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Amanda Palmer Kickstarter Bonanza
The Quietus , May 2nd, 2012 09:26

Dresden Doll, pianist and songwriter raises over $350,000 in first few days of Kickstarter campaign

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Amanda Palmer, sometime member of the Dresden Dolls, pianist and songwriter, launched a campaign on Kickstarter this week to manufacture and promote her new album. She describes it as her first "big, legit studio undertaking" since she parted company from a major label.

Having already recorded the album alongside her band The Grand Theft Orchestra - comprised of Michael McQuilken, Chad Raines and Jherek Bischoff - she started the campaign a few days ago, aimed at raising enough money to produce, distribute and finished the finish product. With an initial stated goal of raising $100,000, Palmer has, at time of publication, already netted an impressive pledge total of over £357,000. The campaign is set to run until 31st May, when the money pledged will be funded to Palmer. It's a pretty stunning amount to have raised, and noteworthy in itself as a seemingly very successful direct transfer from artist/consumer, at a time when the music industry at large is struggling with reduced revenues due to piracy.

"Since I'm now without a giant label to front the gazillions of dollars that it always takes to manufacture and promote a record this big," she says in the text for the campaign. "I'm coming to you to gather funds so that I have the capital to put it out with a huge fucking bang. I think kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms like this are the BEST way to put out music right now - no label, no rules, no fuss, no muss. Just us, the music, and the art. I'm also making sure EVERY PRODUCT sold through this kickstarter is unique to this campaign, to reward all of you who KNEW ME WHEN and were willing to support me from Day One."

Palmer made a video to accompany her campaign, which you can watch below.

Kickstarter has been gaining increased attention and column inches over the last year or so, alongside similar initiatives like Indiegogo, which provide the means for fans to pledge to donate money for artists' new projects. In return, the artists offer gifts, ranging from digital downloads and physical copies of the album (for lower donations), through exclusive music and artwork, all the way up to, in the higher echelons, more personal or slightly off-the-wall incentives.

In Palmer's case, the array of incentives and extras surrounding the album is dizzying - you can read the full list accompanying the campaign here. $25 will net donors a limited edition Kickstarter-backer CD edition of the album, and $50 bags a Kickstarter-backer LP version. They get more involved as amounts increase - invitations to launch parties, turntables painted by Palmer herself, a photobook called 'The Bed Song' written by Palmer's husband Neil Gaiman. For those pledging $10,000 or more - which one person has done, impressively - Palmer has offered 'Art Sitting & Dinner With AFP', where she will have dinner with the pledger before drawing them from life, "naked or clothed". Oo-er.

Matt
May 2, 2012 1:45pm

Didn't Sellaband, working on much the same model, wildly fail to come up with the goods? A friends band pulled out when the impossible lead times made the slow crawl to 100% untenable.

Surely this only works if the artists hav already recieved an amount of 'industry' backing to get them a degree of prior public attention...

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Another Matt
May 2, 2012 1:51pm

In reply to Matt:

Depends how much they're looking for – a musician friend of mine operates on a local DIY level and has funded his albums this way.

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