Fan-funded projects, Ginger Wildheart and Your Band
The dream of every musician when they start out in their first band is usually the same. Gig, meet attractive people, sign a lucrative contract with a record label and go on to make millions. The first two dreams are always going to be possible, but the contract and the millions? You're going to have to be extremely lucky to get to that dream. But that doesn't mean you can't go on to make money in some way.
In 2011, Ginger Wildheart was on the verge of quitting being a performing artist. After years of being messed around as a solo and with his band The Wildhearts, it seemed that it was finally time to get a "proper" job. As a swan song, he wanted to put out a triple album. The album would be funded by his fans. Fans he had been interacting with on a daily basis via the Q&A website Formspring (he has since stopped using the site and had answered 37,302 questions). These fans wouldn't just ask him questions like "what's your favourite........" They would come to him asking for serious life advice and he was always their for them in their time of need. Now the tables had turned. Ginger was asking for his fans to help him out. Using the website Pledgemusic, Ginger's fans helped raise his initial target in 6 hours. By the end of the project he had raised £250,000 from his fans. With this money he produced a fantastic collection of songs with not a single note of filler (555% go check it out!!). In 2012 he released 6 albums! His follow up to 555% reached its target in 90 minutes! These albums would never have been given the same kind of funding had he been signed to a record label, either major or indie.
Ginger didn't invent fan-funded projects. But he has done an excellent job bringing it to the masses. Since his projects, other artists have turned to their fans and with great success. Bowling For Soup, Eureka Machines, Exit International, Jackdaw4 etc.
This is something I would like to be a part of at some point. The idea of signing with a major label and being in debt to them for years to come scares me. But if a band does something like this then the only thing that will stop you from having a successful project is by building a solid fan base. Reply to their tweets, their Facebook messages, their YouTube comments. Sure, you might have just played a pub gig to nobody in Dumpsville, but to some you are a golden god. If ever you fell, they will be there to catch you. Just like I did for my idol Ginger Wildheart.
Thank you for reading. If you are interested in fan funded projects then get involved at:
My band Running With Lions will be performing at the Retro Bar on the 15th May and Dry Bar on the 21st June
Check us out at the following:
Magazine unless otherwise stated.
All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
NB: Please seek permission before using any articles within this site