by Ari Herstand
The most successful crowdfunding-musician has joined the on-going crowd funding site, Patreon. Amanda Palmer famously smashed the Kickstarter record for a music project when over 25,000 fans pledged nearly $1.2 million to her project for her latest album, Theatre Is Evil. If you didn’t hear about her from her Kickstarter, you definitely heard about her when the media jumped all over her for asking her local fans to join her on stage for a few songs at her show… for free! Gasp!
This normally wouldn’t be a big deal. How many times have you seen famous artists invite their musician friends to sit in with them at their show? Of course for free. The reason this blew up was because Palmer had just raised over a million dollars and everyone thought she’s now rich and is stiffing her musicians. (Not to mention that no one uttered a peep when the Polyphonic Spree CHARGED their fans $1,500 to perform with them.) Well, she did pay her TOURING musicians. But she asked her fans in each town to join her on stage and play a few songs. Jam, if you will. Musician unions came out of the woodworks to chastise Palmer (while people, head cocked, exclaimed “there are musician unions?!”), along with nearly every music blog and industry talking head.
But none of them understand Amanda Fucking Palmer. She doesn’t look at her fans as numbers on a spreadsheet.