October 29, 2013 by Kevin M. Duvall
This post is the first in a recurring feature highlighting Kickstarter campaigns from Morgantown (or other north central West Virginia) creators.
Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter is making a splash in Morgantown’s creative community with several campaigns based in the city in recent months.
On Kickstarter, creators post pages detailing projects they want to complete, along with goals for how much money they need to raise to complete the project and deadlines by which the funds must be gathered. People go on the site and pledge money to fund the projects and receive the final products and other rewards for various amounts pledged.
If the campaign meets its funding goal by the deadline, the creator gets to keep the funds pledged, minus a 5 percent fee to the site. If the project is not successfully funded, the pledges are never transferred to the creators and the site does not get its fee.
Now that the basics are covered, let’s move on to a successful local campaign.
Singer/songwriter Logan Venderlic is using Kickstarter to fund his second album, Heart Heavy, with the album and other rewards delivered to project backers in January 2014.
The campaign has already reached its funding goal, with attention now turned to its stretch goals—additional pieces of a project the creator will be able to have if certain levels of funding are reached.
In this case, Venderlic has set stretch goals to be able to afford mastering from Grammy-nominated engineer Jeff Lipton, publicity for the album and other costs of being a working musician.
Venderlic describes his music as “folk wave,” a blend of modern indie music and contemporary Appalachian folk. His first album was released in April 2012 and received coverage from The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and Yahoo! Music, among other news outlets.
His songs would be right at home in the cave of any man who appreciates the acoustic side of songwriting.
Rob O’Connor of Yahoo! Music said of Venderlic’s self-titled debut, “I admit I’m fond of simple music, without all the bells and whistles that twirling a knob these days brings about naturally,” and praised two standout tracks by saying, “’Jerkwater Town’ says he’s for real and ‘Me, Me, Me’ shows he’s got heart.”
Venderlic also performed on Mountain Stage in November 2012.
Since its inception in 2009, Kickstarter has shown to be a viable outlet for musicians to fund albums.
According to Kickstarter’s statistics, about 55 percent of the site’s music projects are successfully funded (13,532 out of more than 24,500).
Hypebot reported a success rate of only 45 percent for Kickstarter’s music projects, but also noted that almost 11,000 raised between $1,000 and $10,000.
For Venderlic and other up-and-coming artists, a few thousand dollars is enough to make the album they want to make, so Kickstarter could be a better means of funding and recording music than shopping one’s songs to a record label.
Few are going to be the next Amanda Palmer, but many can find success by following her example of effective campaign planning.
The Heart Heavy campaign ends on November 5. Backers can receive a digital copy of the album for a $5 pledge.