At midnight, June 1, 2012, we made history. Myself and the 24,882 others who funded Amanda Palmer’s latest project changed the game. We became the media, and the music industry will never be the same.
Over dramatic? Maybe. The industry won’t change overnight, but I guarantee they’re paying attention. In a little over a month, Amanda Palmer raised $1.19 million using nothing more than social networks and word of mouth. Everyone from Rolling Stone to The Economist sat up and took notice.
There have been great articles and posts about this Kickstarter campaign (I’ve pointed you to Scalzi before) that raise all kinds of issues, like the fact that AFP worked her ass off for decades to get to this place, that this will only work for people with a dedicated fan-base, that AFP isn’t an “overnight success”.
From a creative perspective, I’m so excited in the changes that are sure to come from this. Anything that gives artists and musicians more options, more opportunities to get their work to the masses, I’m all for. As a consumer, this gives me more opportunities to get work from artists I love without worrying about a middleman. I know my money is going straight to my favorite musicians, writers, what have you, without the big box chain store or online mega-store taking a chunk.
As a creator, I can’t help but see the potential this has opened. I’m realistic enough to see the limitations, but am giddy just thinking about the places we can go. AFP’s success on Kickstarter shows that it can be done – you can have an amazing album with an amazing band and a ridiculous world-wide tour and MAKE ART fully funded by the masses. Because the masses want art. We don’t want auto-tune and manufactured fame. We want honesty and creativity.
What’s next for the creatives of the world? I honestly don’t know, but I’m damn excited to witness it, share in it, revel in it. And I’m grateful to people like Amanda Palmer for pushing the boundaries, for not accepting limits, for doing things her way, for asking ‘why not?’ when told she can’t do something.