Where Did It All Go Wrong For Alt-Fest's Crowdfunding Campaign?
The cancelled festival is the perfect example of the potential pitfalls of crowdfunding campaigns.
Crowdfunding has altered the landscape of contemporary culture, overwhelmingly for the better. No longer are fans subject to the whims of record labels and their increasingly focussed budget. For fans, the power is in their hands and they can directly contribute to ventures of their favourite acts bands, fund the continuation of their best-loved shows and play their part in the investment of innovative technologies. The successes are widespread- from Amanda Palmer’s well reported project to fund a new record, tour and book to the Veronica Mars movie project and Neil Young’s Pono high quality music player, crowdfunding is increasingly the source of cultural revolution.
Marilyn Manson pulled out of the event after cancellation rumours took hold.
But for every project that far exceeds its stated aims, there’s one that fall flat on its face. Former teen TV star Melissa Joan Hart raised a paltry $51,000 out of her stated aim of $2 million for a romantic comedy called Darci’s Walk Of Shame. In contrast, Kristen Bell’s Veronica Mars project reached its $2 million target in just 12 hours. And now another aborted project can be added to the list of abject crowdfunding failures. The three day event, which was due take place on August 15-17th in Kettering, sold a not too shabby amount of tickets- 7,500- but this was far from enough to make the event financially viable. What’s more, only £61,000 of a projected £1.2 million was raised through Kickstarter, far from enough to pay for headliners Marilyn Manson and Gary Numan. The problems that befell the event highlight the very facts that drive a crowdfunding project into the ground.
Firstly, the event catered for the exclusive tastes of a very small amount of people. To hold a festival on that scale seems untenable considering its reliance on hard rock, industrial and goth-tinged acts and a large amount of over-ambition certainly plays a part here. Despite their best intentions, the organisers possess poor judgement in the amount of interest such a festival would attract. Certainly crowdfunding is ideally suited for niche genres but these must be realistic in their aims. Secondly, a lack of communication is also to blame, and it is a facet of the festival’s failure the organisers have adamantly apologised for.
Next page: was the whole thing a scam?