Ok, I've given up trying to figure out how it is that other folks figure out what events are on locally. Bigger and hipper towns seem get better coverage (seem, because I'm not there so coverage may be missing smaller venues just like it does here).
There are plenty of websites and apps which, if the venues or acts would give them data, would display it.. that seems to be the general problem though, too many websites to give data to, and its probably hard to tell which actually the audiences pay attention to anyway.
There are some sites which come close, http://theocelot.co.uk, a local mag, has a lot of events.. but not all! http://hugecity.us mines facebook for public events and displays the ones near to you which at least doesn't rely on being told.. but not everyone puts events on facebook either.
So, we're going to have a go. First mine Facebook as that's easy, then collect from websites (with links back to said websites).
My idea to get the best data though, is to add a very simple way for locals or venue owners to upload a photo of their upcoming acts posters (or tag appropriately on facebook/twitter/instagram etc), and allow them or others to translate the photo content into actual events.
Here's the current version (may not always be online): http://desert-island.me.uk/events/