Newlyweds Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are both very active on Twitter and close to their fan base. Now, they are planning a joint headline tour and a project funded through Kickstarter and covered on Twitter as it happens.
The Event, "An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer," will feature a piano, a ukulele, and Twitter-enabled armchairs. There will be songs, chats with the audience, spoken word and stories.The Kickstarter campaign will allow fans to buy VIP tickets and attend the sound check. Fans who cannot attend will be able to buy an audio recording (starting at a $1 donation) and merchandise. Kickstarter is a website which allows individuals and groups to post projects and invite users to give to fund the project, and in return receive certain benefits. In 48 hours, the couple more than tripled their funding goal, with over 1,200 backers and more than $70,000 donated. They still have 3 weeks to go.
This is just the sort of event that one would expect from an unconventional couple like Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. And it shows the power of the Internet to change the way that people do business. For celebrities like this to cut out the middle man and create their own funding online through Kickstarter should bring attention to the site and encourage others with unusual and creative ideas to reach out to the public for funding. We may not all have the money to support a project close to our hearts by ourselves, but most of us could afford to donate $5, $10, or $20 or more to projects we love.
In an article at Alt Sounds, Amanda Palmer states,
"This show will be very different beast from the loud, crazed rock shows that I'm accustomed to...and also very different from the relatively well-behaved readings to which Neil is accustomed. Neil and I are both very close with our fanbases, and, even though there's quite a bit of crossover, this tour is a like one big, long reception in which our two fan-familes get to meet each other. We wanted to keep the venues cozy and seated, and make the night feel like an after-hours salon more than a formal show. As Neil and I get closer to our fanbases online through blogging and tweeting, it's nice to spend some actual quality offline facetime with everybody. We're both really looking forward to it, I think this tour is going to provide some serious soul-food all around."
Neil Gaiman adds,
"This will be whatever happens when we get together on a stage for two hours. I haven't done a reading tour for a decade, and there are things I'm really excited about reading to a live audience. I'm hoping that Amanda's fans will put up with the messy-haired Englishman reading them stories, and that mine will enjoy the beautiful lady signing them songs of angst, post-modernism and woe. Or possibly vice versa. Also, it will be fun."
Certainly, it will be surprising and different, and well worth the investment. Hopefully, other performers will follow Giaman and Palmer's lead and use this method to connect directly to their fans.