Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Kickstarting a festival or an album

One of the best panels I stumbled upon at SXSWi in Austin last month was Funding Your Projects from the Crowd, which looked at how crowdfunding provided a different kind of financial link between creators and audience. One of the …

Tue, Apr 27, 2010, 14:23

   

One of the best panels I stumbled upon at SXSWi in Austin last month was Funding Your Projects from the Crowd, which looked at how crowdfunding provided a different kind of financial link between creators and audience.

One of the most illuminating perspectives came from Perry Chen, the co-founder of Kickstarter, a site which allows people to find funds for creative ideas and endeavours by tapping into the wallets and goodwill of their friends, fans and the crowd.

What’s interesting about Kickstarter, aside from the width and depth of projects under their umbrella, is that it’s an all-or-nothing enterprise – you only get the cash which is pledged, if you get all the cash you need for the project. This means less risk for all concerned, allows people to test out ideas without risking everything and motivates your would-be audience to spread the word if they want the project to happen.

Right now, one of the projects on Kickstarter’s books involves the Dublin-bound Mountain Man and the Mountain Man Fest in Saratoga Springs in upstate New York in July. They’ve already got a ton of bands confirmed for “the raddest festival that ever existed” – including HEALTH, Real Estate, Phantogram, Cults, Summer Camp, Memoryhouse, Julian Lynch and many more – and now they need to raise $65,000 for the event (the full budget breakdown is included in the proposal so people can see where their cash is going).

In fairness, Mountain Man have a hell of a long way to go ($5,562 pledged as of now) to make this happen. However, when you poke around Kickstarter, you come across some ideas from the music sector which got or are on the way to getting the cash they required to get an album recorded, a record pressed up, a CD released or, even, a reggae dancehall musical off the ground.

As we know all too well at present, there’s very little joy to be had if you’re just tapping into the usual sources of investment capital or seed money. Kickstarter’s clients, it seems, have found a new way to square the circle and get the show on the road.