During the past week The Antidote received messages from two artists that we opted to support financially through crowdfunding. In a nutshell, the artists have run out of funds and find themselves unable to fulfill their commitments.
Thanks for giving to this project in 2011! Three years have gone by and I tried to get your perks out the door, but I didn’t and I can’t. There’s no money left and I’m sorry. I have tons of vision for new music, but every time I try to dream, the unfulfilled perks weigh me down like crazy.
I can’t do any of the things I promised you. Admitting that defeats me in a big way BUT I CAN continue to give you new music – lots of it for free – and I like to think that’s why you contributed in the first place. If you’re on board with that, thank you. (un-named artist #1)
Another email carried a similar message:
I sincerely hope that, though the frustration is obvious, everyone understands this for what it is: an honest testament to continued work ethic in the face of very trying circumstances and unforeseen setbacks, whether they be budgetary, personnel, or just pragmatic issues. That is to say, this isn’t meant to be a lengthy complaint, but another notch in our continued plea for patience and forgiveness.
Many of you have been deeply encouraging, assuring us of your patience and understanding. I want you to know that this honestly means the world to us and is a tremendous comfort. We bring you up often in stressful band meetings and read your comments out-loud to one another. Thank you.
Others of you are, perhaps understandably, less patient. We’re doing the best we can. (unnamed artist #2)
Re-reading the opening paragraph of this commentary makes it appear as if I am voicing a complaint, but it’s far from that – I can empathize with these musicians. It’s a difficult task to establish realistic costs of perks, time frames, and production costs. Many newcomers to the music industry often lack this knowledge. Even being an established band or musician does’nt mean that they will always have the wherewithal to bring a project to completion….and that’s the catch.
Crowdfunding can remove the trying task of gathering the necessary capital on a personal level. Supportive fans want to help the artists they enjoy, and the perks they receive often seem generous in return. Difficulties can and do arise when artists over commit themselves on their new projects and find them unable to complete them.
One of the crowdfunded artists stated; “This experience has solidified our decision to forever abandon (such) platforms”.
No easy solution can be given, except for artists to take an eyes-wide-open approach to all that their crowdfunding commitments entail.