Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: A Funding Tour of the ‘Big Three’ Sites
As the concept of crowdfunding has progressed to the point that many artists intentionally skip the label system entirely for the independence it offers, the ways one can crowdfund have also grown. While there are some who do their own independent system of crowdfunding through their website, most artists use one of the three major sites dedicated to crowdfunding; PledgeMusic, Kickstarter, and IndieGoGo. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages (which I will explore in future columns), but they are the “big three.” For this month’s Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week column, I’ve pulled one project from each of them.
Scott Slay and Friends- All-Star Bluegrass Album
Scott Slay is a name that may not be familiar to a lot of roots music fans, but he’s someone who has played around the business for years, guesting with numerous artists as well as fronting his own Denver-based band The Rail. Now Slay has taken to IndieGoGo to assemble an all-star lineup of artists whose names you may also not know, but whose licks you probably do. For his as yet untitled album, Slay has brought together artists who have played with Mountain Heart, Lonesome River Band, Sam Bush Band, Infamous Stringdusters, Nickel Creek, and more. As of this writing, Slay was within striking distance of his $3000 funding goal with 12 days left. Backer rewards include guest list passes for an upcoming show, limited edition vinyl, house concert, and a poster.
Tom Robbins and Ben Lee- B is For Beer: The Musical
This week’s most unusual campaign is over at Kickstarter, where songwriter Ben Lee has teamed up with novelist Tom Robbins to bring his “children’s book for grownups, grownup book for children” B is For Beer to life as a musical. It can’t be any more strange than a hip hop exploration of one of the nation’s founding fathers, and that turned out ok. B is For Beer: The Musical aims to maintain the balance of childlike wonder and subtle subversiveness of the 2009 novella, with sing-along choruses. The show has had one performance so far, in Los Angeles and featuring Jon Cryer, Laura Silverman, and Steven Weber. Backer rewards include a copy of the album signed by Ben Lee, a foldable postcard set, a limited edition lithograph, and an opportunity to lend your voice to a “pub sing-along” on the album.
Caleb & the Homegrown Tomatoes- Debut Album
Texas-based Americana/blues rock group Caleb & the Homegrown Tomatoes have been a fixture on the local music scene, even winning a Houston radio competition called “Redneck Idol.” Now they’re ready to go national with their debut album and are using PledgeMusic to help fund it. The campaign is in the early phases but they’re already a quarter of the way to their funding goal. Backer rewards include the standard signed copy of the album on CD, signed drumsticks, a t-shirt, and a disposable camera with pictures from the studio and backstage at Tomatoes shows.