So I thought I would write a blog about a recent (indeed a current) experience I have had with my sisters band TeenCanteen - one that should be of interest to a lot of DIY/unsigned bands.
The cost of being in a bandSome people really have no idea how much money you need to be in a band, even a relatively small one - equipment, rehearsal studios, travelling to gigs/touring, recording - studio time, production, mixing, videos, releasing..... believe me, it can all add up...especially if things start to get serious.
Most bands will put in their own money and any money they make from gigs, PRS or self releases then goes straight back into doing it all again. Unless you have a (major or large indie) label, sponsor, backer or you make some serious money from a song or release, then money is a constant worry.
Funding a serious start-up or DIY band is a serious issue.
Crowd-funding and Pledge MusicI first came across Pledge Music a few years ago when I was managing the Vigo Thieves. Pledge were very interested in capitalising on the interest Vigo Thieves were generating through their use of Social Media. Engagement with fans is something that singer Stevie Jukes is something of a specialist in - in person and online. To this day I remember Stevie hand delivering me Vigo Thieves first EP with a ticket for their show at Sleazys. Online - competitions, asking fans for their opinion, pics, updates, videos...it all helps. Social Media is essential for crowdfunding.
In Fundraising Terms people pledging for a home concert are like your major donors - pledging a substantial amount and really making a difference.
But like fundraising - for a crowd-funding project to really work - you need a variety of income streams. Look at Comic/Sports Relief for example, they have big shows, big challenges, people holding events for them, but they also need people texting at £5, £25 or going online and donating whatever they can.
They are also great with the films they make, highlighting the difference you can make. So the video above definitely helped.
In fundraising - thanking your donors properly is of paramount importance. It strengthens relationships.
Another great example of thanking and showing how much it meant to the band.
We are now in the process of sorting out everything that needs to be done - communicating with fans, timelines for recording covers, letting fans know recording dates for handclaps, letting people know when they will be sent things, working out availability for home concerts..... I guess this is when a manager comes in handy - or someone like me who can help.
This is something that has given my sister a huge confidence boost - the fact that the songs she has been writing in her bedroom and creating with her friends is generating real love and people want to help her make the album.
Music fans - supporting a band to create music = is it really that simple?!