There are sev­er­al fund­ing sites out there oper­at­ing in slight­ly dif­fer­ent ways, but they all have the same objec­tive; offer­ing fans an attrac­tive way to con­tribute towards a cho­sen artist’s cre­ative process. This gets you, the fan, clos­er to the band. And it gives the musi­cians a chance to exer­cise their PR and mar­ket­ing skills by dream­ing up inge­nious and fun pledges. From signed set lists to exclu­sive stu­dio gigs with din­ner, the more inven­tive, per­son­al and exclu­sive the pledge, the better.

THE BEDROOM HOUR, an emerg­ing west Lon­don band, want to get their debut 2‑part album out to their fans first. So they have turned to crowd­fund­ing. The Bed­room Hour’s pledge page is prov­ing mega suc­cess­ful – proof that they have a sol­id base of followers.

The bedroom hour play camden
The Bed­room Hour, Proud Camden

I was fair­ly scep­ti­cal the first time I heard about crowd fund­ing. It was dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with Jon King, ex Gang of Four mem­ber, about 4 years ago, when he told me how the band intend­ed to finance new album Con­tent. At first I just thought, who is going to con­tribute to this? I did won­der if Go4 were just too estab­lished in the music busi­ness, too entrenched, to trig­ger an avalanche of feel-good pledges drop­ping into their cof­fers. Gang of Four’s crowd­fund ini­tia­tive even­tu­al­ly proved to be a suc­cess. In their case, they could mine a rich seam of con­tacts and fans going back decades, fol­low­ers of Go4 from the 70s, hop­ing for a revival of the social cri­tique, inci­sive­ness and wit that embod­ied them as ‘angry young’ men’ – cer­tain­ly a fan base now with con­sid­er­able dis­pos­able income. The new­er bands who are just start­ing out have to seek their finance main­ly from far younger fol­low­ers, with less mon­ey to invest. For­tu­nate­ly, there are many suc­cess sto­ries and most bands are real­is­tic enough to include pledges start­ing at £5.

These days the music indus­try is tougher than ever to crack. Ille­gal down­load­ing deprives artists of bil­lions of rev­enue every year so crowd fund­ing is a great way for the inter­net to be a pos­i­tive force, and to give some­thing back. What do you think?


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