Follow along as Sharon and Winter pit their wits against the rigors of the road! Become a sponsor a la Hunger Games in this engaging behind-the-scenes video log.
Who We Are
Hi there! We are Sharon Knight and Winter, nationally touring musicians in the Mythic-Celtic vein. We've been full-time musicians for about 6 years now, performing as a duet or trio under the name Sharon Knight or Sharon Knight Trio, and are also the founding members of 6-piece rock band Pandemonaeon. We strive to bring community together here in the Bay Area by creating events that celebrate music, dance, the arts, myth, and imaginative costumery. If you are not yet familiar with us and you'd like to check out our music, you can do so at www.sharonknight.net and www.pandemonaeon.net.
What We Are Doing
We are thrilled to have been invited to perform at the New Orleans Witch's Ball on October 27th. New Orleans is a fantastic music town, and one that we'd like to get known in. So of course we said yes. We've set up a few more shows while we're in town, and are planning to tour our way across the country.
The catch is - we don't yet have a following in the South.
So we've decided to document our travels and see if we can generate some tour support by creating our own "Hunger Games" style reality show of life on the road.We are going to make it as fun and engaging as we possibly can!
We will post daily reports on our blog, with video updates 2-3 times a week. In these videos and blog reports, we will endeavor to share the challenges, joys, and magic of life as a touring musician. We chose Hunger Games as our theme, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, because it seemed fitting. 14 hour drives, gas station food, leaky air mattresses - trying to stay alive as an independent musician really does feel like an epic battle at times! Might as well have fun with it!
As in the Hunger Games story, you can support our tour in the form of sponsorships, thus giving us an edge in the game. We intend for this to be a playful fun time for us all, as well as a way to keep us touring. And since the fundraiser will be going on while we are on tour, there is no concern that the project won't happen - it already is happening!
Why We Need Your Help
In better times, we have floated our outreach to new areas with credit cards, and have always been able to pay them off pretty quickly. However, our summer 2012 tour, while successful in terms of reaching new folks and playing some prestigious festivals, didn’t meet our financial expectations. So we are looking to new business models that will allow us to continue creating and performing our music. And we need your help to make it happen.
Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes look at the budget for our upcoming month-long tour:EXPENSES:
GAS $1200 My, has this cost gone up since we started touring! We'll be logging about 6300 miles round trip this time out. Our little Yaris gets about 38 miles to the gallon. But still.
FOOD $1800 $60 per day for 30 days, to cover both of us. We try to be frugal, but we don’t do fast food.
HOTELS - $600 6 nights at $100 each. The rest of our lodging is either covered by the venue, provided by friends, or secured for free via www.couchsurfing.org. (Which is awesome, if you like to travel you really need to check it out).
THE UNEXPECTED - $500 It happens. You get a flat. You need to change your oil. You need to pay ridiculous tolls, like on the Ohio turnpike. We find it wise just to have an emergency fund.
CAMPAIGN-RELATED EXPENSES - $750 Indiegogo fees, shipping the posters, internet access, etc.
EQUIPMENT - $500 We got ourselves a little GoPRo Hero to film our adventures on the road, which will not only serve us for this campaign but for filming future performances and creating music videos. We also have other equipment expenses, like power cables, batteries, etc.
MUSICIAN SALARIES - $2500 This is what Winter and I pay ourselves for this work for the month. We use this money to do crazy stuff like pay our rent at home and cover our general living expenses.
TOTAL EXPENSE: $7850
PERFORMANCE FEES & CD SALES - $4000
Show guarantees - $3000
Estimated Cd sales $1000
THIS INDIGOGO CAMPAIGN - $4000
So what if we come in over $4000?
$4000 keeps us in the black as we fulfill the year's final obligations. Anything beyond $4000 will go into a much needed equipment upgrade. New amps made in this century. A printer that prints. That sort of thing. Beyond that? My goodness - we could even pay to have some guest artists on our next recording!
How You Can Join The Tour!Start following along on our blog at www.sharonknight.net/blog/ and make a donation if you can. It's going to be fun - like a big, month long slumber party! We hope the game will be fun enough in itself to warrant your support - however, in true Indiegogo fashion, we are also offering some fun perks. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory, but I did want to show you a pic of the 11x17 Star of the Sea poster you'll be getting at the $75-$100 level. This is it. Except bigger. And signed. :+)
We Love You!!
As is the case with most independent art projects, your support will make the difference between whether this tour is a success or not. And success means we can keep doing it! You are quite literally keeping us on the road by playing this game with us. As such, you are very much a part of our creative process, and we love you for it!
Other Ways You Can Help
Can you help us get the word out and make some noise about our campaign? Not only does this help our immediate cause, but it exposes more folks to our music!
You can use the nifty indiegogo "share" tools, above!
You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Here are the links:
Sharon's blog - where the videolog will be - http://www.sharonknight.net/blog/
Sharon Knight on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SharonKnightMusic
Pandemonaeon on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PandemonaeonMusic
Sharon on Twitter - https://twitter.com/sharonknight777
We are also looking for one or two outstanding music patrons who can help us by hosting a dinner party fundraiser in their home. If you are on our tour route or in the greater Bay Area, we can perform for you and your VIP guests, show tour documentary clips, and talk about what it’s like to be an independent musician. You let your friends know it’s a fundraiser, and that they should bring their checkbooks. We hope to generate 3 to 5 VIP sponsorships in the $250 - $500 range at each house party. Please contact Sharon for details. (NOTE: This is different than the house concert perk level to the right, although they can be combined if you like).
Also you might be interested in our members-only-secret-society-clubhouse for artistic dreamers that we are launching called the Ring of Enchantment. You can be kept in the loop as this develops (Slated to accept membership Jan. 1st) by signing our mailing list, where you will also get free improv mini-songs every month, called "Mermaid Kisses".
Thanks my dears! And may the odds be ever in our favor! (ALL of our favor!)
What is tour support?
it is - or was - an investment in artists by record labels to help them bridge the gap between the real costs of the being on the road vs. the income from the 6 people that showed up at their first show in New Town, USA. It doesn't happen much anymore, and for indie artists it never happened.
That’s why campaigns like this one are so important.
If you guys only make $4000 on tour for a whole month, how is that a viable business plan?
This is a very conservative estimate, based on lower-than-usual income from our summer 2012 tour. As we move forward, we will consider raising our performance rates to be more in line with industry standards, and to more accurately reflect rising costs.
What if you don't make your $4000 goal?
Too bad for us. We'll lick our wounds and take solace in the knowledge that we fulfilled our commitments. And we won't head out on tour again until we have upgraded our strategy. Remember - since we are fundraising AS the event is happening, there is no chance that we won't go through with it. One of the things we prefer about Indiegogo is that, even if you don't reach your goal, you still get what money was raised, and every bit will help.