While local bands have always seemed to utilize guerilla marketing of some nature (sticking decals on bathroom stalls or busking), the new DIY-movement presents today’s bands with opportunities like Kickstarter to help get their word out and aid in funding their tours or albums. If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter yet, here is a crash course; Kickstarter is a website that allows an individual (or group) to start a project that others can help fund.
There are various increments that a person may pledge, typically starting at either $1 or $5 and going up as high as the project owner desires. Project owners realize that people don’t like parting with their hard-earned money but in order to do so they must have an incentive. Often a project will various different pledge-points that will fit any budget, but the larger prizes/incentives are for those who can afford to shell out bigger bucks. I have seen a fair share of Kickstarter incentives and some vary from a Twitter shout-out from the Barcelona for your $5 pledge, for $30 you could have received a limited edition vinyl of Cinemetropolis from the Blue Scholars, and for $501 you could have had Cataldo come play a house show and imbibe with you. However, if a project is not 100% funded by the due date then no pledges will go to the creator and all donations are wiped clean.
Kickstarter is a fantastic way for a band to not only include their loyal fans into either production of a new album or funding an upcoming tour but also a way to get people excited about independent music again. It’s a whole new digital version of “For The People, By The People” concept. It’s a noble way to support your local music scene as well as find new bands or artists you might not have heard of otherwise. Take Blvd Park, for example. the indie folk rock outfit recently moved up to Seattle from California and has been a bit under the radar but thanks to their Kickstarter project (which ends October 1) they can reach a fan base far outside the state lines. And that’s the unique thing about Kickstarter, you get to support an independent artist that might be all the way in New York or even your backyard.