So it seems like the music scene in Maine is warming up to new-fangled technology! Us Dispatch-ians are always on the lookout for great new music, and we recently discovered that some local Maine artists (and even a venue!) are using Kickstarter to help fuel their creative endeavors.
For those who missed the boat on this one, Kickstarter is the most popular web platform for funding creative projects worldwide. Anyone and their mothers can launch a campaign through Kickstarter to raise money for interesting passion projects that wouldn’t otherwise come to fruition.
The platform has risen to worldwide popularity since its launch in 2009, providing the infrastructure necessary for musicians and creatives to connect with fans, and raise the funds necessary to make their projects happen.
How Kickstarter works
I am not going to go great detail about how the platform works, so I encourage you to read Kickstarter’s incredible help section on the website if you want to get down and dirty. On a basic level though, anyone can register with Kickstarter and create a campaign explaining their project and specifying a monetary goal that they hope to reach. The party running the campaign can also create different levels of incentives to entice fans and customers to pledge (e.g. Pledge $25 dollars and get a limited edition t-shirt autographed by all the members in the band). Typically, the more money a person pledges, the better the incentives become.
At the time of writing this, there are a bunch of Maine-based campaigns running on Kickstarter, which I think is so awesome. Check out a few of them below…
Portland pop-punk rockers Sparks The Rescue are trying to raise money from their fans to record their upcoming album and pay for their upcoming national U.S. tour. They set a goal of $6,000 and shattered that number with nearly twenty days left to go in the campaign! When I last checked, they were well past $8000.
In an effort to promote creativity and the DIY attitude, a new venue called 131 Washington is calling all Maine creative types to help them take their game to the next level. The venue has been doing great so far, hosting dozens of donations-based events with both local and nationally touring acts. However, they are running out of cash fast and still have tons of loose ends to pull together before they can actually start generating a profit. If you have some spare dimes, toss these guys a few so we can keep this awesome creative space in Portland!
Anna Lombard is stepping out of her element (aka her band, ANNA) for the first time and pursuing a solo music project. And while she is going it alone, she can’t make this project happen all by her lonesome. She is calling on her fans and friends to help her continue to tell stories through music.
Formed in early 2010, Lord Earth is an instrumentally heavy and dark duo consisting of Kyle Jongerden and Christopher Gilman, both Maine natives. This past April, the duo recorded their first full length album “Napalm, Baby!” with audio engineer Luke Awtry (digital wizard at Sound Toys), at Spear St. Studios, in Burlington, VT. The duo has turned to Kickstarter to raise money to produce 1,000 copies of their album and their first line of merchandise.
The Free Range Music Festival is a grassroots, volunteer-powered celebration of original music that takes place annually in downtown Belfast, Maine. They host acts of all shapes, sizes, and genres, and have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help expand their operations. They are fortunate enough to live in an incredible supportive community, and are well on their way to achieving their modest $2,500 goal ($800 raised already, with 31 days left).