USA Tour 2022 Update

USA Tour 2022 update
One might wonder why a band needs a Gofundme to support the costs of a tour. One question might be. Why tour if the money being made from the gigs is not covering the cost of the tour?
It’s a reasonable question. One answer is to understand that being a musician is a calling. It’s a spiritual cultural passion. Generally speaking for most musicians, music is a financial sink hole that eats up money, and is not a reliable source for producing economic income.
There are local professional musicians who do make money from music, various levels of a living, usually through diversifying, i.e., doing gigs, studio session work, teaching music etc. I have been working in this category as a pro musician locally in Seattle for over 20 years now.
Of course as everybody knows, there are rock stars and nationally/internationally famous musicians who get wealthy through their music career.
While I do make a living through music, I have used crowdfunding to supplement the high cost of my recording projects. I have had three successful Gofundme campaigns to pay for my last three CD releases.
The current Godundme campaign starts with the story of being approached by a friend who has worked as a union theater stage hand in the music business all his life. He said he wanted to get into tour management and he asked if I would be interested in working with him and if so, he would work to put a tour together for me.
I have for sometime felt “root bound” by only performing locally in Seattle. I know that I have what it takes to be more successful nationally and internationally in the music business, but I have been following a calling for the last 20 years that precluded me from pursuing that path. My previous calling was to NOT pursue success in the music business and instead to learn to live and practice a more spiritual life serving local communities in Seattle. I am eternally grateful for having done this. I have regenerated my health and become a much better person as a result.
Now my calling is to expand out into the world with my music through touring and to enjoy greater success in the music business while serving the world community as opposed to just local communities. My new tour manager canvased venues around the country, but because I am an unknown commodity outside of the Seattle area, he was only able to land a handful of gigs in small venues that pay local rates across several states, some as far away as Georgia and South Dakota. In order for touring to pay for itself, we need to play ticketed venues of the theater/concert variety. While I can sell out a theater in Seattle, not so much in other areas of the country, at least not yet.
I know that I will eventually attain the theater/concert level, but I have to start somewhere, and so here I am writing you from Silver City, New Mexico, on a Western Loop tour, having just played a wonderful show for some amazing beautiful people, while not being paid enough to cover the cost of traveling to Silver City.
I am a public personality. I look to community for support. My goal with this Gofundme is to break even. I know that financial transparency is essential for the success of crowd-funding, however, I have also learned that basic business ethics requires me to not reveal to the public specifics about financial arrangements that I make with musicians that I pay as a band leader, and financial arrangements that I make with venues. But if you want to see how much bands make generally to play a local brewery, you can Google that and get an idea.
I will say this. I am paying my musicians the money that they would be making if they were doing there normal work in Seattle. They requested that for pay and that sounded reasonable to me.
The Gofundme campaign amount of $4,000 was an estimate of how much money would be spent above and beyond the amount made from the gigs to pay the musicians, the gas and the lodging. The $4,000 estimate also includes paying myself what the other two musicians are being paid. The two musicians are being paid the same amount as each-other by the way. I am also losing all of the income that I would otherwise be making at home by being out on tour. And then there is money needed to compensate the tour manager for his efforts.
As you know, if you have been following our story, we junked the van we started the tour with, my Toyota Sienna, because the transmission bit the dust. Then I bought a used van for $2500 in Fort Collins to finish the tour because the show must go on. Because of this, I am adding $2500 to the Gofundme. If it is my goal to break even on this tour, then the $2500 used van purchase must be included.
I am not including the lost investment of my previous van, or the $1,000 I spent having drive belts replaced, a transmission flush, and an alarm put in the van right before going on the road. This is all me putting skin in the game and paying my fair share of the expenses along with you, my benefactor community.
Hopefully this explanation will help you understand the crowd funding process a little better.
I am supremely grateful for the evolution of the human race that crowd funding emerged as a means for artists to receive direct funding from the public. It is truly a new paradigm phenomenon. In my case with touring, I see it as a method to get started in touring, however I know that eventually I will rise in venue level to a point where the tours will pay for themselves and I will not need crowdfunding to pay for the cost of touring. But I will continue to use crowd funding to pay for recording projects if need be.
Thank you for your caring and generosity.
James Howard
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