Fan funding: it is the saving grace for the broke independent band. Where before bands couldn’t consider studio time or hiring promotional companies to support their release, with a little hard work, some social media love, and good old fashioned word of mouth spread, bands can raise the cash they need to fund their dream projects. With the big four players fairly entrenched in the field (PledgeMusic, Rockethub, KickStarter and Indie GoGo), it’s hard to imagine a new player coming into play. However, GigFunder has found a unique need to fill in the fan funding world.
“There were always particular bands I wanted to come to my college town, but they skipped over us every time” says Matt Pearson, founder of GigFunder. In response, Matt started a fan funding platform that would provide fan driven tours. It’s a novel approach to touring that works out beautifully for all involved. In this model, the band builds a campaign by stipulating their tour expenses. GigFunder has considered all the variables by determining if the band tours in a van, in a small car, with/without a trailer, cost per band member per meal, accommodation expenses, etc. GigFunder also allows you to build profit margin into the equation.
Once you have all the expense accounted for, your fans essentially ask you come to their city. When a fan requests you come to their city, GigFunder runs the expenses and determines what it will cost the band to tour to that city. At that point, the band and fans work to promote the tour in much the same way any other fan funding campaign is promoted. If enough money is raised, the tour happens. If not, then no go. In this scenario, the band is happy because they have a tour paid for and guaranteed attendees, fans are happy because they get the band they want in their city and the venue is happy because the tickets are pre-sold. It’s a win-win-win! Artists can also fund a pre-planned tour. This is the more traditional fan funding model in which a goal specific goal is set and fans help the band realize this goal.
As in any fan funding campaign, the success of these campaigns depends on the vitality of your social media presence and the quality of your incentives. The obvious and base incentive for GigFunder will be entry to the show. But, Matt Pearson tells me artists have been very creative so far, offering up free guitars after shows, meet and greets, allowing fans to request specific cover songs and even bringing fans on stage with them. GigFunder launches today, so head over there and check it out! Start planning your tour today, or let your fans decide where you’ll be going.
What do think of fan funding campaigns? What’s your take on fan driven tours?
Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below.