Crowdfunding 101 for pianists

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By Guest Writer

22 November 2019

What is crowdfunding? How do I crowdfund a concert? Here's everything you need to know

Performing is essential to practise your piano skills and get your music career going. Learning and practising a piece can be very different from performing. The energy of your audience, the slight nervousness you experience as a result of stage fright, the venue’s acoustics and the instrument you are playing all affect the way you play. The more you play, the better you become at weaving all the minor slips into your performance seamlessly.

Regardless of where you may be in your career – either just starting out or experiencing a temporary lull in concert invites – you can perform more frequently, and get the experience you need by considering crowdfunding a concert. This means the audience pre-orders concert tickets before you start producing it. Only when the show budget is met, the event goes into production: the venue is booked, equipment rented, promo campaign launches, etc.

If you are new to performing and/or don’t have a fanbase yet, it’s best to start with smaller events; less pressure or bigger chances to sell out a concert without a huge promo campaign.

 

What is concert crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a fairly recent phenomenon, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. It’s often associated with crazy, out-of-the-box projects. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are arguably the most well-known platforms to crowdfund projects.

Everyone convinced by the initial product or service description pitches in with their contribution to make the project happen. Most often, the reward for backers or ‘pledgers’ is the end product that’s later delivered to them by the project organizers.

All transactions within crowdfunding platforms are carried out by reputable, independent payment processors that make the process secure for your supporters. If a project does not raise enough money, all proceeds are fully refunded to all contributors.

 

Here’s how to do it.

 

Crowdfunding your concert

Let’s look at the steps you need to take to crowdfund a concert.

 

1. Decide on the programme

Look through your portfolio and come up with a theme for your night. Consider both your skill, personal preference, prospective venue, location, and the audience – what kind of music will appeal most to them? Do you plan to play a Bach night or construct your playlist around a certain topic? Do you need a choir, will there be other performers sharing the stage with you?

Arrange your preliminary date with all the performers in your show, plan out the night and factor in the rehearsal time you will need.

 

2. Calculate your budget

Consider the costs that putting on your show entails – what’s your fee and fees of potential supporting acts? How much will the venue cost you? Are there transportation or accommodation costs? Are you renting equipment, costumes, stage decor? Will you have any extra entertainment during the night, food or drinks, contests, quests, a special host, themed decor?

Do you need to staff your event – ushers, managers, stage technicians, security? Do you need to produce merch or memorabilia for the event and what are your marketing costs (posters, flyers, ads on social media or in local publications)?

 

3. Select a crowdfunding platform

Now that you know the exact cost of your event, time to prepare and launch your campaign.

When it comes to crowdfunding platforms, there are two ways you can go – us a general-purpose crowdfunding platform, like Fundly, Crowdfunder, GoGetFunding, Kickstarter, or use a concert-specific crowdfunding platform, like Show4me.

 

4. Fill out the campaign page

Register with your selected platform and fill out your campaign description page. Add images, videos, music, your prospective funding period, as well as the approximate date and location of your upcoming concert.

Prepare a detailed campaign description, set the duration of your funding period, outline your event programme and be convincing when explaining why your fans, friends and supporters would not want to miss it! 

 

5. Promote your campaign

Advertise your concert crowdfunding campaign with the help of:

 

6. Put on your concert

When your financing goal is met, start putting together your concert. The first thing you need to do is coordinate concert date with your team and fellow performers. Next, book your venue and announce your concert date to your guests.

 

7. Thank your guests and repeat

With all the effort you’ve put into crowdfunding one event, it’s important to keep every new fan and supporter you’ve made along the way.

We recommend: sending a thank you email to your event attendees or posting a thank you note on social media.

 

Final thoughts

Playing live events is the pinnacle of the creative path for any musician. Don’t wait for others to make them happen for you – take matters into your own hands and crowdfund your own concerts.

 

Written by Mary Ivanova. Mary is a writer and author of multiple articles, interviews and think pieces on the state of the music industry. She is an expert from Show4me Music Interaction Network.