The Amanda Palmer Kickstarter Campaign and the Lessons Learned


Kickstarter campaigns are quickly becoming the most effective way to raise the funds you need for your business venture. However, when looking to crowdfunding for the capital that you need to get your idea or project off of the ground, there are some rules that you should follow. The story of Amanda Palmer’s experience with a kickstarter has many layers that anyone can learn from. Success in your Kickstarter fund means that you have obligations that must be met. The story of the Amanda palmer Kickstarter is one that all musicians should heed.

Why Did Amanda Palmer Choose a Kickstarter Fund?

Amanda Palmer is in the music industry, which means that access to funds by music labels are scarce. She was originally a member of Dresden Dolls. This punk cabaret group had some success and garnered quite a lot of fanfare, but eventually Palmer ventured into eth world of folk music. She was looking to record and release a new album, but was handcuffed due to a lack of funds to work with. This resulted in Palmer taking the new approach and opting for crowdfunding with a Kickstarter campaign. She launched the Kickstarter fund with the intention of raising about $100,000.00. However, the success that she achieved with her Kickstarter fund quickly ballooned.


A Million and Free Musicians

Now a solo artist and looking for funding, palmer took an innovative approach to her Kickstarter fund. She quickly began asking fans for pledges designed to help her develop her new solo project. She offered her fans incentives including minimal ownership in her work, music recordings, artwork or even the ability to meet Palmer herself. The response was so outstanding that Amanda Palmer quickly earned more than $1.2 million for her Kickstarter fund. She often promoted her solos project as the “Future of Music” to entice fans in becoming involved. Her strategies definitely paid off and she quickly achieved a very profitable and successful Kickstarter campaign. However, the love and adoration of her fans quickly turned after her next move.

Now that she had completed her album with the help of the funds earned in the Kickstarter campaign, she decided that a tour was the next step. The one problem was that she began advertising for musicians to join her tour for free. It wasn’t quite free though. Palmer was offering horn and string players the ability to kind of be an opening act. However, the fans and investors in her Kickstarter campaign were not buying her positive spin. Many were outraged that the more than 1 million dollars raised would not be used at all to pay for touring musicians. Many wondered where the money actually went.

Amanda Palmer Being Interviewed by Wired Magazine on her Kickstarter Campaign

1 Million Only Goes So far

Palmer quickly shot back at her skeptics claiming that producing an album and all the costs associated with that wiped her Kickstarter fund clean. She said that airfare and paying off personal debt left her with no cash to pay touring musicians. This left Palmer offering high fives and beer as reimbursement for those willing to play musical instruments on her tour.

Anger At Amanda Palmer’s Expense

Now that fans were aware of the amount of money Palmer began with, they were quick to anger after learning she had spent it all just recording a solos album. Due to the amount of anger and outrage the followed, Palmer somehow got her hands on some cash and is now offering full reimbursement to touring musical talent. However, the response to her Kickstarter fund and the outrage that followed does raise many interesting questions and unique observations.

Fans Only Want You To Get Rich From the Art

Many popular musicians today have a lot more money than Amanda Palmer. However, the main problem is that fans do not want you to profit from Kickstarter campaigns. They find it a great outcome if you make it big on the art, but are not appreciative of you profiting off of their generosity. This means that fans want you to operate in good taste. This is where Amanda Palmer made a glaring misstep. You can only ask for so much when you are launching a Kickstarter fund. Once you go too far in your demands, you take the risk of angering those that invested in your project.

Here’s a great video of Amanda speaking at TedTalks

Where Is The Line Drawn?

The Amanda palmer Kickstarter campaign is an interesting case and shows how you can have success and then kill all goodwill quickly. Crowdfunding is a very delicate method of raising funds. You have to appeal to people, but you also have to remain honorable. Palmer lacked this integrity when asking musicians to play for free shortly after she was given more than a million in funds from fans. Many Kickstarter campaigns in the music industry can be successful, but learn from the mistakes made by Amanda Palmer.