Last night, popular Seattle-based music group Blue Scholars threw a thank you party/secret show for a throng of their fans who financially supported the creation of the group’s new album, Cinemetropolis. Contrary to far more traditional avenues that many musicians use to fund their albums such as record labels or scraping together personal finances, Blue Scholars opted for the relatively new and increasingly popular digital fundraising tool Kickstarter do the job and it greatly exceeded their expectations.
Over the course of a 45 day campaign, Blue Scholars aimed to raise $25,000 and yet garnered over $62,000 in personal donations from 2,243 loyal fans who wanted to help their favorite group put out a new album. It’s worth noting that these are not casual supporters of the group and there is a level of super fandom involved in order for something like this to work. But under the right conditions, this could be the future of bands further connecting with their audiences and raising capital in the process. One of the women at last night’s thank you party, Anna Meyer, says she donated $100 despite being out of work and wishing that she could have donated more. “I’d never heard of Kickstarter until of [Blue Scholars] and it seems really cool,” Meyer said amidst dancing at the party. “If I could have given more, I would have.”
It’s possible that what helped Blue Scholars exceed and nearly triple their intended donation goal was that this was by no means a one-way charity campaign. Fans that donated over $100 received the album early and a variety of other personal mementos from the band to help make the experience worthwhile for both sides. Many Kickstarter campaigns encourage people to give for the sake of giving without receiving much in return. In this instance, Blue Scholars got to witness the spending loyalty of their fans in the digital age and a worthwhile album such as Cinemetropolis was created in the process. Check out footage above from the event last night as Blue Scholars address their strategy of digital fundraising via Kickstarter and what it means for loyal music supporters.
You can stream Cinemetropolis for free via the group’s Bandcamp.page.
Blue Scholars perform Friday and Saturday night at Neumos. Both shows are sold-out.