"The Fyre Fest Of Crowdfunding"
Musicians have been the subject of grift, fraud, and accounting trickery since the dawn of recorded music. It’s why so many artists found PledgeMusic
, a fan crowdsourcing platform, so appealing. Here’s how it works: artists set up a campaign page, say for a new album release, where fans can contribute to the project and receive perks, say exclusive merch, for various levels of contribution. Once the project is complete, PledgeMusic releases the funds to the band. Except PledgeMusic is having trouble with the “release funds to the band” part, which seems like an important step. Simmering complaints about the platform came to a boil
this week when multiple acts claimed that the service owes them tens or, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars. PledgeMusic issued a statement
, but the question remains. Why can’t bands access the funds that were specifically held for them?