What happens when all of your gear gets stolen in the middle of your tour? Here’s how the band RDGLDGRN came out $1,000 ahead (and counting).
It’s every band’s worst nightmare. While crashing in their hotel room after an exhausting gig, the members of RDGLDGRN got a call from the front desk. The back door of their van was pried open, and everything was gone.
In total, about $17,000 worth of gear was cleared out by thieves. The police came, but really couldn’t do much besides file a report.
RDGLDGRN, a three-person group, didn’t have any insurance. Yeah, they should have thought of that. But they didn’t. They definitely shouldn’t have left the gear unattended in the van. But they messed up.
Either way, they were completely screwed, with no instruments, speakers, mics, or equipment to play their next gig in a few days. Fans had already purchased tickets to upcoming shows, which were probably going to be cancelled.
It was totally crushing. But they still had a laptop and their phones.
So they decided to ask their fans to help them out.
RDGLDGRN decided to crowdfund. They used GoFundMe, basically a competitor to Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Here’s what they posted:
“We are RDGLDGRN
This morning at 7:34 am in Medford, Oregon we woke up to a call in our hotel room from the front desk letting us know that the back door to our trailer was open. We rushed outside in disbelief and sure enough, someone used bolt cutters to cut through our lock, and took EVERYTHING !!!!!
After filing a police report and finally assesing the damages, over $17,000 dollars worth of our instruments and equipment was stolen.
We are in the final stretch of our current tour and start a short run in a few days with no equipment and nothing was insured. We just started our own label, released a new single, and have been touring with the Dirty Heads and we really need everyone and anyone’s help with raising money to pay for this equipment.
This is unexpected and extremely
unfortunate. Red’s main guitar is irreplaceable because it was a gift from his godfather who passed away. We have a show Tonight and no instruments and 4 more shows to play before thanksgiving.
Please give whatever you can and share with everyone you can.
We appreciate whatever you all can do.
We love you.”
It was a prayer. But hey, no one had any other ideas. So they hunkered down, and got the word out. They blasted the crowdfunding prayer across their social networks, email list, and other channels.
They had all of those channels set up and going strong: Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. So now it was all about outreaching to their core.
The band says that donations started pouring in almost instantly. Most were putting down $10, $25, or $50 contributions, with higher amounts like $100 also coming in. Their fanbase isn’t a wealthy group. But three days later, they crossed the $18,000 mark.
Five days later, the level crossed $19,000. At this stage, nearly 500 people have donated, mostly in smaller amounts. In the end, they’re probably going to end their campaign with $20,000 or more in donations.
Here are just a few of the responses that came in. All of these people donated smaller amounts:
Kim Ferrara Umstetter
“I wish I had more to give…but I know every little bit that these million fans can give will help…I know you guys will land feet first! Xxoo”
“You have always been one of my favorite down to earth guys I’ve known since the beginning of RDGLDGRN. I miss you all, and it is so heartbreaking when I hear gear stolen, especially since we’ve known each other for years. If I could donate more, I would. I had cat vet issues 🙁 Red/Gold-Text/call me if there is anything I can do. This really sucks! You’ll get through this. Sending positive vibes your way!”
Kristin Beyrent Currie Johnston
“This sucks so bad. I hope everything works out for you guys and you can play tonight. Love you guys !!!”
“I reached out to the hotel to say thank you for looking out for you guys yesterday and the manager said even a few of the employees donated. 🙂 They were all very clearly sad that Medford was represented that way. So glad you guys reached your goal!!! Much love”
Some people were skeptical, so the band uploaded a police report to verify that the robbery happened. That allowed more people to donate (one lady said she would give $100 if she could see the report). The hotel felt bad that someone in their tiny Oregon town did this, so they also got involved.
Now, it’s all about buying some brand new stuff, and keeping this on the road. It’s back to making music, and figuring out how give back.
So what’s the moral of this story?
Fanbases will help you out, IF you give them a way to do that. Give them merch they want to buy, affordable tickets to your shows, and opportunities to meet you. And be really, really cool back. RDGLDGRN didn’t have insurance, but they didn’t need it. Their fans were their policy, and it more than covered their losses.
Love your fans, be authentic to them, and they’ll return the favor.