Crowdfunding Music – The Act of Asking

AMANDA PALMER, an American musician, took the stage at a recent TED conference like a human statue. She stood on a plastic crate with a man’s hat upturned in front of it, held a length of tulle across her arms and a flower in one hand, and paused. Ms Palmer, who is an advocate of crowdfunding and communicating with her fans online, then delivered an electric talk about patronage in the internet age. The audience response was such that TED immediately (and nearly without precedent) edited and posted the video to its free website. It racked up over 1m views within a few days.

Ms Palmer’s early performance work was as a busker, when she lived (or starved) by donations alone. She kept the spirit of street donations alive as she gained celebrity as a musician, first in the duo The Dresden Dolls, and then with Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. Last year, she raised nearly $1.2m from 25,000 backers on Kickstarter…

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