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How a band robbed their fans…

Door: Patrick op 2015-02-10

A true story

Once upon a time there was a band from Forth Worth, Texas that released a highly appealing album in 2011. Their ‘Children Of Fire’ was an intense, affectionate album and songs as ‘Hush Yael’ or ‘The Family Ruin’ had such intriguing, heart-breaking, thought-provoking lyrics that they could almost be labelled as literature. The fans loved the band for their intensity, their emotional sincerity and for the fact that they were trying to do something they loved and believed in. Needless to say, their album was a hit among their fans.

Nineteen months after the release of their album the band announced they had completed their contract with Solid State Records and were going to record an independent EP via an Indiegogo fund-raiser. A signed physical EP, an exclusive hoodie, a digital thank you, a personalized Tweet, a pizza party, joining the band on stage, naming a song on the EP … the band offered their fans loads of special things in the crowd funding. Within a month the needed US $30,000 were raised. Even better: 182% of the funds were raised within four weeks and with a total of US $54,577 the band announced they would be able to record a second EP later the same year using the additional funds.

So far so good … is what you would think, isn’t it? But this is where it begins. Although the band had promised their fans to send them their material when the EP was recorded, a lot of fans only received a link to a digital download. After a few week complaints on Facebook followed and in response the band promised everyone their goods and they opened a special e-mail address where people could send their complaints and questions. And the latter the fans did. But all what followed was … utter silence! The promised goods were not received, e-mails remained unanswered and people did not know what to expect.

Early November 2014, sixteen months after the release of the EP, the crowd funders suddenly received an e-mail from vocalist Micah, saying “just checking in to see if your perk has been fulfilled yet. I'm personally taking on seeing to it that all remaining supporters are taken care of.” Some people hoped this was going to end the farce, but three months later - and a total of nineteen months after the original release - most of them still have not received their goods.

Once upon a time there was a band with a lot of fans … but they robbed them of their well-earned money. Broken promises, unanswered mails and a second EP that was never released were the rewards of their fans. The band lived happily after … or did they fade into oblivion and is it like someone wrote on their Facebook: “I hate to say this because they're my favorite band, but they really are acting like thieves. I got my copy, but plenty of people here STILL haven't got their Indiegogo bonuses. Also, where is the promised 2nd EP? Just break up already.”

Does this bad fairy tale make crowd funding in general an unwisely thing to do? Of course not! All it does it proof that Oh, Sleeper are a bunch of unreliable people who rather rob their fans of their money than proof to be trustworthy and respectful. I hope the future proofs to be one, in which no one will any longer support this band financially. Bunch of thieves!

Patrick schreef ook de volgende columns