it may stand alone or together with @Info, @Cover or @With. E.g. @Unkown @Cover[The Beatles], if you are sure the song was a Beatles song but you can't remember the name
  • ... @Unknown @Info[Acoustic] is the same as @Unknown[Acoustic]
  • ... it gets ignored when combined with a song name. E.g. Baby's In Black @Unknown will result in just Baby's In Black

Medleys

If medleys (a mix of different song snippets as one song) were performed, seperate the songs with space-slash-space e.g. In The Army Now / Rockin' All Over The World / What' You're Proposin'. Please note that

  • adding an @With, @Info or @Cover results in affecting the whole line, not just the one song.
  • there is one space before and after the slash
  • you should not write Medley: at the beginning
  • there should be no spaces if the slash is part of a song title that is not a medley. E.g. the Led Zeppelin song White Summer/Black Mountain Side.

Sets

Sometimes artists split their performance into several different parts or "Sets". You can mark them by writing @Set[setdescription] or just @Set in a single line (without any song!). Some examples are:

  • The concert is split into two parts divided by a pause. Write @Set[Set 1:] and @Set[Set 2:] in the line before the first song of each part.
  • If a part of a show is played acoustically and then the setlist is continued regularly (e.g. electric). Write @Set[Acoustic Set] in the line before the first acoustic song and @Set into the line before the first song of the continued regular set.

Multiple Shows on one Day

From time to time an artist plays several shows on one single day. Whenever this happens, it's important to add this information to the setlist. Otherwise the setlist might get deleted as duplicate. The steps are the follwing.

  1. Doublecheck if there really were two or more shows on one day.
  2. Create a sole @Info in the last line of the setlist (or edit the existing @Info). [See also "Additional Information"]
  3. The content of the @Info must be a clear identifier of the show to distinguish it from other shows on the same day. Valid examples are
    • @Info[First show of the day]@Info[Second show of the day]
    • @Info[Matinée show]@Info[Soirée show]
    • @Info[Morning show]@Info[Evening show]
    • @Info[9:00am show]@Info[8:00pm show]
    Note that the same @Info in all shows of the day is not a valid identifier. So always be sure to note which show was played at what time of the day.
  4. Add a source that indicates that there was indeed more than one show on the same day.

Artists

When creating a new setlist from scratch, it's necessary to select an artist. There, only already existing artists are allowed. Just start typing the first characters of the artist's name and our cool autocompletion feature will give you hints which artist to choose; then simply click on the right artist and go on with the venue. Note that for the autocomplete-feature javascript has to be enabled in your browser.

Venues

General

  • Location names should be in the local language (e.g. Olympiastadion instead of Olympic Stadium). If the location contains letters not supported, please use the transliterated version (e.g. Olimpijski instead of Олимпийский).
  • City names should be in the English version where possible (e.g. Vienna instead of Wien)

Format

Start typing the venue where the concert took place and our cool autocompletion feature will suggest you some existing venues. Please note that the venues should have the format [location], [city], [state-code], [country] for US and Canada venues and [location], [city], [country] for non US venues. E.g. Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA or Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. But don't worry, the format of the city should be detected automatically.
If the venue isn't in the list, then please use the Add Venue Page to add it.

Renamed Venues

Always use the name the venue had on the day of the concert. E.g. if a venue's name was National City Pavilion on the day of the concert and now is PNC Pavilion then use the former.

Tours

Naming Convention

Adding a tour name is optional for any setlist. Before naming a tour, you should have a look if there's an existing tour in the period of the setlist you want to edit. There are basically three different types of tour names.

  1. A specific tour name, e.g. The Rolling Stones "50 and Counting Tour". You can typically find tour names on the ticket stub, tour T-shirt, tour program, or the artist's website.
  2. The name of the album that the artist is touring in support of. Note: Each artist tours in support of their own album, so the album title from another artist should not be used. E.g. Frank Turner "Positive Songs for Negative People"
  3. Geographic area and year. Frequently used for older bands who go years between new albums. E.g. European Tour 1997.
  4. Season and year. Used for bands who mainly tour only their home country. E.g. Spring Tour 1997.

It doesn't really matter if you add "Tour" to the tour name (except if the official tour name has it included). Just be sure to stick to one version and also try to avoid tour names that are too long.

It's also very important to know what SHOULD NOT be used as a tour name:

  1. The name of another band. E.g. "Supporting...", "Opening for...", "Support to...", etc. All bands that played on a given night are already listed on the page under "Related Concert Setlists".
  2. Festivals. E.g. "Bonnaroo 2004", "Glastonbury 2010", etc. Festivals are one-time events and shouldn't be listed as a tour.
  3. Other one-time events. E.g. "In-Store Acoustic Gig", "Comic Con 2008", etc.. These would be better as @Info at the bottom of the setlist.
  4. Year only. E.g. "1997 Tour". This doesn't add any value ‐ setlists can already be filtered by year.

For touring festivals be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • If the dates of the touring festival are the only tour dates of the artist, it's safe to use the touring festival name as tour name. E.g. Ozzfest 2010
  • If the dates of touring festival are just a part of the artist's larger tour, then use the larger tour name and not the name of the touring festival.
  • If there are some off-dates that obviously wouldn't have taken place without the touring festival, then label them as "Off-Date". E.g. Ozzfest 2010 (Off-Date)

Festivals

If you really don't know what a festival in general is, please start by reading the Wikipedia Entry .

Festivals and occurrences

There are dedicated pages for festivals and festival occurrences. E.g. the festival could be Glastonbury Festival and the occurrence Glastonbury Festival 2011. So each festival has at least one occurrence and each occurrence belongs to a festival. Even if the festival just takes place once.

What's considered a Festival

All of the following points must apply to be considered as a festival:

  • Dedicated festival name
  • At least two performances
  • Definite start and end dates

Naming Convention

Festivals

A festival has a name it is known by and might also have a full or official name. E.g. Glastonbury Festival and Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. As displaying the full name over the whole page wouldn't be user friendly, the short name is mandatory and the full name isn't. Please note that it's very important not to include any enumerations or years in the name as it's the main name for all occurrences.

Festival Occurrences

When creating a festival occurrence, enumerations are fine. E.g. 22th Foobar Festival or Glastonbury Festival 2011. If there are no enumerations in the official name then adding the year as last part of the name is ok. If there are doubts about the official name of the festival or occurrence, please refer to the official website first. If still in doubt, post it to the forum and it will be discussed.

For touring festivals, such as the Sonisphere Festival, it's important to add the location to the occurrence. E.g. the festival name will be Sonisphere Festival with occurrences such as Sonisphere Poland 2011 or Sonisphere Germany 2009.

Venues that host festivals

Most of the time you shouldn't have to worry about the venue names, as they're usually already existing or very clear. However, sometimes there's no official name for the venue where the festival takes place. For example when the festival takes place on an unnamed field outside of a town. For such cases it is ok to use a more generic name. Valid examples are:

  • Festival Site
  • Festival Grounds
  • Downtown (for urban festivals)

Be sure NOT to use Unknown Venue or the festival's name for the venue.

How to Add

Adding a new festival is part of the Add Setlist process. However, adding a festival shouldn't be necessary in most cases as a lot of festivals already are in the database.

There is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to add a festival on the tutorial page.

More questions?

Post your questions to the appropriate Forum. You'll also find ways to contact us for private/personal questions on the contact page.

Updated: Aug 18, 2016