The Mullumbimby Music Festival

Just under a week ago, I headed out to the Mullumbimby Music Festival with The Button Collective. We were given the opportunity to play a slot at the Courthouse Hotel on the Saturday through connections at Southern Cross University, which we were all very grateful for. We also had a chance to play live and have a short interview on ABC North Coast radio, which we did as a stripped-back four-piece band, something that is going to become the norm in 2014 following a big move to Sydney.

Apart from playing, all of us were really looking forward to seeing some amazing artists over the weekend. In particular, Mustered Courage, Potato Potato, Rapskallion, and The Perch Creek Family Jugband. It was an enormously enjoyable weekend, with perhaps a little too much alcohol involved, and I think every member of the band has come away from the experience very inspired and ready to kick the band up a notch, and looking forward to playing the next festival – the Falls Music and Arts Festival in Byron Bay over the new years’ break.

As of midnight last night, the Blood, Guts & Firetrucks EP crowdfunding campaign finished successfully. While we reached our goal early (more than a week before the deadline) a few people pledged beyond our target. I spent a while this week getting together all the artwork for the packaging, and the physical copies are currently being pressed and printed by Media Movers in Sydney. There’s still a bit of work left to do to get all the rewards out to those who pledged to the campaign, but it’s good to know that enough people were interested to get us over the line.

Out of one campaign, and into another – tomorrow is the launch date for The Button Collective’s Pozible campaign – we’re taking pre-orders for our completely self-produced full-length album, and looking at a January launch date. The album has been in the works for the best part of six months – we’ve been recording new songs as Brodie has been writing them, and I’ve been mixing the twelve final tracks for the last month-or-so. We’re setting a modest target for the campaign of $500, which will pay for 100 physical copies of the CD, printed, pressed, and posted to those who pre-order it. Of course, there are a number of higher reward levels, with merchandise, booklets, and personal gifts for those inclined to show more support.

It’s going to be an exciting couple of months, with not only those two releases, but the Ben Wilson and the Job Seekers EP also just around the corner.

It’s also going to be an extremely busy next three weeks, with a long list of gigs with five different bands. As much as I enjoy playing music, and being exceptionally busy doing so, I feel like it must be just about time for a little holiday.

Crowdfunding and Me

Currently, things are ramping up towards the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the release of Blood, Guts & Firetrucks’ debut EP, ‘The Wrong Way’. In case you haven’t heard of crowdfunding, it’s a (relatively) new way of raising money for specific projects by engaging your fans directly and getting them to pledge donations towards your goal. Each donor receives a reward for their generosity, depending on how much was pledged. Generally, if the goal is not reached, no pledges are fulfilled and the project remains incomplete.

There are several companies running hosting services for crowdfunding campaigns, with Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and Pozible being three of the most talked about, in my experience.

The Blood, Guts & Firetrucks Pozible campaign is not yet live, but you can get a sneak preview of the video I have put together for it here:

 

Convincing people that they want to throw their hard-earned money at something can be difficult. The approach I took with this video was to initially tell people what the project was, the fact that we are very close to completion, how they can help, and that they will get something in return for their dollars. This information is fleshed out on the Pozible site in detail, but simply saying “We’ve been saving up and raising funds. We’re almost there, but we need your help” is enough information for people to get the idea that while their contribution need not be huge, every dollar is very valuable to us at this point, having spent a lot of our own money, time, and effort towards completing the EP.

The second half of the video, overlayed with one of the actual tracks from the EP, is a montage of footage from the studio, and from live shows. This part serves to convince people that the EP is something that they really want, a product of the four members of the band getting in the studio and putting themselves into something worth having.

The Pozible campaign will launch shortly, hopefully raising the remaining funds we need to get the EP mastered, the artwork produced, and the physical CDs pressed, printed, and shipped.

 

In the coming months also, The Button Collective will be running a Pozible campaign of our own, raising money to get the first set of albums pressed and shipped to those who pledge. Couple these with the upcoming Ben Wilson and the Job Seekers EP release, and Gracie Hughes’ debut EP just around the corner, and it’s going to be a big summer for official releases that I’ve been involved with.